NTC Planning Committee Meeting – Wednesday 27th September 2023

Nailsea Town Council Planning Committee Meeting in Nailsea Tithe Barn
Wednesday 27th September 2023

Developers’ presentation on their proposals for North West of Hanham Way, Causeway View – Vistry (150)

The meeting was very well attended by some 60 members of the public including NAG core group members Dave Gray, Antony Evans and Doug Willis, many of whom lived in the area adjacent to that on which Vistry developers are proposing for house-building.

The company’s representatives gave a presentation remarkably similar to that of other recent developers’ presentations to the Council.

• Outline planning permission will be requested for 150 dwellings, 30% of which will be affordable. The site is north-west of Hanham Way.

• The estate will be highly energy efficient, gas-free, with electric vehicle charging points, and include spaces for parkland (about 50% of the whole area), play and recreation, orchards, allotments, good ecology management, sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) with retained hedgerow boundaries and buffer spaces, yielding a 15% increase in biodiversity gain which is beyond that required by regulation. Prior to planning application all the statutory surveys will be undertaken for heritage, ecology, flooding, transport impacts.

• The proposal is being promoted through the North Somerset Local Plan. Vistry have had control of the site since 2018 with progress delayed by the re-alignment of power lines by the National Grid.

• This is an outline plan so official consultation with statutory bodies with regard to such matters as ecology, archaeology, water and drainage is to come. A website is accessible to those residents who wish to comment on the proposals.

• Vistry representatives were reluctant to agree to a public presentation meeting, as strongly requested by the Chair of the meeting, Cllr. Tonkin, citing the mechanisms for reaction to the plans on the website were already in place via email and possible webinars.

The Acting Chair of the Planning Committee, Cllr. Tonkin, then allowed fifteen minutes for questions from councillors and the public.

• Cllr. Presland refuted the developers’ claim of good public transport links from the area and exhorted them to consult local councils and bus companies further on this matter.

• The Clerk reminded the developers that, in respect of another proposed development by Gleeson, Highways England has asked for a halt on all development planning in Nailsea for six months to allow further consideration of the cumulative effect on the roads in, and as access to and from the town.

• Vistry responded that Highways should have already taken into account on allocations of land made by North Somerset Council in 2018 which included the north Nailsea locations
• Cllr. Hobbs averred that affordable homes were not – affordable, and exhorted Vistry to do more than just to tick the required boxes for a development plan (as he [Cllr. Hobbs] had heard all this before from other builders’ presentations), but go beyond basic expectations.

The Acting Chair of the Planning Committee, Cllr. Tonkin, then allowed three comments from the public present.

• Dave Gray spoke about the need for more smaller homes to be built in Nailsea to allow older residents to downsize and younger people to come in. He was illustrating the need for this when asked to stop by the Chair who was concern that he had a lot to say [which he did], and there was very little time for others to speak..

• John Murray, Nailsea and Tickenham Football Club Chair, was grateful that there was no direct impact on the Club’s grounds from the development, but was concerned that access from the Vistry site to the adjacent site would need to cross the Club’s land. He was told that this would not be so.

• Beth Connock raised concerns about notorious flooding in the area and the dangerous nature of the main access point to the site on a sharp, poorly sighted bend in the road. Vistry assured those present that these matters would be dealt with by the district council and related local flood drainage boards once a formal planning application was made.

Cllr. Tonkin invited the [many] public who still wished to speak to meet the Vistry representatives outside the Council meeting room in another part of the building, and resumed the agenda for the Planning Committee meeting.