Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document Mendip Spring garden Village Q16. Do you agree with the principles set out for Mendip Spring Garden Village and would you suggest any changes to these? [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 14896737//2
Respondent Alder King (M Cullen) [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 11 Jan 2019

Design Principle 1

3.1 The first design principle is supported and the University of Bristol acknowledges the opportunities available to embrace best practice and innovative approaches to place making. These could include opportunities to improve streets as places, create squares and parks as multi-use destinations and design buildings to support places. The University of Bristol seeks clarification as to what ‘technological advances’ will ‘maximise the quality and effectiveness of development’. It is assumed this includes technologies like supporting high quality communications, provision of spaces for charging plug-in and other ultra-low emission vehicles, making provision for clusters or networks of knowledge and data-driven, creative or high technology industries, but further clarity is required such that the plan is ultimately precise.

Design Principle 2

3.2 The second design principle discusses the potential to create a new Conservation Area at lower Churchill that would contribute to the areas character and appearance. This is considered to be a reverse logic. Given the potential strategic gap between Churchill and the new SDL, it is unclear as to the "need" to establish a new Conservation Area. Normally areas are designated as Conservation Areas when they have a definite architectural quality or historic interest sufficient to merit designation. No information or evidence has been provided to suggest that this is the case for Churchill.

Design Principle 3

The physical separation of the SDL from Langford and Churchill via a strategic gap is supported. The Council’s resistance to extend the SDL beyond the pylon corridor or Common Lane to the west is also supported. In addition to this, the University of Bristol welcome a lower density fringe of development on the western side of the proposed SDL with no encroachment into the open countryside to the north west, particularly beyond the proposed Sandford and Churchill Bypass. Further, it is noted that it is also the Council’s aspiration for land towards the Strawberry Line to have strategic ecological/environmental mitigation potential and that the setting of heritage features are to be safeguarded around places like Churchill Green and Front Street. Therefore there is scope to extend the proposed SDL eastwards following the line of the bypass to the A38 where greenfield land is less constrained in planning policy terms and there are also numerous brownfield redevelopment opportunities.

Design Principle 4

3.3 A new primary school, market square/village green and local centre, which will serve the wider area, are all supported.

Design Principle 5

3.4 It is acknowledged the SDL will be developed along garden village principles with a high quality of green infrastructure throughout and surrounding the village, and exemplary design quality. This aspiration is supported in principle, albeit, in order to deliver these successfully, the Council may require more land to become available to the east towards and beyond Stock Lane. Therefore, in order to invest the money in delivering high quality green infrastructure and exemplary design, the commercial realities faced by the construction industry must be realised and thus additional land and thus a likely quantum of development should be set aside to ensure the design principles in the evolving masterplan can realistically be delivered.

Design Principle 6

3.5 A woodland corridor to the south of the development which links in with the existing woodland features and frames the southern edge of the development is supported.

Design Principle 7

3.6 The University of Bristol supports maximising permeability within the SDL and its interrelationship with the surrounding area. It is understood this will be achieved by creating a network of walking and cycling routes across the village, to Langford and Churchill, the secondary school, the Strawberry Line and other services and facilities further afield.

Design Principle 8

3.7 It is not clear as to how new residents will be encouraged to ‘lead community engagement’. If this design principle reflects the delivery of community facilities throughout the SDL or a community hub in the local centre then this is supported. Arguably this principle is not related to planning and would become more of a management tool following the development of community facilities within the local centre for example. If it relates to a pre-application or pre-masterplan process then the engagement of the "community" in this is supported and can be facilitated by the lead developer or lead landowner.

Design Principle 9

3.8 With regard to the design principle 9, it is acknowledged that land will be allocated for employment uses with good access to the Sandford and Churchill Bypass which the Council recognise could incorporate the existing industrial site off Stock Lane. The University’s veterinary college is also located off Stock Lane, and is itself is a major employer in the local economy. The University owns significant land holdings immediately to the north of the college, in an area in which the route of the bypass is shown. Given this land holding is in a single ownership, and is well related to a major employer, it seems sensible to explore incorporating this land into the SDL.

Design Principle 10

3.9 Design principle 10 is supported whereby outdoor recreation space and leisure facilities will need to be engrained in the master planning to provide the opportunity to embrace healthier lifestyles. It is acknowledged that some of this can be delivered around Windmill Hill which acts as a key landscape feature forming part of the corridor of open space and opportunity for recreational use.

Design Principle 11

3.10 The integration of Churchill Rhyne and other water courses in the green infrastructure network as part of a wider sustainable drainage solution is supported.

Design Principle 12

3.11 By locating the SDL to the north of Windmill Hill and in the direction of Langford rather than to the west or south minimises any visual impact from the AONB. Therefore there is scope to extend the proposed SDL eastwards following the line of the bypass to the A38 where greenfield land is less constrained in planning policy terms and there are also numerous brownfield redevelopment opportunities. As stated in Design Principle 9 above, the University owns significant land holdings to the east of the proposed SDL and north of the college and given the land holding is in a single ownership, it seems sensible to incorporate this into the SDL.

5 Ref: MH/MC/89837 December 2018

Design Principle 13

3.12 The University of Bristol supports a loose boundary to the west of the SDL as a transition into the open countryside. It is agreed that housing areas will be rural in character and provide a range of sizes and tenures and affordability, with higher densities around the local centre. This can be explored through the necessary master planning in due course.

Design Principle 14

3.13 It is acknowledged that improvements in Langford will follow the completion of the Sandford and Churchill Bypass which will form the outer edge of the SDL. However, the opportunity for development / improvements to Langford should not rely solely on the delivery of the new road which would not be deliverable in the short term and should therefore not stifle opportunities for any ‘non-strategic’ growth to take place.

Design Principle 15

3.14 Please refer to the commentary provided in relation to design principle 2. That said it is felt Design Principle 15 could be deleted as it is comfortably addressed as part of Design Principle 2.Whilst Design Principle 2 refers to the Churchill Front Street, it could be expanded to include reference to Churchill Green and the Grade I Listed church.


A number of the design principles are supported, but some are not, for example the 2nd proposes a new conservation area for which the need is unclear.