We need your donations to pay for a leading London Legal Planning team to represent Churchill and Langford Residents at the Public Examination by the Independent Inspectors of the West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP).
We are totally against the plans for Churchill/Mendip Spring New Town. The proposals in this JSP plan will totally decimate Churchill, Langford and all the surrounding villages and countryside by turning them into one big Dormitory Town for Bristol, with a total of approx almost 4,000 houses in the area, of which 2,800 are planned for Churchill and Langford alone. The proposals go against many National Planning Policies, the Council's own planning policies and those set out in the JSP itself.
To date we have raised £6,000. We must raise £10,000 more. All donations will be greatly appreciated however large or small. For complete transparency we have set up a not-for-profit limited company 'Churchill Villages Development Ltd'.
There is a viable, sustainable alternative:
This is close to Bristol, on poor grade agricultural land where the transport infrastructure already exists and people can walk, cycle or use public transport to get to work. In fact, where people want to live. North Somerset Council will not entertain this as the land is already owned by a developer (they will not make money out of the land uplift) and is in just 2% of North Somerset's extensive Green Belt (GB) land. North Somerset Council prefers to let urban sprawl leapfrog over GB land to form dormitory towns without character or suitable infrastructure for people to live happily and healthily. Please read our paper, 'An alternative solution - a Different Perspective'.
Mendip Hills beauty and tranquility at risk:
Churchill and Langford and the surrounding villages lie at the foot of the beautiful Mendip Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The agricultural land is of good quality. The tranquility of Windmill Hill, a site of archeological interest with woodlands close by and stunning views, will be decimated by high density housing - some will be 3-4 storeys high.
The West of England Authorities’ own evidence demonstrates that Churchill/Mendip Spring New Town cannot provide affordable housing due to abnormal development costs. Churchill and Langford villages together have 850 homes. There are currently 300 new houses being built. This is IN ADDITION to the 2,800 for the new town. Of the 300 being built 30% should be affordable BUT local people are not given priority over these and there are already concerns.
Very limited skilled/unskilled local employment locally. The 2,800 houses of the new town development plus another nearby new town of 1,900 houses and the 300 houses that are already going up could mean up to 10,000 extra commuters each way, daily. New residents would have to travel to either Bristol (15 miles), Bath (24 miles) or Weston-S-Mare (9.3 miles) to work. New developments are already being advertised as,"Perfect for commuting to Bristol". Local roads will be even more congested.
'Car based living' https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45956792 will be the case for new residents. because it is building homes in the wrong place. Train station is 6.8 miles away at Yatton. The roads into Bristol are already heavily congested.
Irreversible ecological damage to the Mendip Hills AONB and Windmill Hill, site of archeological interest.
So what are we doing about all this?
Churchill and Langford Residents Action Group (CALRAG) is a team of some 44 professionals who have given up their time to study and research the 'West of England Joint Spatial Plan' and particularly the contribution made by North Somerset Council (whose 7 Executive members made the decision - none of whom represent the villages). Our research has revealed numerous serious concerns. We have leafleted and knocked on doors, to ensure that we know the views of all residents in our villages; held 'drop-ins' (incredibly well attended) and made copious representations to North Somerset Council and attended numerous council meetings at both Parish and District level.
Unprecedented Local Opposition:
The village spirit is phenomenal with virtually total opposition to the proposals for this area. Our Parish Councillors, and District councillors are totally against these proposals, likewise our MP, John Penrose. These people, together with a petition of over 4,500 signatures and an extraordinarily high number of responses against the proposals at the JSP consultations appear to be ignored.
We have just one chance to save our villages and the AONB at the Public Examination of the JSP by the Independent Inspectors.
The CALRAG team has reluctantly concluded that it is essential to instruct a leading London legal planning team. This is the only way to ensure that the voice of Churchill and Langford residents plus those of residents in the surrounding villages and all those who enjoy the stunning Mendip Hills AONB, is heard at the JSP Public Examination. This is costing serious money but we strongly believe that with the financial support of all who cherish the tranquility and revitalising effect of the Mendip Hills AONB and the quiet villages surrounding it, wherever you may be, we can save our villages from the irreparable damage that would destroy the environment and beauty of this area for ever. More information www.churchilldevelopment.co.uk
We believe in good development which is development in the right place.
Thank you for reading. We are deeply grateful for all donations however large or small.