Banwell bypass and primary school funding worth £97m accepted by authority

Village sign on Knightcott Road, Banwell.

Village sign on Knightcott Road, Banwell. - Credit: Archant

The route of the long-awaited Banwell bypass has been confirmed as part of a £97million funding package.

The road will support the development of future housing sites to help meet the demand for homes over the next 15 years.

The government cash will also pay for a 900-place secondary school – but a potential shortfall of £6.7million would need to be found.

A North Somerset Council report said the authority could use the community infrastructure levy, a fee paid by developers, to cover the cost.

The bypass and extra school places are expected to support around 7,500 homes, more than half of which are due to be built as part of the Weston Villages development, which includes Haywood Village and Parklands Village.

A council spokesman said: “The economic and social impacts of both coronavirus and climate change will be with us for many years, which is why it is vital we secure much-needed funding to deliver school places, road improvements and housing for our communities.

“Without the funding, the need for the school and bypass will remain and we would have to find alternative resource, which is not available.

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“The funding also provides for improvements to the local road network, including traffic management measures and new footways and cycleways, and for public realm improvements and traffic calming measures in Banwell village.

“The exact nature of any changes will be subject to extensive consultation. As the scheme design and development progress there will be specific events held locally to enable and ensure widespread community engagement.”

Banwell bypass is set to be completed by 2024.

The secondary school site is on land at the southern end of the Parklands Village North South Link Road, within the Locking Parklands area.

Both projects will involve public consultation, which is planned for next year once early designs have been completed, and will be subject to planning permission.

The Government’s housing infrastructure fund, administered by Homes England, is helping to deliver up to 300,000 homes across England by providing local authorities with grant funding for new infrastructure.