Local Newspaper Review, Friday 6, March, 2020, by Harry Mottram

The top story in the Cheddar Valley Gazette is the decision by Sedgemoor District Council to reject Sainsbury’s plans to build homes on farmland around Steart Farm on the Wedmore Road in Cheddar. Readers may recall they planned to build a supermarket there a few years ago but dropped the plan as shopping habits changed.

The proposed route of Banwell’s bypass set to be in place in 2024. Pic: The Mercury

Talking of housing the Weston Mercury reports on the disappointment by North Somerset Council on the plans to build 1,250 homes in Banwell – but only allowing 15% to be affordable. The new homes are part of plans to expand the village and build a long awaited bypass. £97m was given the green light for the scheme which includes a new school, shops and a relief road from the Churchill road cutting across fields to the north of Banwell and arriving back on the Hutton end of the village.

This week’s local newspapers

The Gazette devotes a page to the Kings of Wessex School production of 42nd Street with an excellent and informed review by Ellie Hall complete with photos. Sadly the same paper has a tribute to the journalist and socialite Joy Irving who has died aged 92. Well known as a leading light in the Allertons Joy’s children include the long term Gazette journalist Maxine Irving. Again – it is an excellent piece in a paper that is nowadays too short on local news.

Jason Bryant’s photo of the campaigner Greta Thurnberg

Bristol Airports thwarted plans for expansion also get more coverage with a critical letter in the Mercury of the alleged failings of the local MP in the opinion of Labour’s John Cadwallader – but there is also a fetching photo of the climate change campaigner Greta Thurnberg by Jason Bryant in the Gazette. She has apparently lent her support to the victorious campaign to stop Bristol Airport’s recent expansion plans when taking part in the recent demo in Bristol demanding action on global warming.

Sport is in short supply locally with games cancelled due to wet weather although Cheddar managed a football match against Bristol Telephones losing 0-1 away. However the lack of games gave the ever readable Merv Colenutt a chance to reflect on the teams in the Somerset County League in the Gazette. He reports that Cheddar have done remarkably well following their promotion and he has praise too for Winscombe FC who he rates as the best team they’ve had in a decade.