Will garden village be revived?
- Credit: Terra Strategic
Nearly 100 acres of land are being put forward to make controversial plans for a garden village west of Banwell a reality.
The site, in the hands of five landowners, could accommodate more than 600 homes, with more than a quarter of the site set aside for public open space.
It is being promoted after North Somerset Council secured a £97million Government grant last year to build a new bypass around Banwell, plus a 900-space secondary school at Locking Parklands and additional infrastructure.
Councillors were assured last year that the 'once-in-a-generation' funding was not reliant on a 1,900-home garden village at Banwell and another 2,600-home settlement at Churchill being built.
The garden villages were proposed in the region’s joint spatial plan, which was later scrapped, but landowners are still pressing for Banwell’s to go ahead.
The 96-acre parcel of land either side of Summer Lane is being promoted by Terra Strategic.
Managing director James O’Shea said: “North Somerset Council is currently preparing to go out to consultation on a full version of the draft Local Plan.
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“With the funding for Banwell bypass secured, this strategic development opportunity is very much taking shape now.
"The creation of this highly sustainable garden village will deliver an outstanding new community to the area, boosting the local economy in the process.
“It will also help to meet North Somerset’s annual housing targets at a time when the number of new homes being built in the UK has declined as a direct result of the pandemic.
“We will continue to work with the council’s officers, local councillors and all stakeholders to move forward with our plans.”
The firm said the new community 'will complement the historic village of Banwell and enhance its attractiveness and long-term viability', while environmental improvements will be created 'by the diversion of through-traffic from narrow old streets onto the new bypass'.
North Somerset Council is still determining how around 20,500 homes should be spread across the district over the next 15 years as it draws up a new Local Plan.
Four different strategies are on the table – three propose building up to 3,000 homes north west of Banwell, while the fourth would allocate the site for up to 5,000.
The Banwell bypass and extra school places are expected to support around 7,557 new homes, of which 4,482 will be built at the existing Weston Villages.
Cllr James Tonkin told his executive colleagues in July last year: “The Homes Infrastructure Fund funding is no longer reliant on the Banwell or Mendip Spring garden villages proposals in the joint spatial plan.
"Future housing numbers and locations, beyond those already allocated at Weston Villages, are wholly subject to the Local Plan process.”