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//14
Respondent Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd (DLP) [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 10 Dec 2018
Comment

Q20. Do you agree with the principles set out for Backwell and would you suggest any

changes to these?

2.3 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.”

2.4 The design principles for the development are detailed as follows:

Development to be well-related into the existing village.

New Station Road A370 link to be delivered in advance of development

commencing coupled with modifications to Station Road.

Design to safeguard and enhance existing heritage assets including the rural

setting of West Town Conservation Area and nearby listed buildings. Key

plots and hedgerows to be retained to safeguard the open setting.

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The setting of Grove Farm including views from the main elevation should be

protected and the form of development in the immediate vicinity of the

complex should respect its historic nature.

Design and materials applied to new buildings surrounding Grove Farm

should reference the historic palette and styles with a lower density to create

a historic core to the development.

Retention of historic hedgerows will help preserve the character of the area,

and the reinstatement of historic orchards within the new development

should be investigated. These are shown indicatively on the concept

diagram.

Historic field names should be considered for application within the new

development to contribute to the historic value of the site.

Development form and layout to developed taking into account views to and

from Chelvey to the northwest of the development.

Strategic ecological habitat mitigation to be delivered including onsite

features and links to wider strategic mitigation.

Surface water will be managed effectively including potential for on or near

site attenuation, and using a catchment based approach to managing water.

Green infrastructure will feature as a key element of the development linking

through and surrounding development and offering a soft transition to

surrounding countryside on the western side. This will be interconnected and

multifunctional having ecological, recreational, and environmental benefits.

Cycle and pedestrian links will be made into Backwell from the new

development providing access to the station. New and improved routes will

also be located to facilitate views to surrounding landmarks including St

Bridgets Church in Chelvey.

Station Road will be improved with a new access to the A370 helping to

address congestion at Backwell Crossroads.

A new primary school will form a focal point within the development located

to offer safe and convenient walking routes to surrounding development.

2.5 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.

2.6 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.

2.7 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.

2.8 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.

2.9 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.

2.10 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.

2.11 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.

2.12 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).

2.13 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, but question the rationale and justification of design principle 2. Suggest it 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.
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