We’ve Made Progress, But It Still Needs Major Changes!
Thank you so much to everyone who signed up to the first stage of our Local Plan campaign. The Council has now published stage two of their consultation, called ‘Choices’, and it’s clear they’ve taken onboard some of our demands.
This new master-plan will define how our towns and villages look and feel for all of us to live in, for decades to come. It covers the future of what housing, roads and public transport will go where, so the stakes couldn’t be higher.
So what have we achieved so far? Well, there’s far more emphasis on plans to ‘Build Up Not Out’ to provide more homes and investment in central Weston; the Banwell bypass appears in all 4 new Local Plan options; and the small town (‘garden village’) between Churchill and Congresbury has disappeared from 3 of the 4 options too.
But there are still big gaps and omissions where they’ve ignored what we said. So, whether you signed up to stage one or not – we’ve got to make them listen to what local people really want. The missing items are:
- Drop any mention of the ‘garden village’ between Churchill and Congresbury from all 4 of the options, not just 3 of them.
- More green belt. Let’s protect our countryside forever with a new block of green belt running inland from the M5 between the southern edge of the existing belt down to the top of the Mendip Hills AONB. And if the Council decides to remove any of the existing green belt, they should commit to a ‘3 in 1 out’ system where every acre of lost greenbelt has to be replaced by 3 new ones.
- More improvements to J21 and the M5 up to J20, plus bigger, better train and bus services, to cut jams and misery for commuters. It won’t be enough to have either public transport or road improvements; we will need both to stop the jams getting even worse.
- Stop expecting North Somerset to absorb Bristol’s extra housing, as we’ve been doing for the last 40 years or more, and ask Bristol to return the favour instead. The new ‘Build Up Not Out’ regulations to create greener, good-looking 4-story apartments and homes where people can walk or cycle to work aren’t just good for central Weston, they ought to be brilliant for all the 2-story-tall parts of Bristol too. So they’ll have space to build enough homes for their needs without expecting North Somerset to help anymore. And they’ll even have space to return the favour: the Council should be asking them to take some of North Somerset’s housebuilding target, after 40 years of us doing the same for them. It’s about time!
We Need Your Help!
It’s easy to help, and make sure the Council listens. Just sign up to join our campaign here, and we’ll keep you up-to-date on how to let them know your views as the consultation progresses. If enough of us do it, they won’t be able to ignore what we say. We can’t let this chance slip through our fingers. We’ve got to act now.
Just fill in the form below or CLICK HERE if you already signed up to this campaign during stage one.