Ask Nailsea – Extra-ordinary meeting 9/11/2022

The sale of the site to the west of Engine Lane owned by the Town Council to Barratts for housing brought in £3.8m. The public were asked to suggest ways in which this money could be spent for the benefit of the town. The Council aspired to a substantial heritage legacy project. The suggestions were reviewed, reduced and grouped into six categories with a working party for each :- 

  • Green Schemes 
  • Community Hub 
  • Arts and Culture 
  • Community Transport
  • Green Spaces 
  • Sports and Leisure

Green Schemes

The working party discussed two proposals under three questions :–

  1. why is this of benefit
  2. where are its sources
  3. what is the cost

Proposal (i) Green electricity schemes for homeowners

Proposal (ii) Green community power generation.

Deliberations :-

(i).1     householders will have an alternative to fossil fuels.

(i).2     on the roof for solar, on an outside wall or under the ground for heat pumps.

(i).3     installation c. £5 – £10k per house; running cost at c. £150 p.a.

(ii).1    business owners would benefit principally rather than necessarily homeowners.

(ii).2    same as for (i).2, but also possible for a community installation

(ii).3    installation £20k+, running costs £500 – ?£5000 p.a.

Outcome

The brief was considered insufficiently clear to identify possible tangible net benefits, there being potential significant complexities between different energy suppliers and sources, legal issues and power connection. Further work recommended to the working party with a referral to the Climate Emergency Working Party as it has a budget separate from the Ask Nailsea budget, and the scheme might be funded from there.

Community Hub Working Party

This working party has met twice and discussed a community hub as :-

1.  A Virtual entity, 2. A Physical entity.

No.1 is now in the form of a draft online directory which will also be on all NTC websites and media, revisable and updatable at any time. Hard copies will be available.

No. 2. Scotch Horn has been approached with a view to utilising its unused/underused space. These could accommodate discussion groups, community kitchens, social and skills exchanges, the shedders etc. Could get a five year lease @£50k.

Working party recommended to take their work further.

Arts and Culture

There is lots going on in Nailsea – painting, music, drama, crafts etc etc etc. Folk Club and other organisations want to expand and be able to attract bigger names to higher profile events to bigger audiences, as would be provided in a 250 seat auditorium. Scotch Horn is the preferred venue which could also provide space for dance and recording studios, cinema, a gallery, exhibitions, a museum to exhibit Nailsea’s heritage and draw people from outside Nailsea in all in one place, not scattered around the area.

In-meeting discussion demonstrated that some felt there were plenty pf Nailsea locations not to need a single location.

More time was requested. The working party was not ready to make recommendations.

Community Transport

The working party worked to three questions :- 1. What is the future of public transport in Nailsea? 2. What are the vehicle options? 3. What council grants are available?

  1. Community Transport Is very heavily legislated and runs at a loss. Nailsea and District Transport (N&DT) has six larger and two smaller vehicles (some very old). The ‘membership’ (i.e. passengers), which has increased by 17.5% this year, pay an annual subscription. N&DT covers not just Nailsea but a large part of north North Somerset.
  2. As Europe re-arms, vehicle builders are engineering for the forces as a priority, so there is an increasing lead-in time for new vehicles, now up to a year. Power choices are diesel, electric, hydrogen – the latter less likely in the immediate future. Ideally N&DT need eight or nine larger vehicles (e.g.Transit 17 seaters) and 2 smaller ones. If adapted for wheel chair/disabled passenger use, the seating capacity reduces.
  3. Cost @c.£80k per vehicle would fall to North Somerset, which, however has increasingly less money to spend on anything. [Forecast deficit c. £4m.]

Recommendation: continue to develop and work on the issues and liaise with neighbouring parishes.

Green Spaces 

The main idea is to create an ecologically positive and environmentally enriched nature park, attractive to walk in and visit. An area of some 20 acres is envisaged probably on the unbuildable Nailsea and Tickenham moor as it is in the flood plain and on wetland. Cost of land in this condition is c. £8-16k/acre: 20 acres therefore c. £160 – £320k. Development costs, visitor centre facilities etc not yet calculated.

Recommended to continue investigations.

Sports and Leisure

The group worked to a short list of : 1. Running track(s), 2. All weather pitches; 3. Tennis courts; 4. Scotch Horn Swimming pool; 5. Nailsea Junior Football Club (NJFC)

1.  Running track(s). 

A 400m all-weather track would take up a large area approx. size of Golden Valley field with a 100m sprint track inside it, costing c.£1.5-2m Or these could be located in Millennium Park. There would be oncosts for maintenance and eventual replacement after 15-20 years. These could be charged to users. Establishing a grass marked track would cost c. £1-2k, but would need more maintenance.

2. All weather pitch.

Nailsea School already has one, but now needs replacement as worn out – cost c.£250k. A new facility could be made at Grove or Millennium Park – cost c.£900k.

3. Tennis Courts

There are several at Mizzymead Club and one at Cheddar Close. A new one or two would cost c.£500k. Would be oncosts etc..

4. Scotch Horn swimming pool.

NSC owns SH. NSC is reviewing all its assets county wide – results to be published Spring 2023. To rebuild SH with pool would cost c.£20m. New pool, but as part of SH development, c.£4m.

5. Nailsea Junior Football Club (NJFC).

NJFC has 2-300 junior player members and a waiting list of over 50. It runs many teams (?30+?) served by a large army of volunteers. It is desperate for more space. Nailsea School for charges big fees for use of its facilities. There should be a community/school agreement. Football facilities are needed in Nailsea, not tennis.

No recommendations at this stage.