Local Plan proposals for development in North Somerset
Stephen Sumner Local Democracy Reporter
- Credit: North Somerset Council
More than 5,000 homes could built in the greenbelt south west of Bristol in one long-term strategy being considered by North Somerset Council.
The authority is drawing up a new Local Plan and looking at where to create jobs and build 15,500 homes over 15 years – at the other end of the spectrum, the properties could be spread more evenly across the district.
More than 4,000 hectares of land have been identified so far that could be developed.
Residents are being asked their views on four development strategies that are currently on the table but the final option could be a hybrid.
The first proposal focuses on retaining the greenbelt, proposing some 5,000 houses east of Weston, a new settlement north of Churchill with up 3,000 homes and a similar sized extension to Nailsea, along with a series of smaller developments.
This approach would limit the sprawl of Bristol, preventing the merger of towns and villages and preventing encroachment into the countryside.
A second proposal has an urban focus to maximise growth in the most highly populated areas.
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It would see more than 5,000 houses built in the greenbelt south west of Bristol, up to 5,000 in Nailsea, where there is “potential for significant growth”, and up to 3,000 east of Weston.
The consultation suggests that this is the most sustainable option – close to employers and existing and planned infrastructure, and where housing is needed most.
Alternatively, the homes could be built along North Somerset’s transport corridors, like the A370, A38 and the reopened Portishead railway line.
The largest sites would be around south west Bristol, east Weston and Nailsea, each accommodating more than 3,000 new properties.
Under this third strategy, Backwell, Easton-in-Gordano and Long Ashton would also each see up to 1,500 houses built.
The consultation says this approach could be linked to transport investment to maximise opportunities for walking, cycling or public transport.
The fourth and final model proposes “greater dispersal”, with more small-scale developments.
Sites south west of Bristol and east of Weston would each see up to 3,000 houses built, with the rest in towns and villages across the district.
There would be a more even spread, so in some areas the impact would be less than in other approaches.
The Local Plan will set out where and how new development will take place in North Somerset between 2023 and 2038.
The 15,500-home target excludes those that already have planning permission.
The consultation says: “Before we can suggest particular sites for development we first need to agree what our overall approach to where new homes, jobs and facilities should go.
"That means looking at all of the restrictions we have across North Somerset and examining whether or not there are ways we could provide the numbers of homes and jobs we need in the most sustainable way within these constraints.”
Flood zones, the greenbelt and the Mendip Hills areas of outstanding natural beauty limit where development can take place. Collectively they cover a large part of North Somerset.
More than 4,000 hectares of land have been identified so far in a study that will feed into the Local Plan but some will be unsuitable.
These are the 10 biggest:
- 290 hectares at The Vale south west of Bristol
- 218 hectares between Yatton and the M5
- 196 hectares at Chapel Pill in Pill
- 195 hectares east of Clevedon
- 188 hectares at Chapel Pill
- 155 hectares east of Junction 21 of the M5
- 134 hectares north of Churchill
- 98 hectares of east of Wolvershill Road, which links Worle and Banwell
- 75 hectares at Barrow Wood
- 71 hectares between Flax Bourton and Banwell
No decisions have been made on where or how the new homes should be built yet, but they will need to be made in the next year or so.
The consultation runs until December 14.
To voice your views, log on to https://n-somerset.inconsult.uk/consult.ti/NSLPChoices/consultationHome