Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

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


What does the JSP propose?
The JSP proposes development generally to the south west of Nailsea to accommodate about 2575 dwellings and 10.5ha employment (Policy 7.6).

Nailsea is a town with a good range of services and facilities and a rail station to the south. In recent years the population of the town has reduced, meaning that existing facilities and services have some existing capacity for growth. The proposed development is located generally to the south west of the town on land outside the Green Belt and floodplain. The growth proposed requires significant
highway infrastructure to be delivered across the wider Nailsea/Backwell area. The site is ecologically sensitive in terms of the need to mitigate for greater and lesser horseshoe bat habitat.

Critical issues raised through consultation
Significant concerns were raised through the consultation regarding the principle of development, including its scale and proposed location. These strategic issues will be addressed through the JSP examination. Local issues raised included:

  • Detrimental environmental impact of new roads on Backwell Lake and environs, the Local Nature Reserve, impact on the strategic gap and concerns regarding proposed link to Clevedon across SSSI and impact on existing local roads.
  • Poor location in relation to services, facilities and jobs.
  • Environmental impact and flooding issues.

Proposed vision for development
By 2036, Nailsea will have expanded to the southwest, enhancing the mix and type of residential accommodation and balancing the demographic profile. New development will be sensitive to the semi-rural context and provide some higher density development close to new services and facilities and the rail station. Opportunities for new business will be provided with good access to Bristol and Weston-super-Mare including by public transport. A retained gap will be in place to protect the separate identity of Nailsea and Backwell that will accommodate attractive and convenient walking and cycling routes to the station.

Question 23:

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

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

  • The development of a well-integrated urban extension to the south-west of Nailsea which embraces best practice and innovative approaches to placemaking including technological advances, to maximise the quality and effectiveness of development.
  • The design will create distinctive urban and suburban neighbourhoods with a new mixed-use local centre with complements services in the town centre.
  • The design and layout will be rooted in the natural and historic landscape with design cues taken from the area’s historic coal mining
    heritage. Opportunity to embed the location of former local pits and routes of tramways should be investigated.
  • A new highway between Hanham Way and Station Road is integral to the design and layout of the development and this will connect to an onward route to provide a direct access to the A370 beyond Backwell to Bristol.
  • A high quality direct fast bus service should link the new development, town centre, railway station and Bristol.
  • Direct off-road cycle and pedestrian access to the train station will be required from areas within cycling and walking distance.
  • Cycle and pedestrian links to the schools, the local centre and existing facilities in the town will also be required.
  • Housing will embrace a range of sizes tenures and affordability. Efficient use of land will be required with higher densities expected in proximity to the railway station, to the local centre and on the bus route.
  • A strategic gap between Nailsea and Backwell will be maintained – but may need to review the current extent. A revised gap is integral to the concept diagram although Alternative Scenario 3 would retain the current designated form.
  • High quality green infrastructure will be established throughout and surrounding the development incorporating and enhancing existing natural features and are likely to have a role in managing surface water.
  • Development is to be phased in step with a package of transport infrastructure.
  • Existing watercourses will become part of the Green Infrastructure and sustainable drainage solution along with additional water storage areas.
  • Effective mitigation of ecological issues is central to the development to protect and enhance the nearby sensitive wildlife resource.

Question 24:

Do you agree with the principles set out for Nailsea 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.

Nailsea and Backwell Concept Diagram

Concept diagram explanation
The plans presented are not final master plans 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.

Nailsea and Backwell Concept Diagram:

Nailsea and Backwell Concept Diagram

Key features
1. Employment development well connected to new highway link (4) and close to Nailsea and Backwell station.
2. Retention of a Strategic Gap between Nailsea and Backwell with Backwell Lake set within.
3. Multifunctional and interconnected green corridors across development linking to wider countryside.
4. New highway running through development between Hanham Way and Station Road.
5. Higher density housing around mixed use local centre.
6. Lower density fringe of development on western side opening out to open countryside.
7. Retention and safeguarding of existing designated wildlife areas to west.
8. Cycle and pedestrian links between new development and rail station.
9. Potential new access onto A370 into Backwell SDL (specific alignment to be identified).
10. The setting of key heritage features is safeguarded including around Grove Farm and Chelvey.
11. A mixed use local centre with a range of services and facilities.
12. Potential reinstatement of historic orchards (specific location to be confirmed through detailed masterplanning).

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: New highway route on outer edge of new development – the main concept diagram indicates this route running through the development. However an alternative may be to route this around the development that may address any amenity issues associated with running the route through. This will be further investigated through more detailed masterplanning.


Alternative Scenario 2: Expansion of development further west including and potentially beyond Netherton Wood Lane – this alternative is potentially more problematic in terms of environment impact but there is considered to be some potential outside of the flood plain.


Alternative Scenario 3: Retention of existing Strategic Gap up to Youngwood Lane – the concept diagram shows potential development taking up part of the Strategic Gap broadly up to Youngwood Lane, whilst retaining some gap between Backwell and Nailsea. Alternative the existing gap could be retained but this is likely to require further development to the west (alternative 2).


Question 25.

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

Question 26:

Are there any other options you would add for accommodating strategic growth within Nailsea?