North Somerset’s newest primary school welcomes pupils

Pupils are now settling back into the classroom but children at one primary school in Weston-super-Mare have a whole new building to explore.

Parklands Educate Together Primary School, at Parklands Village, opened to pupils for the first time on Monday.

The new school is the first of up to three new primary schools planned for Parklands Village by North Somerset Council to meet the increasing number of children requiring school places in the area.

Over the next 10 years, up to 3,650 homes and more than 5,000 new jobs will be created on the former RAF Locking base and surrounding land.

This new school opened in September 2018 in a temporary building just around the corner from the new site. Another temporary building was added in September last year as the school expanded to four classrooms.

The new building has 14 classrooms and an early years nursery, initially for 420 primary school places but with the capacity to expand to 630 places when needed.

It’s hoped the school will also become a hub for the local community, with meeting space and the hall available for use outside school hours.

The £9m contract to build the school was awarded to Willmott Dixon and the Educate Together Academy Trust was appointed as sponsor of the new school.


Banwell bypass and new school move step closer

Banwell bypass and a new 900-place secondary school in North Somerset have moved a step closer after North Somerset Council signed on the dotted line.

The terms of the contract between the council and the government’s housing agency Homes England have now been finalised – which will see £97.1m invested in infrastructure in the area.

This money will be used to design and build Banwell bypass and a 900-place secondary school expansion at Parklands Village, as well as to improve local roads and utilities, and for flood mitigation.

The process of finding a construction contractor is now under way and engineers will start collecting essential technical information and data, including ecological and watercourse surveys, traffic modelling, and ground investigations to start developing designs.

Community conversations and consultation with parish councils, residents, businesses and organisations in Banwell and surrounding villages are expected to start in the autumn, with a full public consultation process next year.

The schemes are expected to support about 7,500 new homes, more than half of which are due to be built as part of Weston Villages (Haywood Village and Parklands Village). The remainder will be decided by the new Local Plan process.

The infrastructure should be in place by 2024.


Rapid charging point coming to Portishead

Electric vehicles will be powered up in just 30 mins thanks to the new rapid charging hub coming to Portishead.

Work starts this week on the new hub at Parish Wharf Leisure Centre.

Two rapid chargers will each be able to charge two vehicles at a time, doubling the current number of charging points in Portishead town centre.

It is one of four new charging hubs planned across the West of England, part of a wider project to promote the uptake of electric vehicles.

All four charging hubs will be on the Revive network, a council-owned public EV charging network in the West of England, which serves EV drivers in North Somerset, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The four West of England authorities were funded £7.1m as part of the Go Ultra Low West (GULW) programme, from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

Other charging points installed at other key locations across North Somerset this winter, with the first planned for Kewstoke.

Transport accounts for 42 per cent of North Somerset’s carbon emissions so enabling the switch to clean electric vehicles, alongside other sustainable forms of travel, is one of the council’s key strategies for addressing the Climate Emergency and delivering a carbon neutral region by 2030.

For more information about going electric and to book a phone discussion with an EV expert visit the TravelWest website.