Public Consultation

January 2021

Proposed Medical Centre and Housing
Land at Smallway, Congresbury

INTRODUCTION

Mendip Vale Medical Practice, Octavia Homes and Boklok have teamed up to progress a planning application for a landscape-led development including a new Medical Centre, to replace the outdated facilities in Yatton and Congresbury, and approximately 60 residential dwellings, along with associated infrastructure and landscaping.

The land is located in an ideal location for a new combined Medical Centre, to the north of Cadbury Garden Centre, between the villages of Congresbury and Yatton.

Why are we submitting a planning application now? 

The proposal comprises the development of the existing site for a community Medical Centre and residential development (use class C3). The community Medical Centre would service both residents in Congresbury and Yatton providing a much-needed part of community infrastructure in the area.

There has previously been an identified need and justification for the provision of a new Medical Centre as part of the previous planning application on the opposite side of Smallway (17/P/5592/FUL). When assessed, it was found that there would be significant benefits derived from the delivery of the new Medical Centre, such that it was found to be an acceptable use within the Strategic Gap.

Despite the significant benefits that would have derived from the provision of the Medical Centre, there was a significant gap in funding available that resulted in it being undeliverable. As such, despite the Committee resolving to approve the application for the Medical Centre, the application was withdrawn from consideration prior to the planning permission being issued.

The Medical Centre is therefore only capable of being delivered if funding is provided to bridge the gap that exists. Without some form of subsidisation, the Medical Centre will not be delivered and the benefits that would be derived from the provision would be not be secured.

This website provides an opportunity for residents, businesses and organisations to learn about our draft proposals and our intentions to submit a planning application to North Somerset Council soon.

At the bottom of this website page you will find a short questionnaire.  Please leave us your thoughts, which will be considered prior to making the application.

PARTNERSHIP

Who are Mendip Vale?

Mendip Vale medical group look after patients across North Somerset and Bristol. Having recently merged with Monks Park Surgery in Bristol, they now serve well over 50,000 patients.

Their aim is to ensure that safe and effective healthcare services continue to be delivered by Mendip Vale Medical Group both now and in the future.

Who are Boklok Homes?

BoKlok is a ground-breaking housing concept, developed by Skanska and IKEA. Together Boklok build apartments and terraced houses for people who want to live in a home of their own, but still have money left at the end of the month. 

The Smallway site will be one of the new BoKlok communities in the UK and will be its second project. 

Who are Octavia Homes?

Octavia Homes is a new entrant to the house building market and is set out to build a reputation for developing innovative quality homes for all age ranges and with a focus on enabling communities to flourish. Octavia Homes specialises in small to medium scale developments and retirement living in areas of high housing demand, giving each project distinction and character which is sympathetic to the surrounding architectural landscape. Their passion for housing drives our ethos of building great homes for the future.

The Site

The site is located at the foot of Cadbury Hill, between the villages of Congresbury and Yatton. The site is bounded by The Smallway (B3133) to the west, with an existing gated access leading directly into the study area. Wood Hill Lane is located to the North, a private drive serving a single dwelling and a series of poly tunnels lies to the east of the site. Immediately to the south is a small trading estate comprising a mix of independent business, with Cadbury Garden Centre beyond.

A number of complimentary factors demonstrate the opportunities of why housing should be allowed here:

  • To assist delivery of necessary improvements to physical and social infrastructure such as healthcare facilities.
  • to deliver a sustainable housing development providing a mix of housing types and tenures to meet a range of household sizes, ages and incomes to meet housing needs.
  • To support the local economy to ensure continued employment security and economic prosperity.
  • To create an accessible, inclusive and safe community with access to local amenities.
  • To provide areas of Public Open Space. 
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Site Constraints and Opportunites

THE SITE
The site is an irregular shaped open field of around 6 acres (2.4 hectares).

1. The land slopes gently from the northern boundary down to the southwest corner of the site. The overall level difference is presumed to be around 6m.
2. An established hedgerow of around 3m in height (with the occasional lowered section) follows the entire perimeter of the field. The canopy of a large mature Oak tree spreads over the southern boundary between the site and the adjacent trading estate.
3. Any proposals for residential development should consider the interface between the site and adjacent trading estate.
4. The site falls within the North Somerset and Mendips Bat SAC and within the ‘Band A’ consultation zone around it. Preliminary advice (provided by EAD ecology) identifies a requirement for landscape buffers to be retained around the perimeter of the site. These should be in the form of dark corridors of 12.5m along the northern boundary, and 5m elsewhere to mitigate impact and the loss of habitat.
5. The advice also indicates that the existing Oak tree on the southern boundary is being used by a barn owl and that a 15m offset around the canopy would be required in conjunction with the hedgerow buffers to provide a route to /from the tree for the owls.
6. A further landscape buffer is proposed along the boundary to the Smallway. This will respond to the placement of buildings on the adjacent site and present a similar frontage characterised by a layer of structural planting with buildings set back some distance behind.
7. Optimal location for storm water attenuation (SUDs) feature at lowest point close to the site entrance.

The Vision

The vision has evolved from an understanding of the site’s characteristics and pertinent factors that would influence development proposals. The following will be provided;

  • Development of the site is to comprise a Medical Centre (including pharmacy) and c.60 residential dwellings;
  • Associated green infrastructure and centrally located shared formal open space within the site.
  • A mix of two and three bed BoKlok new homes including affordable housing provision of 30%.
  • A mix of open market, social rent and shared ownership properties across the site.

The concept diagram responds to the context of the site by providing the following considerations:

1. A landscape-led scheme, with a substantial green frontage assimilating the street character of larger footprint buildings set-back behind a layer of tree planting with the Smallway. The frontage provides a natural location for a surface water attenuation feature that will create an enhanced setting for the scheme.
2. Retention and enhancement of existing hedgerows and provision of landscape buffers. This serves to mitigate and enhance ecological impacts and further supports the overarching vision for a landscape led scheme.
3. A community landscape space is proposed in conjunction with the green buffer zones. This is located to integrate the existing oak tree and act as an arrival space upon entering the development. This communal heart is considered a key feature both in terms of setting and amenity, providing an external place where residents can congregate to socialise, relax or play.
4. A legible heirarchy of overlooked streets lead from the access on the Smallway to serve the development.
5. A pedestrian and cycle connection onto Wood Hill.

Proposed Medical Centre

The proposed development includes provision of a two storey Medical Centre, managed by Mendip Vale Medical Practice, to provide new premises to replace two out-dated surgery buildings in Congresbury and Yatton.

The current Practices cater for circa 12,500 patients, split circa one third / two thirds between Congresbury and Yatton respectively. There are plans to develop additional housing in the catchment area which is envisaged to increase the patient list size to 15,000 patients as a result an expansion and modernisation of the services are required.

The existing buildings in Congresbury and Yatton were constructed in the 1970s and have been added to over time; the Yatton premises have been extended three times and Congresbury have been extended once. However, it is now at the point where clinical and administrative space is no longer fit for purpose and requires new facilities to meet modern healthcare standards. There is no dedicated parking for visitors and the building is cramped and does not comply with Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), Infection Control and Care Quality Commission (CQC) guidance.

The need for provision of an ever-widening range of primary care services, is now severely restricted by a chronic lack of space. Furthermore, there is no room for expansion, preventing any further increase in service provision. In summary, therefore, there are fundamental difficulties facing the surgeries, in particular relating to access and circulation internally and externally, confidentiality, inadequate parking facilities and insufficient and inadequate administration and consulting space.

In addition, the Yatton site is not close to a main bus route (c. 500m) and at Congresbury the surgery is unable to obtain flood insurance due to the premises being located within the flood plain. Furthermore, the split between two sites leads to inefficiencies in service delivery and a reduced service overall.

The medical centre will come with an ancillary pharmacy and flexibility to provide a mobile MRI unit when scheduled, an associated access, vehicle parking & cycle storage. An appropriate ecological and landscape response to the sites context is included within the design proposals.

The proposed development will provide a modern and efficient health facility that will meet the needs of existing and future patients and residents in Congresbury and Yatton and the surrounding areas.

Access & Movement

Vehicular access to the site will be from Smallway where there is an established vehicular access.

Smallway at the site access is a two lane single carriageway that has street lighting. There is a footway on the opposite side of the road to the site. Adequate levels of visibility can be achieved along Smallway from the proposed new access. There will be a pedestrian/cycle connection on the site on to Wood Hill, where there is a continuous footway.

Wood Hill forms the frontage to the site to the north and connects to the A370 at Rhodyate Hill though the lower section on the direct approach to the A370 is one way towards the A370. 

There are two main routes available for pedestrians and cyclists to local attractions which will be towards Congresbury, and onto the A370 to the south and to the north towards Yatton. Within both settlements there are a variety of facilities that can be accessed by foot or cycle reducing the need for single occupancy car use. Local facilities include convenience stores, primary schools, village halls, a range of independent and national stores, and a railway station at Yatton.

A Transport Assessment and Travel Plan will be required to support the planning application for the site. 

Access & movement strategy

1. It is proposed that the site access will remain from the Smallway but resited further south 51 metres from its current location.
2. A primary tree lined street will serve the majority of the development.
3. A traffic calming solution along the primary street will be agreed with the Local Highway Authority to reduce vehicle speeds within the application area.
4. Secondary shared surface streets will extend north towards Wood Hill to serve the Medical Centre and homes located behind the primary street.
5. A pedestrian and cycle only connection will be made onto Wood Hill.

Summary

  • Delivery of a Medical Centre to accommodate current needs of the local population.
  • High quality homes which comprise of sustainable materials, waste reduction, water reduction and carbon savings due to modern methods of construction and BoKlok ethos of aligning with the UN sustainable development goals.
  • Truly affordable, this scheme will have 18 new affordable homes, targeted at key worker couples to live the dream of owning their own home.
  • Delivery of a mix of high quality new 2 and 3 bedroom homes built to BoKlok’s enhanced specification and sustainable design standards.
  • Continuation of the green interface along the Smallway with built form set back to emulate the existing street character.
  • Encouraging sustainable living by using air source heat pumps, electric only energy provision and enabling the option for electric vehicle (EV) charging.
  • Retention of green infrastructure along with new strategic and communal landscaping to soften views, support the community and assimilate the scheme into its setting.
  • Provision of efficient homes, saving the customer money on energy bills.
  • Drawing on BoKlok’s Swedish heritage to create light and airy, contemporary spaces.
  • Enhancing the landscape along the Smallway by providing tree planting to promote the strategic gap. 

Planning Application & Project Status

We are currently preparing a Full Planning Application to submit to North Somerset Council. 

Prior to submitting the planning application, we wish to engage with the community to understand local views and considerations that will positively assist in the formulation and finalising of our plans. Whether you are in favour of, or opposed to, new housing and a medical centre on this site, please tell us why.

A summary of the feedback received through this consultation will be provided in a Statement of Community Involvement, which will form part of our planning application to North Somerset Council.

Have your say

Your feedback is important to us and will be used to assist us in addressing any concerns and opportunities whilst the application is in draft form.

Please provide us with your feedback below for consideration and we thank you for viewing our proposals for land at Smallway.

Smallway
How important is a new Medical Centre to you? *
Do you support our initial proposal to enable the Medical Centre to be delivered? *
Are you, or anyone you know, looking for a new home in Congresbury or Yatton?
Is there the need for more homes for first time buyers or young professionals in Congresbury and Yatton? *
Which of the following do you consider important to take into account as we finalise our proposals? *
Please identify your age group *