Up to 150 homes could be built behind village school

February 03 2021
Up to 150 homes could be built behind village school

A NEW development that could see 150 homes built on fields behind a village primary school is being planned by a housebuilder.

Parish councillors in Wickwar say they are concerned the village lacks the infrastructure to cope with the new homes, which would be built on land off Inglestone Road, behind Alexander Hosea Primary School (above), if the scheme goes ahead.

Developer Crest Nicholson has been consulting with the parish council and local residents ahead of submitting a planning application to South Gloucestershire Council.

A Crest Nicholson spokesperson said: "We build sustainable communities, so in addition to the 150 high quality, new homes, our proposal includes new habitats for wildlife and the development would deliver a net gain in biodiversity."

In its official response to an early consultation, on the scheme, for which a formal planning application has yet to be made, Wickwar Parish Council states that the village "does not have the infrastructure to support yet more housing development".

It has recently had 170 new homes built on two separate sites.

The council says its main concerns are: increased commuting by car for work and services which the village does not have; increased traffic on an inadequate road network; pressure for places at Alexander Hosea Primary School, which is already oversubscribed, and the impact on Little Avon River and Lower Woods Nature Reserve.

It says that for the scheme to be viable the village would need a bypass, a dedicated multi-user path for two miles along the road to Yate, a mini-supermarket, a location for satellite health services, school buses to secondary schools and subsidies to improve public bus services.

The parish council’s stance is supported by the Wickwar Residents Action Group, which has a website and a Facebook group with close to 250 members.

Crest Nicholson has been carrying out its early consultation since December, leafleting homes and directing people to a dedicated website, inglestoneroadwickwar.co.uk.

The parish council has asked for the consultation to be extended on the grounds that more than 300 homes in the village have not received leaflets, and that it has taken place during Tier 3 restrictions and then a lockdown.

The developer is due to attend the parish council’s online meeting in February.

On its website for the proposed development, Crest Nicholson says it wants to create a "sustainable residential community", including new open spaces and a "greater diversity of habitats".

Hedgerows will be retained, the company says.