The scheme to build dozens of homes on green fields in Nailsea has proved controversial with residents
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A developer has been appointed to build dozens of ‘flat pack’ homes on green fields in Nailsea. North Somerset Council agreed on plans to build 52 homes on land at The Uplands earlier this year.
It then had to officially agree to ‘repurpose’ the seven-acre site - a favoured open space with dog walkers and residents - for the development. The site had already been deemed surplus to requirements and allocated for housing by the authority in its local plan.
But the move to reallocate the land prompted a wave of objections - with residents saying it was a valued open space for the local community. They also raised concerns about extra traffic, a lack of parking and additional facilities or infrastructure to support the development.
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Nailsea Town Council also objected to the move and said the loss of such a well used public open space will put pressure on other green areas of the town. The decision was called in by the Partnerships, Corporate Organisation and Overview Management (PCOM) Scrutiny Panel, who said the value of a site used by the community for more than 40 years needed proper scrutiny.
Residents claimed that the council had ‘not presented any credible evidence that the land was no longer required.’ The decision was revisited and re-confirmed by executive member for assets, councillor Steve Bridger.
Now the authority has selected Stonewood Partnerships as its preferred development partner for the scheme. Discussions held during the selection process will now see the amount of affordable housing to be delivered at the site increase from 30 per cent to 40 per cent.
Stonewood’s bid confirmed that it would meet the sustainability criteria required by the council, which includes that all homes will be Passivhaus certified and that electric vehicle charging will be provided to all properties. North Somerset Council executive member for placemaking and economy Councillor Mark Canniford said: "We’re delighted to be working with Stonewood Partnerships.
"Their bid demonstrated a strong commitment to quality and they are embracing the sustainability and new technologies that are to be embedded in the scheme. We look forward to seeing the homes delivered on site.
"The additional affordable housing is a real bonus and shows how we are committed to the delivery of homes to meet the needs of our local communities." The new homes will provide housing for approximately 125 residents.
READ MORE: Nailsea residents risk ‘life and limb’ due to soaring traffic levels
There is currently more than 2,500 applicants on the housing register waiting for accommodation - with nearly 900 people seeking homes in the Nailsea West End area where the site is located. The development includes a higher than usual proportion of two-bedroom homes, as well as eight bungalows, and features designed to enable home-working and/or downsizing.
Work at the site is expected to start by the end of 2022, with the scheme completing in 2024.
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