Council wants to be ‘transparent’ about additional sites for housing
An online map showing sites where houses could be built in future shows a potentially massive increase in development around Yate, Chipping Sodbury and nearby villages.
Places that could be affected include the land between Yate and Coalpit Heath, where there is currently a solar farm. Other areas include large swathes of land to the east and south of Chipping Sodbury. Both Beeches and Great Western industrial estates are included, as are areas around Engine Common to the north of Yate.
The map has been produced by South Gloucestershire Council as it reviews its local plan, and includes sites suggested by landowners and developers.
Cabinet Member for Planning, Transportation and the Strategic Environment, Councillor Colin Hunt, said: “We want to be totally transparent, which is why we are publishing this list and making it available with an online map. These sites are just ideas at the moment, but we know people want to hear about and potentially shape those ideas. This information will help us, as well as the community, as we go through the review and assessment process as part of the next phase of preparing our new Local Plan.”
Claire Young, councillor for Westerleigh and leader of the Lib Dem Group on South Gloucestershire Council said: “People in Coalpit Heath value their village identity, sense of community and the surrounding countryside. They don’t want to live in a suburb of Bristol or Yate. If we’re not careful the very narrow strip of Green Belt that stops that happening will be lost.”
“Where development does get the go ahead, it is crucial that it includes affordable housing for local people. It adds insult to injury when residents lose their green spaces to houses they could never afford.”
The next stage is for the sites to be assessed to see if they are actually viable for development. Any findings would be published in 2019 and then there would be public consultations.
Councillor Colin Hunt, said: “We believe in plan-led development. That is, we work with communities to identify what growth we might need and seek agreement on how it can be delivered. We want plans that allow us to meet our future needs, but also that protect us from poorly thought out speculative development, which doesn’t grow communities, it puts pressure on them.”