The developments that could reshape North Somerset in 2021

the developments that could reshape north somerset in 2021 - The developments that could reshape North Somerset in 2021

In 2021 all eyes will be on Bristol Airport’s expansion plans as the decision gets taken out of local hands.

But it is not the only major development whose impact will be felt across North Somerset for years to come.

Here’s some of what we can expect over the next 12 months.

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What the airport could have looked like under the new expansion plans
(Image: Bristol News and Media)

Bristol Airport

The airport’s planned expansion to carry up to 12million passengers per year – up from a cap of 10million – was refused in February.

It has now appealed North Somerset Council’s decision and a four-week public inquiry is set to begin in July.

As well as more passengers on more flights, many of them overnight, the plans also propose extending the seasonal silver zone car park with more than 2,700 spaces for year-round use and the construction of a multi-storey car park.

Out of more than 11,500 comments on the application, some 8,900 were objections.

The expansion has also been opposed by Bristol City Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council.

One campaigner said councillors had sent a “clear democratic message” that the expansion should not go ahead.

Bristol Airport chief executive Dave Lees said the refusal risked “putting the brakes” on the future growth of the region when other areas are forging ahead.

A spokesperson for the airport said: “As the UK emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic it is essential that all regions of the country are given the opportunity to grow to their full potential and contribute to the national recovery effort.

“International trade and connectivity will become increasingly important as the UK completes its departure from the European Union – increasing aviation capacity is essential in delivering this goal.”

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Birnbeck Pier in Weston Super Mare
(Image: PAUL GILLIS / paulgillisphoto.com)

Birnbeck Pier

Could 2021 be the year we finally see work on Weston’s beleaguered Birnbeck Pier?

CNM Estates, which purchased the landmark in 2012, has said it is moving forward with plans to repair it – at the same time North Somerset Council wants to force its sale.

The owner has pressed ahead with surveys ahead of the work and intends to challenge the compulsory purchase order.

If the forced sale goes ahead, the council will transfer the pier to the RNLI so it can resume operations from there. The charity plans to build a new lifeboat station, training facility and other operational buildings required.

CNM Estates has also said it would be happy to collaborate with the RNLI on its plans.

A lifeboat station was founded on Birnbeck Island in 1882 but closed in 2013 after the pier, which connects the island to the mainland, became unsafe.

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Land in Millcross had been allocated for a replacement hospital for Clevedon
(Image: Google Maps)

KwikSave site in Clevedon

Millcross in Clevedon, previously home to a KwikSave supermarket, was long allocated for a new hospital.

After laying boarded up for years, North Somerset Council has bought the 2.2-acre plot from NHS Property Services and sold it to Alliance Homes in a back-to-back deal.

The social housing provider, which has forged a new partnership with the council, plans to build 60 flats and houses.

It has yet to submit an application for the site.

NHS Property Services bought the site and secured planning permission for a new hospital in 2010, three years before the KwikSave was demolished.

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Plans to expand Baytree School onto a second site in Brookfield Walk. Rio Architects. Permission for use by all partners.
(Image: Stephen Sumner)

Brookfield Walk school

Plans to expand a special school onto a green belt site in Clevedon were approved in September, despite more than 1,000 objections over its location.

The £12million project is set to boost the number of places at Weston-super-Mare’s Baytree School from 72 to 120.

North Somerset Council’s decision to approve the plans needs to be signed off by the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government before development can begin.

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The Bristol to Portbury rail way line where the track splits at pill, 2003.
(Image: PAUL GILLIS/Western Daily Press)

Portishead rail

Another long-awaited project, construction work to reopen the Portishead railway line was almost scheduled to begin in 2021 – until the pandemic hit.

The £116million MetroWest project has been plagued by delays and the timescale has been pushed back by another five months.

But there will be plenty going on behind the scenes in 2021.

A public inquiry is well underway on North Somerset Council’s application for a development consent order, with a decision expected from the secretary of state by December 2021.

The first trains are not expected to run on the reopened line until December 2024.

More than £21million has already been spent.

Councillor James Tonkin, the council’s executive member for transport, said in November: “This is still a distance to go but we have never been closer to the delivery of this project.”

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SeaQuarium closed its doors earlier this year
(Image: Yaz Cooke/Somerset Live)

Weston-super-Mare’s Seaquarium

Reaching out into the Bristol Channel from Weston-super-Mare’s Marine Parade, the Seaquarium brought aquatic life a little closer.

Sadly it did not survive 2019, but now the owners of the town’s Grand Pier have come forward with proposals to breathe new life into the building.

AGM Holdings plans to spend nearly £1.5million turning it into an upmarket restaurant and coffee shop.

It struck a deal in December with venue owner North Somerset Council, which is set to write off the six-figure debt owed by Seaquarium Ltd.

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Studio Hive’s plans for Weston-super-Mare Rugby Club
(Image: Studio Hive)

A new health centre for Weston

This year could bring us a step closer to a new multi-million pound health centre for Weston.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group has confirmed that a new development at Weston Rugby Club is the preferred option.

It hopes to work with the developer, Studio Hive to create the health centre in one of the units that will be built on the land surrounding the club.

The facility will provide GP services for around 15,000 people, including patients registered at Graham Road Surgery who will be transferred to the new practice, subject to a full engagement and consultation process.

The CCG previously said the Sovereign Shopping Centre, the old magistrate’s court and the demolished police station were being considered as potential locations for the new £3.2million health centre, along with three other sites in private ownership.

Subject to planning permission and NHS approval of a full business case the premises could be fitted out and opened in 2022.

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