Local Newspaper Review by Harry Mottram for Thurs 13th, Feb 2020

The main story in the Weston Mercury is the decision by North Somerset Council to block the plans to expand Bristol Airport. Residents opposed to the idea of building a new multi-storey car park, new infrastructure and facilities and more flights in order to bring the numbers to 12 million who travel from the airport a year were jubilant with photos also in the Cheddar Valley Gazette. The airport’s Dave Lees said it had put the brakes on the plans – and they will decide whether to present new proposals.

Barbara Wells

The Gazette leads withAxbridge’s civic awards that includes accolades for Barbara Wells, Michael Taylor and several young people in the town. And the paper also reports on Cheddar’s Fairlands School getting a Good status from Ofsted. Finally in the paper there is a meeting at The Riverside Pub in Cheddar on February 17 at 7pm for anyone interested in the village’s annual flower and vegetable show. Join in – it’s a great event.

There is news about Birnbech Pier

Café opens

The Mercury reports on Congresbury gaining its first full time café billed as The Congars Café. Sonya and Ian Stocker are behind the venture which has opened in Broad Street. And the paper has a belated report on the decision by Sedgemoor to grant outline planning permission for a housing estate to be built next to Townsend Farm in Axbridge.

Rescue plan

It is the fate of the derelict Birnbech Pier which excites the Mercury after North Somerset Council decided to approve the idea of a compulsory purchase order as the owners CNM Estates have allowed it to fall into a parlous state. The renovation if it were to take place however is an issue as much of the structure is beyond repair – a pity since it once attracted tens of thousands of visitors and featured a theatre and a fun fair. It closed in 1994 and the matter will be considered by the Secretary of State.

Coverage of the stop the airport expansion story


Sport and Draycott bagged their first win of the year with a 2-0 victory against Stockwood Green Reserves although Cheddar are out of the cup falling to Hengrove Athletic by 3-0. As reported in The Gazette.

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.