Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Comment ID 21244545//1
Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document Mendip Spring garden Village Q15. Do you have any comments on the proposed vision for Mendip Spring Garden Village? [View all comments on this section]
Respondent Lesley Hegarty [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 10 Dec 2018

The Local Plan consultation (which includes this Issues and Options consultation) is premature.  NSC cannot conduct a proper consultation when very significant issues have yet to be addressed through the JSP process and formal examination.  It is wrong to predict or presuppose the outcome of the JSP examination in this manner.   Carrying out these consultations would require multiple participants to presume the JSP Inspectors’ findings which are at least 12 months away from being concluded and published.

North Somerset Council are well aware of the widespread and vehement objections to the Garden Village at Churchill and Langford submitted through the JSP consultations to date.  The summary of issues provided at section 4.2 of the Issues and Options consultation is a wholly inadequate representation of the welter of detailed comments submitted to the JSP and therefore misleading.  The impression is conveyed of the Garden Village being the only alternative.  No alternatives are presented.  The JSP Inspectors have identified a failure by North Somerset Council to consult at all on the choice of Strategic Development Locations.  If this Consultation purports to be such a consultation on the SDLs, it fails to identify itself as such and is wholly inadequate as such.

There are a plethora of consultations running at the same time which is very confusing.  The Issues and Options consultation is an utter waste of public waste of ratepayers money and yet again North Somerset Council will take little no notice of ratepayers’ vehement objection  to the Mendip Spring Garden Village which will be found to be unsound at the JSP examination in 2019.

I summarise my fundamental objections to the Garden Village at Churchill and Langford on the following grounds:

  • Location distant from main employment locations
  • Increase in car movements
  • Infrastructure costs
  • Environmental and ecological damage
  • Flooding and drainage issues
  • Proximity to AONB
  • Landscape
  • Available alternatives
  • Sustainability
  • Deliverability

Subject to my fundamental objection to this consultation, I set out in the table below detailed comments on specific questions.

In planning terms the proposed vision is misconceived by reason of the following:

(a)    It is undeliverable because: (i) It will not be possible to purchase the necessary land to carry out the development within the time contemplated by the plan and (ii) is dependent on the construction of roads from the M5 motorway requiring government funding which is unlikely in the absence of there being any sound economic case for it.

(b)    It is not viable because the cost of the necessary infrastructure to support such a large development  in the middle of the countryside would be disproportionate  and prohibitively high and would made the building of affordable housing in Churchill unviable .

(c)    It is unsound because(i) There is and will not be  sufficient local employment to support the new development (ii) There will be no adequate public transport infrastructure to support the development in consequence of which many more journeys will be made by car  in to Bristol (2011 Census Churchill and Lanford - 87% of those who travel to work commute to Bristol.*) (iii) The cost of necessary flood and drainage infrastructure wil preclude the provision of affordable housing.(iv) it is adjacent to the The Mendip Hills AONB.

(d)    It is unsustainable because the location is too far from employment locations resulting in increased car movement , the lack of an adequate transport infrastructure, the unmitigatable damage to ecology and landscape, and substantial increase in pollution from traffic commuting into and out of Bristol(a City which aspires to be carbon neutral)

In summary, the Mendip Spring Garden Village proposal (7.6 of the JSP) will be found to be unsound on public examination due to take place in 2019.  The vision for this development is therefore fundamentally flawed.


Object to the proposed Mendip Spring Garden Village