New North Somerset Council 
Draft Local Plan 2024-2038
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Deadline for comments 29 April 2022 5pm

Brief outline:

  • The new North Somerset Draft Local Plan 2024 - 2038 gives everyone an opportunity to comment on the future of our area.  Importantly it has excluded the  proposed 2,800 new houses in the Churchill/Mendip Spring so-called 'Garden Village'.   
    Thank you North Somerset. 

     

  • There is much to commend in the New Draft Local Plan (DLP), We urge everyone, whatever your views to respond to as many of the questions as possible.  We hope that  we have made the task shorter.  We have identified some key points that we consider to be really important.  Naturally if you wish to comment upon them all then terrific.
     

  • Filling in the Questionnaire 
  • Click here for questionnaire.  Follow the steps below with our 'take' on possible comments.  You do need to 'submit comment' each time, then 'return to document'. You will receive an automated acknowledgement email each time!!

  • Scroll down click 'Next'
     

  • 2.  Vision, Strategic Priorities and Sustainability objectives.  You are asked for comments - CALRAG's view: Support all. 
    Click 'Next'.

     

  • 3.  Strategic Policies:  CALRAG's view: No comment. 
    Click 'Next'

     

    •  SP1 'Sustainable development'.  CALRAG's view: Support all. 
      Click 'Next'

       
    • SP2 'Climate Change'.  Strongly support "Deliver a net zero energy standard in new buildings".  
      Click 'Next'.

       
    • SP3 'Spatial Strategy'. CALRAG's view: Strongly support :
      • 'focussing development at the towns and urban areas, maximising the use of previously developed land.   
      • 'The amount of development at villages and the countryside will relate to local community needs". Churchill does not have any further need for the plan period.

      • "Development at villages and rural areas is relatively less sustainable as a higher proportion of trips are likely to be made by car". Again it highlights that "development in the villages must relate to local community needs".  
        Click 'Next'

         

    • SP4 'Placemaking'.  CALRAG's view:
      • Not enough emphasis is placed on recognising the clear identity and character of villages such as Churchill and Langford. 
      • Villages are being urbanised through over development demonstrating disjointed incrementalism. 
      • Large, unplanned housing estates are not the way forward in a village that has little local employment, is not close to a railway station and rural bus service is poor and unsustainable. 
      • The culture of village life is being eroded. 
      • Such rapid development invites the import of problems from the towns which while dispersed will require extra resources to meet the admirable aspiration of sustainable development.  
        Click 'Next'.

         
    • SP5 'Towns'  No comment as we are not a town. 
      Click 'Next'.

       

    • SP6 'Villages and Rural Areas'.  CALRAG's View: Strongly support:

      • 'The size, type, tenure and range of housing reflects local community needs'.

      • "It will not cause significant adverse impacts on local services and infrastructures including cumulative impacts".   However:

      • Churchill has already taken 300+ houses with unplanned speculative developments in the pipeline totalling 218 with a further 196 in the Draft Local Plan.  This will nearly double the size  of the village.  

      • Local lanes and roads are already congested. Schools are full. Doctor's surgery inadequate to cope with the increase in population. Green spaces and good quality agricultural land are being concreted over.

      • Local residents have chosen village life for its tranquility, access to the countryside and  community  spirit.  They are not looking for large supermarkets, cinemas and urban amenities.   

      • Lack of public transport particularly between villages. 

      • It is totally inappropriate to place the proposed SEMH school with 65 pupils in 2022 growing to 128 in 2023 (when it is due to open) then 148 by 2026 in a field that is rich in biodiversity at the bottom of the already congested, single track Ladymead Lane through which the 196 proposed houses will also pass.  Though needed in North Somerset the 148 pupils + staff will mean an estimated 800+ car journeys PER DAY down this congested lane which also serves the doctors surgery and primary school. 
        Click 'Next'.

    • SP 7 Green Belt:  CALRAG's view: 
      40% of North Somerset is Green Belt.  It was designed to prevent 'Urban Sprawl'  70 years later, is not only strangling Bristol but is also causing the Urban Sprawl to leapfrog over the Green Belt to urbanise rural villages instead with huge loss of good quality agricultural land.

      • Exceptional circumstances do exist for use of Green Belt close to Bristol city with its easily accessible infrastructure and where people can cycle/walk to employment.​ (Demonstrated at the Public Examination of the West of England joint Spatial Plan 2018.

      • Green Belt should be replaced/extended up to the Mendip Hills AONB for the protection of this priceless resource for so many people. 
        Click 'Next'

         

    • SP8 Housing: CALRAG's view:

      • Churchill is struggling to absorb more housing and remain a rural village and keep its village culture/identity. 

      • Most people accept that villages will grow, but to create cohesive, sustainable communities, they need to evolve/grow at an appropriate, sustainable rate whilst respecting the culture of village life which is sustainable if kept rural and of a manageable size.  To do otherwise will  create greater costly infrastructure problems.  

      • 218 unplanned speculative housing developments are currently in the application process.  They are not needed, not on the Site Allocation Plan, outside of the village settlement boundary and are 'not needed' in this village (see SP3 above).  Some are even in or adjacent to the Churchill Conservation Area.  There is very limited employment.  In addition the Draft Local Plan proposes 196 more houses in Lower Langford.  Total 414 more houses unless the current 218 unplanned speculative houses are refused by planners.

      • Affordable housing should be prioritised in the villages for those who have a strong connection to the village and close to their support network. ​

      • Local schools are full.  The doctor's surgery over capacity, the infrastructure such as the Sports Centre  (currently closed), is lacking.  
        Click 'Next'

         

    • SP9 Employment:  CALRAG's view: Support.  
      Click 'Next'

       

    • ​SP10 Transport: CALRAG's view:

      • Strongly support, "New development being located and designed to minimise the carbon impact of transport through limiting the need to travel and prioritising walking and cycling (active travel) and the use of public transport." 

      • Support for the admirable aspirations. 

      • We do not support building new roads which is in line with many other UK Local Authorities.  
        Click 'Next'

         

    • SP11 Green Infrastructure and the Historic Environment"  CALRAG's view: Support: 
      Click 'Next'

       

    • SP12 Minerals -quarrying etc.  CALRAG's view: No comment  
      Click 'Next'

       

  • From now on, of the remaining, CALRAG feels that the following are particularly important continue to scroll down the left hand margin for the following:

    • LP6 Settlement Boundaries:  CALRAG's view: Strongly support. 
      This has the potential to prevent the raft of unplanned unsustainable development being promoted on the grounds of being adjacent to current 'settlement boundaries'. 

    • LP8 Extent of the Green Belt.  CALRAG's view: 
      The green belt should include the villages adjacent to the AONB.
       

    • LP10 Transport Infrastructure Allocations and Safeguarding. 

      • CALRAG is concerned about the Banwell Bypass

        • Local road congestion as a result of additional traffic generated by the bypass and the 2,800 houses on which it is dependent.

        • 20mph enforced area-wide speed limit should be imposed.

        • Sufficient mitigation measures for surrounding villages needed.

        • Danger to pedestrians and cyclists.

        • Environmental destruction.

        • Pollution.

        • Spiralling costs - Who pays?
           

    • Schedule 1 - Proposed large sites for residential sites in 'Churchill'.  CALRAG's view:
      257 more houses but 61 already have planning permission so total 196 new homes situated between Pudding Pie Lane and Jubilee Lane. 
      These are in addition to the 218 current planning applications that are in the pipeline.  
      Please make your own comments.

       

    • Schedule 4 Proposed sites for community facilities.  CALRAG's view:
      This is the controversial site for a new Social Emotional Mental Health School (SEMH) at the bottom Ladymead Lane for 65 pupils and 40 staff which will rise to 128 and additional staff by 2023.  The majority of pupils need to come individually by taxi mainly from the towns of Portishead and WSM. 
      STRONGLY OPPOSE.  This school is needed in North Somerset but this is a totally inappropriate site due to access from Ladymead Lane and Pudding Pie Lane and lost of particularly rich biodiversity.  See SP 6 above (red section).

       

Well done!  You deserve a round of applause!


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Good development is development in the right place:  

For an alternative, sustainable development  alternative to covering over green fields with concrete click  Suggested solutions