Burges Salmon advises North Somerset Council on Banwell bypass as UK Government grants CPO

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase team at independent UK law firm Burges Salmon has worked with North Somerset Council on the £90m Banwell bypass which was granted Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) by the Department for Transport last week.

Funded through Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, the bypass will run to the north of Banwell village, removing traffic congestion between the busy A38 and Weston-super-Mare route. The proposals also support the creation of new sustainable travel options for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, mitigating measures to reduce the environmental impacts of the bypass on nearby villages, as well as biodiversity-focused projects to protect wildlife local habitats with new ponds, woodland and wetlands to achieve a biodiversity net gain of over 40%. The scheme also includes placemaking proposals to enhance Banwell’s historic village character and deliver infrastructure to enable significant future housing development.

Burges Salmon has been working on the scheme for a number of years, helping to secure initial planning permission for the scheme in March 2023 as well as providing advice on the CPOs and SRO and supporting North Somerset Council with the public inquiry with the independent inspector. Throughout the project, the team was led by partner and head of planning and compulsory purchase Gary Soloman and senior associates Jen Ashwell and Daniel Whittle.

Gary comments: “Proposals for a Banwell bypass date as far back as 1927 and now, nearly a 100 years later, we’re thrilled to see this important new infrastructure getting the go ahead from the Government, marking a historic day for North Somerset. The bypass will play an important role in better connecting communities by cutting journey times for travellers and commuters, whilst also delivering significant environmental benefits with ambitious biodiversity net gain targets and enabling new housing. Our extensive experience advising on complex highways related CPOs, combined with our track record in public inquiries, have meant we were able to guide North Somerset Council throughout the entire process from initial planning application, through to approval and culminating in the Government’s granting of the CPOs in early 2024.”

With decades of experience and a stellar team led by partners who are established experts in their field, Burges Salmon has asserted itself as the planning law firm of choice for nationally significant and major projects. The team works closely with real estate colleagues on regeneration schemes and property developments, and the energy transition team to support the development and delivery of Net Zero projects. Burges Salmon is also committed to shaping the future of planning law and regularly speaks at national events and is actively involved in industry bodies, including NIPA, CPA and the Renewable Energy Association.


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