Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document

Mendip Spring garden Village

What does the JSP propose?
The JSP proposes a new garden village of around 2675 dwellings to 2036 and 7.4ha employment land (Policy 7.6).

The broad location lies outside the Green Belt and floodplain and to the north of the Mendip Hills AONB. It lies along the proposed new highway corridor between the proposed M5 junction 21a and A38. The new Sandford and Churchill Bypass could define the outer edge of the new development as indicated in the Concept Diagram. The site is ecologically sensitive in terms of the need to mitigate for greater and lesser horseshoe bat habitat.

Critical issues raised through consultation
There was significant objections raised through the previous consultation events about the scale of development and the appropriateness of the form of development proposed. Strategic issues such as the principle of the development in this general location will be addressed through the JSP examination process.

The key local issues related to:

  • The impact of increased traffic such as from the airport on local roads and adverse impact on existing communities.
  • The impact of the proposed development on a rural area, including the impact on AONB, loss of valued landscapes and wildlife habitats and flooding implications.
  • Concerns about jobs, services and infrastructure, including public transport needed to support the proposals.

Proposed vision for Mendip Spring Garden Village
By 2036, Mendip Spring Garden Village will be a thriving new community forming one of a cluster of settlements including Churchill and Langford around Windmill Hill. Its character reflecting the local context including materials and styles reflecting the local vernacular. Green spaces will be extensive and have various functions supporting wildlife and a quality environment for people. New business space will be provided with good access to the strategic road network and new transport infrastructure will alleviate existing local roads and junctions.
Opportunities to walk or cycle to the Strawberry Line and other locations will be available and recreational routes will be link to the surrounding countryside. Local historic features will be referenced in the new development including the historic deer park, and the layout of development will safeguard existing heritage features.

Question 15:

Do you have any comments on the proposed vision for Mendip Spring Garden Village?

How the principles are developing
Design principles in the evolving masterplan seek to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Creation of a new garden village which embraces best practice and innovative approaches to placemaking including technological
    advances, to maximise the quality and effectiveness of development.
  • The design and character will be deeply rooted in the rural locality with cues taken from the surrounding landscape, local heritage
    assets, including the conservation area at Lower Langford and historic Churchill. There is potential to create a new Conservation Area in this location taking in the Churchill Front Street Area and immediate surrounding land that would contribute to the areas character and appearance.
  • The village will be physically separated from Langford and Churchill and is not proposed to extend beyond the pylon corridor or Common Lane to the west.
  • It will include its own primary schools, market square/village green and local centre which will serve the wider area.
  • It will be developed along garden village principles with a high quality of green infrastructure throughout and surrounding the village, and exemplary design quality.
  • A woodland corridor will be created to the south of the development which links existing woodland features, frames the southern edge of development and permeates into the heart of the village linking with the village green. The design of the woodland and surrounded space will take its inspiration from the former historic deer park in this area.
  • A key driver for the form and layout will be a network of walking and cycling routes across the village, to Langford and Churchill, the secondary school, Strawberry Line and other services and facilities further afield.
  • New residents will be encouraged to lead community engagement to help shape a vibrant sociable neighbourhood. A centrally located meeting place will be delivered early in the development.
  • Land will be allocated for employment uses with good access to the Sandford and Churchill Bypass. This could incorporate the existing industrial site off Stock Lane.
  • Outdoor recreation space and leisure facilities will be engrained in the master planning to provide the opportunity to embrace healthier lifestyles. There will be improved access to Windmill Hill for leisure and recreation and the creation of extensive ecological area(s) and recreation use in vicinity of Strawberry Line. A circular cycle path/ footway around the village will be investigated.
  • Churchill Rhyne and other existing watercourses will be integrated into the green infrastructure network as part of a wider sustainable drainage solution along with additional water storage areas. These areas will be beneficial for wildlife and the environment but also people having recreational and amenity value.
  • The form, layout and design will respect the setting of the Mendip Hills AONB. The developments position to the north of Windmill Hill minimises any visual impact from the AONB.
  • Housing areas will be rural in character and provide a range of sizes tenures and affordability, with higher densities around the local centre. Layouts will be informal reflecting the rural setting, and a loose boundary to the west should be created as the development addresses the landscape to the west.
  • Improvements in Langford will follow the completion of the new road, the local community will be asked to make suggestions and proposals.
  • The setting of historic Churchill will be protected and enhanced. A new conservation area is proposed covering Front Street, Churchill Green and the Grade 1 Listed church.

Question 16:

Do you agree with the principles set out for Mendip Spring Garden Village and would you suggest any changes to these? We consider that establishing the principles is a fundamental step towards developing the detail for development in these areas.

Mendip Spring Concept Diagram

Concept diagram explanation
The plans presented are not final masterplans and do not represent site allocations or a preferred policy position. Instead they begin to express some of the principles and themes that are influencing the development proposals at this stage, and take into account engagement undertaken to date. The concept diagram and alternative scenarios presented for each location are indicative at this stage, and prepared for the purposes of the Local Plan Issues and Options consultation. Following this consultation further investigation and testing of options will take place to inform the next stage of the Local Plan taking into account responses to this consultation.

Mendip Spring Concept Diagram:

Mendip Spring Concept Diagram

Key Features
1. Potential employment connected to Sandford and Churchill Bypass and existing industrial site on Stock Lane.
2. Potential to set existing watercourses within green corridors.
3. Village Green located close to historic Churchill Park Farm. Focal point for a wider green network.
4. Sandford and Churchill Bypass to form outer edge of development and opportunity to take traffic from existing roads.
5. Higher density housing around mixed use local centre.
6. Lower density fringe of development on western side opening out to countryside beyond.
7. Windmill Hill - key landscape feature forming part of a corridor of open space and opportunity for recreational use.
8. Potential for Strategic Gap between Langford and new development with good links across.
9. Strategic cycle and pedestrian link to the Strawberry Line with onward access to Yatton Station.
10. The setting of heritage features are safeguarded including around Churchill Green and Front Street (10a and 10b respectively).
11. A mixed use local centre with a range of services and facilities.

12. Strategic ecological/ environmental mitigation potential. Specific approach and location to be confirmed.

Alternative scenarios
The alternatives outlined are intended to stimulate discussion on the possible options identified at this stage for accommodating the strategic growth. At this stage these may not be exhaustive as further options may arise following consultation.

Alternative Scenario 1: Further development to the north towards Stock Lane – there is potential to extend the development towards Stock Lane on land outside of the flood plain.


Alternative Scenario 2: Further development west towards Common Lane – there is also potential to extend towards Stock Lane however heritage features may provide some constrain on potential.


Alternative Scenario 3: Possible new highway connection to Churchill Gate junction – this option is currently identified as a possible new road link. It would relate closely to the new strategic development but its requirement is not yet confirmed.


Question 17:

Do you have any comments on the concept diagrams and alternative scenarios set out?

Question 18:

Are there any other options you would add for accommodating strategic growth at Mendip Spring Garden Village?