Greenfield sites at Weston, Odd Down and Lansdown suggested for new homes development in Bath council core strategy
Plots of greenfield land on the outskirts of Bath have been identified for future housing developments as part of the revised blueprint for how the city will grow over the next 15 years.
Experts have identified sites in Weston, Odd Down and Lansdown to be included in Bath and North East Somerset Council’s core strategy.
The land to the east of Weston, just north of Primrose Hill, has been earmarked for 300 new homes, the expansion of the Sulis Meadows estate in Odd Down would have the same number of houses, and the extension of the Ensleigh Ministry of Defence site, which would take in the Royal High School’s playing fields, has been suggested to include an extra 120 homes.
A proposal for development on a small plot of land west of Twerton, near Pennyquick, has been rejected because of concerns about the impact on the World Heritage Site.
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There will also be development on sites in Keynsham and in the Somer Valley area.
The revised core strategy takes the total of proposed new homes catered for in Bath and north east Somerset up until 2029 to 12,700.
Council leader Paul Crossley (Lib Dem, Southdown) said he believed the new plan would satisfy a Government inspector’s request for more housing sites to be identified.
He said: “The inspector’s key concern was the need to ensure that Bath and North East Somerset Council was properly addressing housing needs in the district.
“The council has already been able to identify a supply of around 10,800 new homes through maximising the use of brownfield sites and bringing empty properties back into use.
“Additional locations for new housing have been identified on the edge of Bath, at Keynsham and Whitchurch. The housing supply in the Somer Valley and at sustainable villages has also been increased.”
The reworking of the core strategy came about after a Government inspector deciding whether the document was legally sound criticised the local authority’s original projection that it needed only 11,000 new homes.
Opposition Conservative councillors have said they are aware they will have to compromise on some of their views to make sure the core strategy is passed.
However, they have raised concerns that there are more than 4,300 unbuilt homes which have planning permission and that these should be given priority over development in the countryside.
Councillor Geoff Ward (Con, Bathavon North), who is the party’s spokesman for homes and planning, said: “Conservative councillors will be discussing these proposals in more detail later this week, but clearly some of our group are likely to have serious concerns over some the council’s proposed new housing locations.
“Our principles in approaching this will be that brownfield development should come first, that infrastructure has to come alongside new housing, and greenbelt must be protected wherever possible.”
He added: “It’s important for the council to agree a core strategy in order to protect against opportunistic planning applications, and so we hope that a cross-party way forward can be agreed.
“But we will fight to protect land against inappropriate development if and where necessary.”
The new proposal is due to be discussed at a meeting next Monday, before a consultation is launched over the next few months.
Members of the public will be invited to make comments, which will be considered by the inspector, before the examination continues in June or July.