More development on the way? Images show the narrow streets of Banwell and Cheddar and a new estate in the village. Inset: Hinkley C - it will bring more people to the district Hinkley C: boom or blight?
Will Hinkley C bring an economic boom to the Strawberry Line District or will it leave Somerset with tons of radioactive waste for our grandchildren to deal with? Harry Mottram reports on the Big C and other alternative energy sources
The news that French firm EDF have got planning permission from the Government to build a power station at Hinkley near Cannington was greeted with undisguised joy by the leaders of our councils.
Somerset County Council’s Deputy Leader Cllr David Hall, and said: “The Hinkley Point C project will unlock tremendous opportunities for Somerset, including thousands of new jobs, supply chain investment and a large number of apprenticeships for our young people. The proposals have come a long way, and we are ready and waiting for the ‘go’ so we can help make the project a reality and reap the rewards for the county.”
John Penrose MP for Weston-super- Mare and the northern section of the Strawberry Line District was also supportive. He told the Strawberry Line Times: “We’ve got to become a low carbon society. And while we’re saving the planet, we can help our economy by building leading positions in new, green technologies and industries, and reduce our dependence on Russian gas too. In energy, decarbonising means more renewable power of course, but we will still need other types of power station – including nuclear – for quite a while yet.”
Tessa Munt, MP for Wells and much of the Strawberry Line District was more cautious. She said: “If we are to be serious about providing the energy supply we will all need in the future, whilst also meeting our wider social responsibilities to cut emissions and act in a sustainable way, then wind turbines may need to form part of our energy mix. It is reported that we are running out of fossil fuels and there are unresolved issues relating to the safety of and waste from nuclear power. We now propose creating another 100 years’ of waste problems for future generations with no planning and thought for what comes afterwards. The world’s supply of uranium is likely to run out in 2060, leaving our children with another problem - what to do with the Hinkley site then?”
The problem of what to do with the waste is an issue that concerns many including long time critic of nuclear power Strawberry Line District Green campaigner Steve Mewes. He said: “I am livid that we have to subsidise this 60 year old white elephant in amounts that make renewable energy subsidies look like pocket money in comparison. The waste issues have not been resolved, no one will see any power for well over a decade, it is led by a bankrupt foreign company and there is an alternative. If the £14 billion cost was spent on insulation in the UK we could take a third off our country’s energy needs and generate huge levels of employment.”
However the idea of insulating all homes and businesses doesn’t seem to excite the politicians and councils as much as nuclear power stations. There’s a positive frenzy of crunching the numbers at county hall. Somerset County Council say the project will last eight years with £100 million pumped into the economy of the region every year during construction. Some 25,000 jobs will be created along with all the infrastructure that implies. It will have a knock on affect for residents of the Strawberry Line District. From those directly employed at the site to folk involved in supplying building materials such as stone from the Mendip quarries. There’ll also be a demand for support workers in housing, hospitals, shops and schools. For local authorities and businesses the whole idea is very exciting. But... it’s still not certain the project will go ahead. The sticking point is the price of electricity EDF wish to be paid – but few believe this will prevent the project from
proceeding now planning has been given the green light. At present the price for electricity is £45 per megawatt-hour (MwH) while EDF want double that. The horse trading will continue – but by the time the plant is built then £90 plus per megawatt-hour (MwH) is quite possible.
Hinkley C will be visible from the Strawberry Line District – and few deny that it and the previous power station are blots on the landscape. Lady Gas may have profited from selling land to the developers at Hinkley and many local people are keen on the prospect of jobs but not everyone is enthusiastic about the project.
The Stop Hinkley Group told the Strawberry Line Times: “Nuclear is a toxic, expensive, corporate and an old fashioned monster of a way of generating electricity which will give us an abhorrent legacy to our descendents. We simply have to find an alternative. Marine technology is undeveloped because it has had a fraction of the investment of other technologies. That has to change.”
The ideas offered by stop Hinkley have not been taken up with enthusiasm by industry and Governments in the way
nuclear power has. So how will Hinkley affect the Strawberry Line District? Firstly there’s the amount of traffic the construction project will create. Lorries from quarries and building suppliers, commuters to the site and to Bridgwater will put pressure on roads. The M5 should cope but there’s no plans for a Bridgwater ring road which could cause congestion problems there while the A38 and A371 that passes through our region are already struggling to cope as it is. The trains from Yatton to Bridgwater will see more commuters and traffic (including buses) from Wells and Glastonbury over the Poldens will probably increase.
What many in the district are asking is whether the estimated £14bn could have been better spent on the Severn Barrage? Hafren’s project to tap the tidage surge of the Bristol Channel is back on the agenda with a revised figure of £32bn – more than twice that of Hinkley – but the firm say crucially the energy would be clean and the barrage could create longer term benefits such as new road and rail links to Wales.
It’s an extraordinary vision – but one the wildfowl centre at Slimbridge and the docks at Avonmouth don’t share. Although the Severn Barrage could provide 5% of the UK’s electricity demand for at least 120 years it would come at an environmental cost. Other ideas to harness the power of the tide in the Bristol Channel have been put forward by groups such as The Green World Trust which include a tidal reef barrier that rises and falls with the tide enabling it to work continually; double lagoons which continually trap the tidal surge; a generator driven by a flotation tank; tidal stream turbines such as the one at Strangford Lough; and a horizontal-axis turbine that turns at a slower speed than the prevailing current flow, and has a variable movement of its blades. None are likely to be built within the immediate future although a large off-shore wind farm in the Bristol Channel is on the drawing board - but it will create far less energy.
Land based solar and wind farms or even single or small groups of wind turbines have proved unpopular and anti-campaigners appear to be in the ascendancy with the backing from local politicians. Fracking is still untested in the region and is meeting vigorous opposition from just about everyone except the energy firms who stand to gain from the process. So it seems that unless someone can discover oil in the Strawberry Line District, Hinkley C is the future of much of the area’s power.
Strawberry Line Times May 2013 Weston-Super-Mare
SOLD ON THE FIRST VIEWING - The property retains many original features including ornate ceilings, deep moulded architraves and skirting boards plus 2 wonderful fireplaces and large sash windows which let in plenty of light and fabulous views. 3 beautiful bedrooms and bathroom all together create a truly stunning apartment.
Fircot House, Winscombe, North Somerset £495,000 Weston-Super-Mare
Situated within grounds of just over 1/3 acre backing onto woodland, the property has been extensively modernised and now comprises 2 spacious reception rooms, cloakroom, family kitchen and utility to the ground floor, 3 double bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, one en suite, to the first floor and a superb bedroom or studio to the second floor. To the front there is a terrace and first floor balcony to enjoy the superb views. Gas central heating, double glazing, a garage and parking for several vehicles.
This stunning family home is quite unique and occupies a good sized plot in what is arguably one of the most sought after locations in Winscombe. Tucked away towards the end of Hilly- fields, Fircot House enjoys panoramic views over open countryside yet is within a stroll of the centre of this popular village and its’ many amenities. Externally the property has a distinctly nautical air with raised decks to 3 sides and a superb balcony off the master bedroom suite from which to soak up the wonderful view whilst inside the accommodation is spacious and very contemporary, on the ground floor of a mainly open plan design which simply flows from space to space. Perfect for families and those who love entertaining, there is a sitting area, dining area and kitchen with integrated appliances plus a separate family room or study. Upstairs there are 3 generous bedrooms and family bathroom plus one of the most spacious master bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms we have seen with its own balcony from which to take advantage of those fabulous views. Gas underfloor heating, double glazing, garage, utility room and delightful gardens complete the picture.
£495,000 £385,000 Weston-Super-Mare £385,000
SOLD ON THE FIRST VIEWING -A delightful Victorian semi detached family home with beautiful sea views. The property has numerous period features including working shutters and 2 stunning fireplaces. There is a dining room, conservatory, drawing room, kitchen, 3 dry cellars, 4 bedrooms, ensuite & family bathroom. There is a room which could be converted into additional accommodation subject to Planning Consents. There is parking for several vehicles, sun terrace with sea view & woodland gardens to the rear
Location! Location! Location! A popular phrase amongst estate agents but in this case it really is true. Sitting in the centre of a superb plot which is beautifully landscaped and a gardeners delight, the accommodation is presented in good decorative order and comprises, sitting room, dining room, conservatory, kitchen, 3 bedrooms and bathroom. In addition there is a garage and parking for several vehicles - all in all an absolute gem!
Longbarn, Edingworth, Somerset Axbridge
An absolutely fabulous recently refurbished Georgian apartment in the heart of medieval Axbridge. This beautifully appointed apartment is particularly spacious and bursting with character and charm. Having been the subject of extensive renovation the property is now presented in superb order and boasts a fine drawing room, newly fitted kitchen/breakfast room, 3 bedrooms or 2 with separate dining room/study and new bathroom. In addition there is off street parking and, most unusually, a private garden.
Land! Land! Land! In glorious countryside. Equestrian enthusiasts or those simply want- ing the good life, take note. A beautifully appointed barn conversion in a semi rural yet not isolated location with formal gardens and approximately 6 acres of adjoining fields, in all around 6.4 acres. Occupying a superb level site with far reaching views to Brent Knoll, this attractive property has the additional benefit of falling within the favoured Hugh Sexeys and Kings of Wessex school catchment area. The accom- modation is spacious, full of character and comprises sitting room, kitchen/breakfast room, dining conservatory, utility, 4 good sized bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, 2 ensuite. Double glazing, oil central heat- ing and a security system complete the picture. Outside there is a built timber store, tool shed, garage/workshop and Scandinavian style summer house which takes full advantage of those amazing views.
£149,950 £149,950 Winscombe
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If £189,950 £189,950
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with corporate style estate agents (and let’s face it why would you want your
SOLD ON THE FIRST VIEWING - Situated on the fringe of this popular development and one of the larger house types built, this imposing detached family house definitely has the wow factor. The accommodation is exceptional from the entrance hall with galleried landing, lounge and dining room, study and fabulous kitchen/breakfast room plus utility on the ground floor to the 5 generous bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on the first floor, with gas central heating and double glazing. Outside there is a double garage and
Waterfall cottage, Upper Weare, Somerset £298,000
We absolutely love this utterly delightful detached cottage situated in the heart of the village and nestling in the lea of picturesque St Gregory’s Church. The village of Upper Weare is well away from main roads and is highly sought after for its’ charm and the excellent schooling available in the area. Perfect for families and couples alike, Waterfall Cottage is very spacious and bursting with character - beamed ceilings, natural stone walls and flagstone floors abound - yet every consideration has been given to modern day living. Beautifully presented throughout, there is a stun- ning sitting room with inglenook fireplace, dining room with heavily beamed ceiling and inglenook fireplace, a farmhouse kitchen designed for family living and with plenty of space for a table and chairs, family room/study, utility and cloak- room on the ground floor with 5 bedrooms (4 with fitted wardrobes) and 2 luxury bathrooms, 1 ensuite, upstairs. Waterfall Cottage benefits from oil fired central heating, a double garage and really lovely gardens which are secluded at the rear. Viewing is very enthusiastically recommended to those seeking a character cottage in a premier village location.
Winscombe £216,500 Weston-Super-Mare
property to be just one of a number) why not contact a truly independent agent who specialises in a very personal service and yet uses all the major property websites? We sell property in all price
SOLD ON THE FIRST VIEWING - This house really is perfect for a growing family. With timber effect double glazing, under floor heating throughout,gas central heating with hot water boosted by solar panels. There is a lounge, dining room opening into kitchen, utility, cloakroom and bedroom 4 with an ensuite on the ground floor with 3 further double bedrooms, all ensuite, on the first floor. Outside there is a very useful Garden Room/Studio with its own cloakroom, & south facing patio gardens at the rear.
ranges – much to our clients satisfaction – so if you would like a fresh approach contact us on
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SOLD ON THE SECOND VIEWING -Perched high on Weston hillside and with fabulous views those seeking character accommodation must view. Lovers of Victorian architecture will appreciate the wonderful ceilings with deep and ornate cornicing, elaborate architraves and deep moulded skirting boards. Comprising a superb drawing room, kitchen/breakfast room, a double guest bedroom, family bathroom and stunning master bedroom with ensuite. There is a balcony from which to enjoy the amazing
£295,000 £350,000 £339,950 £295,000 Winscombe
Only by viewing this pretty cottage will purchasers be able to appreciate all that is on offer. Fairlie Lawn is a deceptively spacious detached cottage that’s just bursting with character and which also enjoys a good degree of privacy. The family sized accommodation comprises 3 separate reception rooms, a breakfast kitchen, 4 good sized bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, one ensuite and has the benefit of gas fired central heating. Outside there is off street parking for several vehicles, a secluded courtyard to
£500,000 £350,000 Weston-Super-Mare 2 The Vinery, Winscombe, North Somerset £265,000 £220,000 £265,000 Winscombe
SOLD AND WITH CONSIDERABLE INTEREST - Willow Green is a 1930’s detached bungalow ripe for modernisation and improvement. Properties in this location seldom come to the market and Willow Green has considerable scope to extend, subject to any necessary planning consents. At present, there is a sitting room, breakfast room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms, bathroom and lean to conservatory plus gas fired central heating, a garage and truly delightful gardens. Viewing is essential for those seeking an opportunity to
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Sales - Lettings - Land - New Homes Strawberry Line Times May 2013 21
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Quality, style and space are the watchwords for this superb detached family house in an outstanding position on the edge of Winscombe. Built by Messrs Stone & Co of Bristol to an exacting standard, the property is situated adjoining the village sports fields, within a stroll of the many facilities available in this popular village and the Strawberry Line railway walk. Purchasers will love the amount of space available here - great for families and perfect for entertaining. The impressive entrance hall with galleried landing sets the scene on entering the property and it just gets better and better! Every room is well proportioned and there are plenty of them! The superb sitting room leads on to the conservatory and also has double doors to the dining room whilst the kitchen is a cook’s dream. A study, cloakroom and utility complete the ground floor and upstairs there are 4 double bedrooms, all with built in wardrobes and 2 bathrooms, 1 ensuite. Double glazing, gas central heating, a garage and lovely gardens complete the picture.
SOLD ON FIRST VIEWING - Situated in a premier location, the very spacious accommodation is beautifully presented and period features abound including superb fireplaces to most rooms, ornate ceiling roses, cornicing and deep moulded skirting boards throughout. Purchasers will delight in the 4 generous reception rooms, contemporary kitchen with Rangemaster cooker, utility, 4 family sized bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, 2 of which are ensuite.
SOLD ON FIRST VIEWING - Wonderful 2 bedroom apartment. Purchasers will delight in the pretty private garden, parking for several vehicles and more unusually a large barn - which could be converted to provide additional accommodation (subject to any necessary planning consents). Currently rented as an established holiday let, this very attractive property has very spacious accommodation comprising sitting room, dining room, kitchen and utility with 2 double bedrooms, 1 ensuite and family bathroom.
STUNNING! WITH LAND!
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