Transport Survey for Pill and Easton-in-Gordano neighbourhood plan

The Parish Council is keen to make a neighbourhood plan that improves transport choices for people and helps promote healthy low carbon options. 

We’d like to know about your current use and frequency each week of different types of travel.

We want to hear about all the members of your household/place of work in the parish…so please encourage any young/less mobile/less independent members of your household to complete it.

Complete the survey here:


Tree planting aftercare

Tree mulching volunteers wanted: Come along on Sunday the 18th October 2pm to join the Friends of WHH and the Parish council’s Climate action volunteers to help look after the new trees planted by NSC on Watch House Hill (By the old oak). Due to Covid NSC have been unable to organise their larger volunteer work parties. At the time of writing Volunteer work parties can be up to 30 outside – Luckily all trees have been planted 2m apart 🙂 Bring own tools for weeding and shovels / wheelbarrows to distribute the wood chippings. Contact Lucy for more info. 07929 655141

Housing for the Future in Pill and Easton in Gordano

During the recent consultation on The Neighbourhood Plan a range of opinions was expressed about the type of housing needed in the village; the location of any housing; the balance between private and social housing; and the opportunities for infill housing. Some of you expressed concern about rumours of major new housing proposals in and around the village. Others expressed concern that the government’s recently announced commitment to rapid house building, supported by considerable relaxations to planning restrictions, had created new opportunities for developers to consider major housing proposals.

One such proposal from L and Q called Pill Green appeared on the Parish website on the 13/9/20. The information leaflet describes a housing development of around 1000 homes on fields in Martcombe, which are in the green belt, alongside the A369. Another separate proposal, for which the details are less clear, proposes building 200 houses at Plummer’s Hill on the fields between St.George’s Hall and the M5 service station. There are also more or less developed plans for commercial housing schemes on other large fields around the village.

It is clear that any of these projects would have a very significant impact on the shape of our village to say nothing of the implications for our infrastructure and services. If any of these projects started at the same time as the preparations for the railway, life in our village would become considerably more complicated and disrupted and we would be at risk of becoming a suburb of our village.

The Parish Council would like to make its position absolutely clear about housing needs in the village.

1. We support small-scale developments which increase the stock of social housing so that younger people are encouraged to remain in the village.

2. We support infill developments so that all land with housing potential is used appropriately. In addition, small clusters of housing from 150-200 dwellings by 2038, adjacent to existing settlements, might be acceptable.

3. We do not support rapidly built developments which increase the strain on local services, infrastructure and resources.

4. We do not support developments that fail to meet the required climate change 2030 targets relating to the protection of green spaces, clean air, carbon reduction, traffic reduction and health and wellbeing expectations.

The Parish Council has made its detailed position about its future aims for all building in and around the village explicit in The Neighbourhood Plan which will be presented to the full Parish Council meeting for acceptance on 20/10/20. The plan will then be sent to North Somerset Council and put on the Parish Council website for your reference and future discussion.

Paul Kent on behalf of The Parish Council. 30/09/20

A tribute to Mark Rice from the Parish Council

It is with great sadness that we heard the news of the passing of Mark Rice.

Mark joined the Parish Council for a short spell, only relinquishing his post due to his work commitments but in that short time he jumped straight into it, relishing the role and quickly making his mark with his humour along with his insight and knowledge of Pill.

Born and bred in Pill, it was easy to see that Mark was a true character with a love of the community; chatting and greeting everyone with his cheery smile and always keen to uphold the ‘old Pill ways’.

The tributes being made on Facebook are a true testimony to the love and respect everyone had for him, from the hundreds of comments from friends in Pill and Portishead, Gordano Rugby Club, St George Football Club, The Bristol Port Company and beyond, Mark touched the lives of a lot of people.

In the short time the Parish Council had Mark as a colleague it was easy to see why he commanded such love and respect from everyone who knew him.

We send our sincere condolences to his wife Nic, sons Alfie and Charlie and the family.

Tree planting aftercare: Volunteers needed

Tree mulching volunteers wanted: Come along on Sunday the 18th October 2pm to join the Friends of WHH and the Parish council’s Climate action volunteers to help look after the new trees planted by NSC on Watch House Hill (By the old oak). Due to Covid NSC have been unable to organise their larger volunteer work parties. At the time of writing Volunteer work parties can be up to 30 outside – Luckily all trees have been planted 2m apart 🙂 Bring own tools for weeding and shovels / wheelbarrows to distribute the wood chippings. Contact Lucy for more info. 07929 655141

Join Chilie’s community allotment!

Chilie’s community allotment group are welcoming new volunteers (Complying with latest Gov’t guidelines) if you’d like to learn about growing your own or feel a plot all of your own is too much to manage get in touch to join our what’s app group please contact Jill Coleman: 07813 927416 or join us on alternate Tuesday mornings beginning on Tue 13th October. We are also offering our services to pick and distribute/ make use of any surplus fruit & veg. harvests, so if you have runner bean, marrow and apple overload we can help!

(Photo by Lucy Byrne)

Sign up for the North Somerset Citizens’ Panel!

Residents, students and workers in North Somerset are being urged to get involved in local decision making with the launch of a new citizens’ panel.

North Somerset Council is recruiting a group of volunteers to give regular feedback on local services and issues to help shape the future of the area.

The panel will be consulted on a wide range of topics, from bins and roads to social care and planning, with feedback used to inform how services are run.

The Citizens’ Panel will not replace formal consultations but will complement them and offer another way for the people of North Somerset to have their voices heard.

The council is asking residents to form the panel now with the first survey expected by the end of the year.

Anyone wishing to sign up to the panel, please click here.

Reminder of closures of M5 Junction 19 and Martcombe Road September/October

A reminder from North Somerset Council that Highways England will be again closing the following: Further closures of M5 Junction 19 and Martcombe Road (entrance and exit) are required by Highways England on the following dates: 28 Sept – 1st Oct 20.00-06.00hrs & 6-14 October 20.00 – 06.00hrs. There will be a revocation of the left turn and a right hand turn created from High Street, Portbury. 

Here are details from Highway England regarding diversions:

Traffic from Portbury Hundred and M5 north.

  • Traffic wanting to travel M5 south will divert via M5 north to J18, Avonmouth and re-join M5 south via the Y loop.
  • Traffic wanting Martcombe Road will divert via M5 north to J18 Avonmouth, A4 Portway, A370, B3218 and B3219 Beggar Bush Lane to re-join A369 Martcombe Road (Vehicles not permitted on the Motorway) Non motorway traffic only wanting Martcombe road will divert via Royal Portbury Dock Road and Marsh Lane 

Traffic from M5 south

  • Traffic wanting Martcombe Road will divert via  M5 south at J18 Avonmouth, A4 Portway, A370, B3218 and B3219 Beggar Bush Lane to re-join A369 Martcombe Road
  • Traffic wanting Portbury Hundred will divert to M5 J20 and back to M5 J19

The notice can be read here.

Proposal for land on the A369 at Martcombe

Shared for public information, from Barton Wilmore on behalf of L&Q Estates, is the details regarding its proposal for land on the A369 at Martcombe;

On behalf of L&Q Estates please find attached our brochure for the land at Pill.

We are in the process of re-shaping the vision and principles for the Pill Green site and we would welcome your engagement in that process. The proposals will be aimed at sensitively growing Pill in a way that integrates with the existing village, bringing substantial new benefits to all.

We would very much like to engage with you to develop the principles and plans further to ensure any future proposals respond to the needs and requirements of both the existing and new residents of Pill.

 This document can be found here.

Creating a Pond

Even a very small pond can be a fantastic benefit for wildlife and a source of real interest in a garden. To make it easier for people to create their own small ponds, the Parish Council has bought a reasonable amount of high quality pond liner with underlay for people to buy at £5 per sq. metre. It can be available almost as soon as you contact us to place an order, which must be for a rectangular piece. The underlay is really helpful in protecting against damage to the liner by small sharp stones etc.

(Photo – Lucy Byrne)

The first question of course, is “How much liner do I need?” You can go online and find guidance about this, but for some reason the guidelines assume that you should be making a pond that is three feet deep and has vertical sides. This inevitably uses a great deal of liner, and is almost certainly not what you want, for two reasons:

a) 3 ft (90 cm) is very deep and involves a great deal of work to remove the earth etc: the figure seems to be based on absolute protection against frost, but it would take the sort of hard and prolonged frost that we never experience in these parts to cause a problem of this sort. A maximum depth of 2ft (60 cm) seems absolutely fine.

b) many of the plants you might want to have in a pond won’t thrive in deep water, and having shallower sections is desirable.

So, to estimate the amount of liner you want, we suggest:

a) look at where you are going to put the pond and decide on its length and breadth. (Make sure this area is level – you don’t want one side of your pond to be higher than another!)

b) draw two scale models of the pond in profile – one from end to end, and the other from side to side. The drawings will show how deep you want the bottom of the pond to be in cross-section in these two directions

c) use a piece of thread or thin string to follow the line of the pond bottom in each direction, and measure the length of the from one end to the other – then convert to the real dimensions. (So, for example, if scale is 1 inch per foot, and your piece of thread measures 7½” from one side of the pond to the other then you need 7½ Feet (2.25 metres) of liner – except that you need to add 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) all the way round to create an edge to your pond that you will weight down with stones.)

It’s a good idea to include a section of bog in your design if you have room – there are lots of plants that like bog, and that insects love! If you do do this, keep the pond and the bog separate: the reason is that it’s a good idea to make a very few small slits in the liner for the bog section so that it does very slowly drain, like a natural bog, and you don’t want to lose water from the pond at the same time. Of course, the separation only needs to be a few inches where you leave the ground level above the water lever in the pond.


Note: after you have dug the pond, put the liner down and placed stones or bricks round the edge you can fill it straight away – rainwater is best, but tap water will be fine. Either way, leave it a few days to settle down before putting any plants in.

The one essential you need is something that will oxygenate the pond – you can probably get bits from friends who have ponds or we can put you in touch with someone who can spare some. Try to avoid importing duckweed – though you quite likely will in small amounts and it’s worth keeping an eye on the pond and removing any odd pieces of duckweed that appear as quickly as you can. (There is a great guide to plants for your pond here!)