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Climate Change Emergency Update

North Somerset Declared Climate Change Emergency February 2019

CALRAG presented a paper to the full council with a resounding round of applause

CALRAG supported Cllr Bridget Petty (Green, Backwell) and applauded NSC for putting Climate Change Emergency at the top of their priority list.  Alex Hearn (NSC assistant director or placemaking and development) had reported to all councillors giving an excellent update on North Somerset's commendable achievements. However, CALRAG noted to Councillors that NSC's major planning proposals in the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) regarding the Strategic Development Locations (SDLs) of Churchill and Banwell were absent from Mr Hearn's report.  CALRAG pointed out that the council's proposal for 4,800 houses in Churchill and Banwell, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), will lead to an estimated EXTRA  25.7 million kilometres driven EACH YEAR on commuting alone - not leisure, shopping or school runs, just commuting to employment in Bristol - it is Bristol that needs these houses. This will produce 4,000 tonnes of carbon emissions PER YEAR.  


According to the Dept for Transport, the AA, and RAC  these extra commuters kilometers will mean the equivalent of an additional 150 cars being scrapped every year [assuming the average car lasts for 172,000 km] and an additional 2,140 tyres being replaced every year [assuming the average tyre lasts for 48,000km].  


There is no justifiable reason on sustainability grounds to build new homes to satisfy Bristol's housing needs, 25 kilmoeters away at Churchill or Banwell.  There are other sites that are close to Bristol with access to public transport and where residents can walk or cycle to work and leisure facilities.

CALRAG applauds Cllr Don Davies' remarks on Bristol Live, "It's incumbent upon us to oppose unnecessary travel" and his commitment to "Factor the climate emergency into every decision the council makes".  The responsibility for preventing this totally unnecessary increase in carbon emissions lies with every North Somerset Councillor. 


North Somerset Local Plan 2036 'Issues and Options' consultation (I & O)

See pages 42-50 Section 4.2 for Churchill/Mendip Spring Garden Village 

2,800 houses will turn our villages into a dormitory town almost the size of Wells 

  • Your CALRAG team (45 professionals) has been and continues to work tirelessly on behalf of our villages and is highly informed

Barrister appointed: CALRAG has instructed a leading London Planning Barrister and is working with him on the JSP and Local Plan process.  

Brief notes for more details click here:

  • The Council did not hold any public events. 

  • All the indications from professional organisations and let’s face it, basic common sense too, is that this particular site would be an unsustainable dormitory town almost the size of Wells and allow urban sprawl from Bristol to leapfrog over the green belt, create congested local roads, without sustainable public transport or sufficient skilled jobs locally so that people can walk or cycle to their employment.  

  • The combined West of England Authorities own evidence demonstrates that Churchill/Mendip/Spring new town will not provide affordable housing - the abnormal development costs will be high.


New Readers:  

We are not NIMBY - there is an alternative outlined in our paper, 'An alternative Solution - a Different Perspective' see below.  We presented it to North Somerset council. It got the thumbs up from John Penrose MP and a strategic planning consultant.

On behalf of CALRAG - a team of 45 local professionals who give of their time to advise on their specialist subject areas, we again assure you that the proposed Garden Villages as set out in the JSP are most certainly not  'done deals'.  

With your support, we can do all that we can to save not only Churchill and Langford, but all our surrounding villages in the curtilage of the Mendip Hills AONB with its extremely important ecology from the disastrous consequences  of North Somerset Council's plans

Make a donation

Please help us by donating to our 'fighting fund'.  Click here to make a donation 

  • CALRAG  presents  'An Alternative Solution - A Different Perspective' May 2018
    A paper outlining a forward-thinking, innovative and sustainable solution to North Somerset’s house-building requirements to 2036 has been submitted to all North Somerset Councillors.
    Click here to read the document which proposes.   

    • Growth in highly skilled employment in strategic locations.

    • An advanced sustainable public transport system meaning a reduction in pollutants.

    • An alternative to urban sprawl leap-frogging over Green Belt with the consequent decimation of the character of NS villages and the crowding of local lanes.  

Together these ideas could transform North Somerset into a highly desirable and prosperous place  to live and work whilst reducing the strain on all villages throughout the Local Authority area. 
If these ideas were to be considered by North Somerset Council we believe that it has the potential to bring prosperity to the region and a greater quality of life for everyone.  ​

CALRAG actions
  • A CALRAG representative attends all Churchill Parish Council Planning meetings and enjoys a close working relationship with our Parish Council.

  • CALRAG is a member of the North Somerset Villages Alliance

  • 18th July 2018 - CALRAG presentation to Strategic Planning and Economic Development Scrutiny Panel (SPED).  Click here for presentation expressing concerns. Document sent to all members. Not one topic was brought up at the meeting.

  • 26th June 2018 - CALRAG representatives spoke at Executive of North Somerset Council.  Click here for presentation on 'Issues and Options' 

  • 17th April 2018 - CALRAG representatives spoke at Executive of North Somerset Council. Click here for presentation.

  • 3rd May 2018 - CALRAG representatives met with North Somerset Officers, Cllr Richard Nightingale and Cllr Liz Wells.  We presented the outline of  our paper,

'An  Alternative Proposal - A Different Perspective' .

"Enough is Enough"  "No destruction of Our Villages", "Preserve our Environment", "Save Our Countryside"

Village on the march Saturday 3rd Feb

The banners were very clear - Churchill and Langford villagers have had enough!

Villagers turned out in their masses, together with local MP John Penrose with banners raised high, to demonstrate their solidarity and determination to save their village environment at the foot of the Mendip Hills AONB.  

The walk, on Saturday 3rd February followed the line of the proposed road which would see the end of their football and cricket pitches and come out at Churchill traffic lights where no less than 7 roads would converge.  Click  here for map and here for details of the plans.

North Somerset Council have already approved plans for development sites that will massively increase the size of the villages and represent more than Churchill and Langford's fair share of the Inspectorate's allocation for development in the 9 Service Villages.

So concerned about their local environment which is loved and cherished by so many and provides feeding grounds for the greater horse shoe bats that Villagers are urging North Somerset Council to turn down the 2 recent planning applications by speculators for 9 houses on Ladymead Lane which is very prone to flooding and 6 houses in Front Street, both at the foot of Windmill Hill.   Click here for how you can comment on these plans (deadline 7th February) Flooding is a serious issue in both villages. See picture below for flooding in Church Lane on Saturday 3rd February after very little rain.  Windmill Hill provides feeding grounds for greater horse shoe bats.   

Good development is development in the right place

Church Lane near Bishop's Well at foot of Windmill Hill, Churchill
Sunday 28th January 2018 after only moderate rain