Developers want to build more than 900 homes near Chipping Sodbury and Wickwar

December 29 2021
Developers want to build more than 900 homes near Chipping Sodbury and Wickwar

DEVELOPERS have been made preliminary moves to see if they could build more than 900 homes on sites near Chipping Sodbury and Wickwar.

Agents acting for housebuilder Persimmon Homes have sent details of a 'vision’ for what they call the Kings Park Garden Neighbourhood, a "high-quality development" of 725 homes to the east of Chipping Sodbury.

And agents for Bloor Homes have outlined a proposed scheme at Sodbury Road, Wickwar, of 180 new homes.

Details of the schemes were outlined in applications to South Gloucestershire Council for what are known as 'screening opinions' as to whether a development needs an Environmental Impact Assessment to weigh up their consequences.

The Persimmon scheme would build on land east of St Johns Way in Chipping Sodbury, by the river Frome.

Agents Blue Fox Planning said the land is "well-connected to existing services and facilities, located within an attractive natural setting on the east side of Chipping Sodbury, outside of the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Green Belt".

They said the scheme would comprise "up to 725" new homes, 35% of which would be affordable, "potential for a two-form entry primary school", community parks greens, play areas, a cricket pitch and community facilities including a "local ‘hub’ centre, and community sports pavilion".

The agents said the development would "retain existing site features and create a naturalistic environment which aims to minimise the visual impact and enhance biodiversity through a series of green corridors, including a new collection of water features that provide habitat and reduce flood risk in the adjacent community".

Louise Smith, who lives opposite the site, said she was "deeply concerned" about the scheme and urged others to join her in writing to Persimmon, to make their feelings known.

She said the area was home to herons, egrets, roe deer, woodpeckers and other wildlife which would be "irreversibly lost".

Louise added: "The traffic on St Johns Way is already very heavy and suffers heavy lorry use with little regard for the pollution and noise that houses close to the road endure, not to mention the gardens that are feet away from the road."

The Wickwar scheme is for up to 180 homes, a local shop, allotments and landscaping on land to the east of Sodbury Road, currently used as farm land.

South Gloucestershire councillor Adrian Rush, whose Chipping Sodbury and Cotswold Edge ward includes both sites, said both schemes were "speculative applications" not included in the council's adopted policies.

He said: "As such they have to demonstrate that they are needed by the community they are going to be built in and they have not demonstrated this.

"In fact the applicants at Wickwar have not engaged with the parish council in the way they wanted and have gone their own way in not communicating properly with the public.

"At the moment South Glos Council is working on its new local plan, that will become much clearer next year, and these applications show the clear intent by big developers to usurp planned development for their profits."

Picture: St John's Way in Chipping Sodbury, with farmland to the east at the right of the picture