Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document Backwell Q20. Do you agree with the principles set out for Backwell and would you suggest any changes to these? [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 10410369//2
Respondent Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd (DLP) [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 10 Dec 2018
Comment

Section 4.3: Backwell: Proposed Vision for Development and How the Principles are Developing states that the proposed vision for the strategic development at Backwell is as follows:
“Backwell will remain an attractive and vibrant village set on the edge of the Green Belt. A modified road network will facilitate expansion of the village and relieve pressure on Backwell Crossroads and Station Road and allow environmental
improvements within the village. There will be improved access to the rail station and opportunities for walking and cycling. The new development will respect the setting of heritage features including the setting of nearby Chelvey.”

TW are generally supportive of this proposed vision and the majority of the design principles set out for the Backwell SDL. However, they do question the rationale and justification of the second design principle whereby the Council require the delivery of the new Station Road to A370 link in advance of development commencing, coupled with modifications to Station
Road. Transport Assessment modelling to support the pending planning application is indicating that there is sufficient capacity within Backwell crossroads (with minor highway improvements) to facilitate the additional transport movements generated by the entire Backwell SDL. At the very least TW would contend that there will be capacity to enable
several phases of the Backwell SDL to come forward prior to the delivery of the proposed East of Backwell link between the station interchange and Farleigh. On this basis we would suggest that design principle 2 is changed to enable the Backwell SDL to come forward early in the plan period based on the available capacity identified through technical Transport
Assessments.

The Backwell SDL presents an opportunity to deliver housing early on in the plan period due to the lack of major constraints on the site and its non-reliance on significant strategic transport infrastructure.


Section 4: Garden Villages and New Communities: Nailsea and Backwell Transport Schemes states on Page 30 of the NLPIO that:
“In the context of supporting the strategic development locations at Nailsea and Backwell the emerging findings are suggesting the infrastructure could be delivered in a phased manner in step with housing build out”.


The NLPIO then goes on to detail the Council’s proposed phasing for said infrastructure. As discussed in TW’s representations to previous stages of the NLP and JSP and above, TW believe that early development can be achieved at the Backwell SDL, supporting initial elements of strategic infrastructure.


TW would support the NLP suggestion that the phasing of the infrastructure should be in step with the housing build out at Nailsea and Backwell. We believe this is achievable and that the delivery of the Backwell SDL in advance of the proposed phase 1 of the transport infrastructure is feasible because the Backwell SDL is not reliant on significant strategic
transport infrastructure to support traffic movements.


Section 4.3 of the NLPIO discusses the Backwell Strategic Development Location (SDL). The Context section states:
“The proposed location is to the west of Backwell on land located outside the Green Belt. The development would need to be sensitively designed to integrate with the village and be appropriate for its rural setting. A development of this scale would require a new primary school, but most other local services and facilities would be found in the existing village centre. Transport improvements are essential to support delivery of the site in the context of the wider transport network which includes improved accessibility to Bristol and the wider principal road network. There is a need for improved accessibility to the rail station. This is an ecologically sensitive area particularly in relation to greater and lesser horseshoe bats and appropriate strategic mitigation will be required. Development will need to respect the settings of historic Chelvey and the West Town Conservation Area.”


In response to the above, TW again wish to stress that whilst it is recognised that there are major transport infrastructure improvements scheduled for the wider North Somerset area, the Backwell SDL is not dependent on all of these major transport projects coming forward.

TW are supportive of the improved accessibility to the Nailsea and Backwell railway station. The emerging masterplan for the Backwell SDL proposes new pedestrian and cycle routes which integrate with, and consolidate the existing Public Rights of Ways (PROWs).


It is recognised that the area to the south-west of the village, including parts of Grove Farm, are a critical area for horseshoe bat foraging and discussions have taken place with Natural England with regards to the impact of the development. New landscape buffers around the site boundaries are proposed, along with additional planting to improve accessibility to the
wider countryside. It is the aim of the scheme to incorporate sufficient mitigation on-site to compensate for any habitat loss.

Summary
TW are generally supportive of this proposed vision and the majority of the design principles set out for the Backwell SDL. However, they do question the rationale and justification of the second design principle whereby the Council require the delivery of the new Station Road to A370 link in advance of development commencing, coupled with modifications to Station
Road.

Significance of horseshoe bats are recognised.
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