Concerns over new draft planning strategy for West of England

By BathNES Lib Dems 🔶, Oct 21, 2016 3:10

Draft plans that will shape the future of development in the West of England have this week been approved for consultation by the Cabinet of B&NES Council. Effects in B&NES will include additional housing developments for Keynsham and Whitchurch, ‘urban intensification’ for existing communities and a slew of proposed road projects.

Will_Sandry_(small).PNGOldfield Councillor Will Sandry is the Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Homes and Planning. He commented:

“The public consultation on these proposals is welcome and it’s vital that as many local residents as possible engage with the process. No decisions have yet been made and I want to hear from the Cabinet that they are willing to listen to the responses they receive.”

“There are a number of areas of concern in the proposals, which are already attracting criticism from residents and campaigners across the West of England. Areas of B&NES which are already due for major development are likely to receive even more housing, with over 1000 extra homes in Keynsham and 3,500 in Whitchurch.”

“B&NES is taking on overflow from Bristol and South Gloucestershire as the Councils in the West gradually increase their cooperation. These new and growing communities will only work if the infrastructure is put in place. The plans have plenty of road building suggestions – including an unwelcome resurrection of the discredited Saltford bypass plan – but little to say on facilities such as schools and doctors’ surgeries. I also question whether the £7.5bn price tag for transport projects is really achievable, even over 20 years, given the squeeze on spending.”

“This Strategy also offers little to the communities in the Somer Valley and to improve links to the South and East of Bath. We need more joined up thinking between Councils beyond our traditional partners in the former Avon.”

To find out more about these proposals, please see the dedicated website from the West of England Partnership: The consultation will run from 7 November to 19 December 2016. 

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