Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

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

Banwell Garden Village

What does the JSP propose?
The JSP proposes a new garden village of approximately 1,900 dwellings and 5ha employment land (Policy 7.5).

Banwell suffers from significant traffic congestion within the historic centre. The new development supports the delivery of the Banwell Bypass which will lead to environmental improvements within the existing village. The proposed location lies generally to the north west of Banwell on land outside the floodplain. The area is sensitive in ecological terms, particularly in relation to greater and lesser horseshoe bat habitat.

Critical issues raised through the consultation
Whilst many of the issues raised related to the principle of developing in this location which will be addressed through the JSP some of the detailed points raised in the ‘generating ideas’ consultation were as follows:

  • Some local support for the delivery of the Banwell Bypass but still concerns about the local traffic implications associated with, for
    example, a new M5 J21a and increased airport traffic.
  • Concerns about impact on the Mendip Hills AONB.
  • There was more support for a separate settlement than it being linked to Banwell. Enhancements to Banwell’s centre were also favoured. Leisure recreation and open space were cited as important considerations.

Proposed vision for the Banwell Garden Village
By 2036, Banwell Garden Village will be a thriving new community a short distance away from Weston-super-Mare offering a range of new homes, business, and other uses. Its character will draw upon the semi-rural setting blending sensitively within the landscape to the north of the Mendip Hills AONB. New business space will be provided with good access to the M5 offering an attractive industrial/distribution opportunity, and WSM will provide a focus for employment opportunities, including the nearby Junction 21 Enterprise Area.

The Banwell Bypass will alleviate existing local roads, including West Street in Banwell and the centre will benefit from an improved environment, enhancing the attractiveness, vitality and viability of the historic village.

Question 10:

Do you have any comments on the proposed vision for Banwell?

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 feel will be compact with its own character and sense of identity emphasising the rolling landscape and setting at the foot of the Mendip Hills.
  • The village will be physically separated from the motorway and Banwell with its own local centre and primary schools.
  • There will be good connections with Banwell sharing some services and facilities, ideally enhancing facilities in Banwell and creating new ones in the new village.
  • The proposed development will be delivered in accordance with garden village principles, with a high quality of green infrastructure
    surrounding the village, and ambitious design.
  • Outdoor recreation space and sporting facilities will be engrained in the master planning to provide the opportunity to embrace healthier lifestyles. The green gap between Banwell and the new bypass could be used for outdoor sport and recreation which can be shared by the new development and existing residents in Banwell.
  • A local centre will be required as a focal point and consideration will need to be given to how existing provision in Banwell can be enhanced and shared between the two settlements.
  • The new development is to be well connected to Weston and Banwell with frequent bus services and off-road cycle access.
  • Housing development should embrace a range of sizes, tenures and affordability and should make efficient use of land. Housing densities should be higher at the local centre and accessible locations and should reduce to the east where the development meets the lower lying land. A loose edge on this eastern fringe will be required. Housing on the western edge should be designed to minimise any impacts from the M5 including noise and visual impact.
  • Development will largely occupy the south facing slopes of Woolvers Hill, maximising solar gain within the development.
  • New residents will be encouraged to lead community engagement to help shape a vibrant sociable neighbourhood.
  • Land will be allocated for employment uses taking advantage of the proposed new motorway junction. The concept diagram indicates a potential general location for this.
  • Development will be phased in relation to the delivery of the Banwell. Bypass and other local road improvements including at Wolvershill Road.
  • Addressing any impacts on floodplain outside of the development and embedding sustainable drainage will be essential for the development. Surface water will be managed on-site through a variety of attenuation measures and planned as an integral part of the green infrastructure strategy.
  • Ecological issues to be addressed both through on-site measures and as part of a more strategic solution including the potential to link to offsite mitigation.
  • Development layout, form and design should respect the setting of the Mendip Hills AONB.
  • Opportunity to secure environmental improvements in the historic village centre will be made in consultation with the local community.

Question 11:

Do you agree with the principles set out for Banwell 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.

Potential for employment development
The JSP identified an indicative requirement for 5ha of employment land subject to further testing through the Local Plan 2036. The generating ideas consultation raised the potential opportunity to develop employment close to the motorway and early ideas for this include distribution business use. There is potential for the employment land use to occupy land between the garden village and the
motorway to the west of Summer Lane with good access to the strategic road network including future schemes set out in this document.

Question 12.

We would be interested in your thoughts on additional employment at the Banwell development including the type and possible location.

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.

Banwell Garden Village Concept Diagram:

Banwell Concept Diagram

Key Features
1. Employment including potential industrial distribution located with good access to M5.
2. Possible location for M5, J21A.
3. Potential for green infrastructure network to link to wider network including the Grumplepill Rhyne corridor.
4. Banwell Bypass between Banwell and the new Garden Village. Including section between Castle Hill and East St.
5. Higher density housing around mixed use local centre.
6. Lower density fringe of development on eastern side opening out to countryside beyond.
7. Treatment of development edge fronting M5 to address any potential noise, amenity impact.
8. Retention of open space on lower lying ground.
9. Potential use of land between Banwell and the bypass for open space and other uses that retain its openness.
10. The setting of key heritage features is safeguarded including around Banwell Conservation Area.
11. A mixed use local centre with potential for local convenience store, community and other uses TBC.
12. Improvements to Wolvershill Rd and other local routes as required.

Alternative scenarios
The alternatives outlined at this stage 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

Alternative Scenario 1: Further development to the north up to and beyond Silver Moor Lane – this area would extend the strategic development further north at Woolvers Hill and closer to the Wolvershill Road bridge over the M5. This area is outside of the flood plain.


Alternative Scenario 2: Development between the proposed Banwell Bypass and Banwell Village – responses to the previous consultation emphasised the importance of maintaining an open gap between the new and existing development. This land could have a role to play in supporting the development of the strategic site, for example, in terms of providing other land uses that retain the open nature of the area. However development within remains an option and could avoid having to extend development to the north as indicated in Option 1.


Question 13:

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

Question 14:

Are there any other options you would add for accommodating strategic growth within the Garden Village near Banwell?