December 2019 update
On Thursday 12th December, we received a letter from the Planning Inspectorate stating they have accepted the DCO application for Examination. The letter can be read on PINS website. We are now preparing for the next stage of the DCO process. Over the next few weeks, there will be some activity in the local area. This will include:
- The display of public notices along the railway corridor stating that an application for development consent has been made and signposting people to where they can access the application documents
- Hard copies of the application in local libraries
- A copy of the application online
- Preparation for the examination in public which is likely to be held in the Spring.
November 2019 update
The application for a Development Consent Order for the £116m MetroWest Phase 1 scheme was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) by North Somerset Council on Friday 15th November 2019. The final application consists of:
- 287 documents and 20,735 pages
- 69 sets of plans/drawings
- An Environmental Statement which has 19 chapters and 62 appendices
- The Book of Reference which has 2,465 pages
- The Consultation report which is 630 pages excluding the appendices.
When printed and stacked the application is around 7ft high! It is now available to view on PINS website.
PINS are now checking the application and if it is compliant will accept and notify the Council by the 13th December 2019 to start the next phase of the application process.
A press release was issued on the 7th November 2019.
A hard copy of the full suite of Application documents, including plans, maps and other documents may be inspected free of charge from 14th January 2020 until at least 26th February 2020 at Portishead Library, Pill Resource Centre, and Bristol Central Library.
Further information on how to register and make a relevant representation is available on the MetroWest Phase 1 page.
Relaunching train services from Portishead with new stations at Portishead and Pill is a key part of the first phase of the MetroWest programme of transport improvements across the region being led by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and North Somerset Council.
The West of England Joint committee has also confirmed a £500,000 allocation to the MetroWest scheme, following the Transport Secretary’s commitment of an extra £31.9m to complete the funding needed. The Severn Beach line extension to Bath and Westbury is also on track for 2021.
Once the application is registered by the Planning Inspectorate, the Secretary of State for Transport is expected to make a decision within 18 months.
Subject to final business case approval, construction work is expected to start on the Portishead to Bristol line in December 2021 and take around two years to complete.
As well as reopening the Portishead Rail branch line, with two new stations at Portishead and at Pill, this MetroWest scheme also includes vital improvements to passenger services along the Severn Beach and Bristol to Bath Lines.
We received over 1,000 responses from members of the community, statutory bodies, landowners and other interested parties. Issues raised have been captured and considered in the Stage 2 Consultation Report which is now available and will help develop the scheme.
We will continue to engage with individual stakeholders on outstanding issues or concerns regarding the development of the project as we finalise the application for a Development Consent Order (DCO). Thank you to everyone who took part.
The MetroWest proposals are being delivered in two phases, Phase 1 and Phase 2, along with a separate new stations package looking at the potential for future new stations.