Development would destroy our village
Saltford's prized greenbelt has been protected from new development in the council's latest core strategy planning blueprint. But it wasn't always guaranteed to end up this way.
It was interesting to read Duncan Hounsell's take on the B&NES Core Strategy in your letters pages last week (Chronicle March 7) claiming that Liberal Democrat councillors have kept Saltford's green belt out of the council's housing plans.
In fact, it was our Liberal Democrat-run council which actually proposed that Saltford's green belt be considered for 5,000 new houses in the first place.
With B&NES desperately trying to find sites for new housing development, the threat of thousands more houses on the edge of Saltford was a genuine possibility. If it were not for the fact that Councillor Haeberling, our fellow Conservative councillors, Saltford Parish Council, and I put forward strong arguments to prevent this plan ever getting off the drawing board, we could now be facing this prospect.
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Such large-scale development would destroy the character of our village, not to mention the countryside surrounding it. It would also bring the A4, which is already at capacity, to a standstill.
In putting forward the case for Saltford to take so much development, B&NES tried to dangle the carrot that this number of houses could pay for a bypass of the village. We made it clear that whilst a majority of residents would like to have a bypass to ease traffic in the village, thousands of houses on our green belt was not a price that we, or local people, are willing to pay.
The fact that we have ultimately managed to secure protection for Saltford's green belt in the core strategy will also help bolster our arguments against the current planning application at Manor Road.
Councillor Mathew Blankley Cons, Saltford