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Greenfield sites at Weston, Odd Down and Lansdown suggested for new homes development in Bath council core strategy

By Chron_News  |  Posted: February 26, 2013

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Comments (34)

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.

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.

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34 comments

  • waynejkc69  |  March 03 2013, 4:36PM

    ' If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.' Acid house tune from the 90's

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  • waynejkc69  |  March 02 2013, 7:41PM

    Yes Viscount! It appears that many who protest housing fail to look deeper into any wider social, environmental and economic concerns - even when it indirectly affects their own future. Many bee keepers now recognize that bees in cities do better than country bees. This is because cities and city gardens have less insecticides and a greater variety of flowers than the countryside! Here protesters are trying to ' protect the countryside ' and yet they have little idea what that really means. Many people throw around the word ' weed ' not knowing that what it really means is ' native plant domestic to the local environment '. People the word ' weed ' like it is a blood-sucking parasite, yet what it really it is the life-blood of our eco-system. Adverts push the idea of ' weeds being bad ' and ' synthetic environment poisoning pesticides ' as being good - only because the pesticide comes in a very brightly coloured plastic bottle: a very clever marketing plan and these protesters are falling hook-line-and-sinker for it. Gardens are paradises for wildlife IF people use them as havens. As stated, gardens are safer than mono-culture fields that are not the real countryside, merely a factory conveyor belt for food products - most of which is destroyed by waste and over production. Humans are a rather sad species. The very nature of humans is to destroy; not only their wildlife, but any future they wish for their children. All this I can blame on the media. Did you know the BBC's number one pension asset is BP? This company produces billions of tonnes of pollution and the BBC won't report it because its pension depends on it making profit. There in lies the conflict of interest.

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  • Viscount_V  |  March 02 2013, 10:15AM

    I agree Wayne, research has suggested that a larger variety and diversity of wildlife exists in your average row of back gardens than in any overworked agricultural field. We don't need to follow the sixties model of cramming housing with little or no green spaces and concrete jungles. For the future green wedges between housing and adequate gardens with sympathetically built houses would improve the environment and prospects for all. In essence, content communities with secure housing and green spaces for recreation and wildlife within them. There is more than enough land, people have just become complacent about their right to an unsullied green view, it would be better to think beyond this and consider the benefits of the wider security and happiness of those set to fall between the cracks in current housing mis-legislation. In the end it will benefit us all.

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  • waynejkc69  |  February 28 2013, 11:39AM

    Another factor that could be considered is having large areas of land left as fields for use as SSSI's (Site of Special Scientific Interest). These are areas that are naturally left to develop a wildlife structure already in place. However, SSSI's - and many people forget this - can be created by future planning and nature organizations. In fact, if you look at Sheffield - a place I thought as crowded and run down before I went there to visit relations - they have massive areas left untouched between the urban developments. These were ' legacy lands ' privately bought and left for future generations to enjoy. Sheffield is stunning in the fact that you can think your are driving through little towns when in fact it is still the city divided by huge areas of countryside. Building pretty houses is another option and not these boxes developers create. Always a good thing. And finally on this entry, why do people not use their own gardens as nature habitats? That really confuses me no end. People time and time again grow plants that are foreign to the UK environment or foreign to the soil in their area. This is crazy. There are many beautiful flowers and plants that not only feed our dying wildlife, but require less watering (due to their native resilience), less maintenance and create SSSI's in people's own gardens. It seems another insanity is that we cry ' we want our countryside for future generations to enjoy! ' yet at the same time pesticide, herbicide and insecticide the life out of it to create this sterile, hostile world. Then we look to the countryside - the one destroyed by mono-culture - to save our consciences. Bizarre! I have been doing social, environmental and financial investment research for over 13 years and I have poked around in many places to get to where I am. This has involved sending tens or thousands of requests for information. I work hard in my private time to find solutions. On this housing issue there are many solutions. Please have a look for them as they exist everywhere.

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  • pippamilnes  |  February 27 2013, 10:11PM

    I bumped into the land owners of odd down at an event in town and i got the impression that the prospect of putting homes on their land was weighing down on them. It was a really interesting conversation and not one i would have expected from a farmer who'd hit the jackpot. I got the impression that if the council allocated their land they would produce a scheme which would leave a legacy. It was a very considered discussion which has changed my approach from 'over my dead body' to that of 'let's see what they propose'. I'd be the first the tie myself to the diggers but having met the family i will give them the benefit of my doubt. Pip.

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  • waynejkc69  |  February 27 2013, 7:46PM

    @Viscount_V: You are right! Housing is a right and not a privilege. I am insulted by the actions of seemingly ' sane people ' who say, ' Isn't the world a terrible place with no hope for young people? ' and then at the same time do everything in their power to destroy their future. It is a proven fact that many ' criminals ' suffer a housing problem and yet here people are making sure they create ' criminals ' by denying housing to those that are desperate for it. How can they do this with a clear conscience while they sleep safe in their ' own home '? That's like me saying, ' I feel sorry for children who are abused, while at the same time abusing my own '. Crazy! Hypocritical! A sure sign of insanity. We need to build housing that ensures our children are safe, healthy and are able to afford to raise a family ABOVE the poverty line. We fight so hard to extend the lives of people and create a safer environment, yet at the same time get upset that the population expands. Why? One of our main problems is that the UK now sells education to immigration students. I am not against selling a service, in fact it helps spread the English language because we are so open to immigration, however these same education facilities should be asked/made to build student housing. That is where the mistake is being made. Another issue is that we are part of a migrant worker union, but again we failed to create the housing required, or at least incrementally open the border, until we knew the number of migrant workers wanting to come to the UK. That was bad planning by the UK Government (ALL OF THEM NO MATTER WHAT PARTY) when we pay them £millions/£billions to do appropriate planning. In fact, the UK Government is under a duty of care to to plan properly. We need housing OR we need in the UK to consider looking at renegotiating the European Union agreements. Take your pick. But while it takes the next 100 years to decide one thing is for sure, people live longer and the borders are still open. We need more housing and we need it now. Finally, ' No '. I am not a member of any political party. This is my own subjective opinion based on clear objective evidence.

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  • Viscount_V  |  February 26 2013, 10:31PM

    Housing is a basic human right not a privilege. Those who seek to deny others in the biggest housing crisis since the end of World War 2 best take note, unless you want shanty towns on your doorsteps stop objecting to the vital and inevitable. Both ParadigmShift and Wayne are both right. How far will our self centred begrudging of new homes and communities get us when we're 6 feet under leaving a generation that were raised in B&B's. They could be your children or grandchildren. Was it the Americans that said "we're all a couple of wage packets away from homelessness"? It's never more true.

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  • waynejkc69  |  February 26 2013, 10:30PM

    The people that vote against housing are the people responsible for making the Banks rich beyond belief. House prices are high because there is great demand. When something is rare then its price inflates. You are helping push up house prices and this are part of the problem. Second, you are also responsible for needing guarantors these days meaning your children will need you as a guarantor because house prices are so high and thus mortgages. You now put your own homes at risk and Banks love that as they get two for the inflated price of one. Not wise of you. Third, people that vote against new houses create health problems for those needing housing or affordable housing. In effect you push up the NHS bill meaning higher taxes and a sicker population. Why do you want to play the devil when you could be playing God? It defeats reasonable explanation. I can imagine the little girl (propaganda photo in this article) say, ' I can't afford to ever have my own home and the rents are so expensive I can never save for one '. I can not see you lot telling her in the future that it was you that destroyed her chances. If you really care about people help them have a home or let them share yours. But stop making people homeless, poor and sick. That is what you do when you deny the young homes and a place to raise a family. Think about it.

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  • ParadigmShift  |  February 26 2013, 10:06PM

    The shortage of land to build on is a fallacy - in Britain 70% of land is still owned by less than 1% of the population. This is all detailed in the book 'Who Owns Britain' by Kevin Cahill, where the hidden facts behind landownership in the UK and Ireland are revealed. Who Owns Britain is the only detailed look at landownership in Britain in modern times. It: Tells the story of the 'Lost Doomsday', the return of Owners of Land of 1872, until now the only comprehensive record of landownership in Britain ever compiled; examines who owns what in all 118 counties of Britain and Ireland and it compares landownership in Britain and Ireland then and now, highlighting how in Britain 70% of land is still owned by less than 1% of the population. It reveals the immovable vested interests of Britains landed aristocracy; since perpetuated by a misguided or deliberately misinformation-spreading environmental and countryside protection movement. The book also reveals the myth behind the alleged sarcity of land - less than 8% of the country is under concrete. The ongoing failure of the Land Registry - 76 years on, up to 50% of the land in England and Wales remains unregistered. The scandalous undervaluation of the Crown Estate and its role as the next great Goverment sell-off... How the Church of England has 'mislaid' 1.5 million acres it owned 100 years ago... The startling accumulation of land by the Royal Family, who now own or control the equivalent of an average-sized county in England.... The vast landholdings of the Dukes of Buccleuch/Northumberland/Sutherland and Westminster etc.

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  • waynejkc69  |  February 26 2013, 9:20PM

    What's rather scary is that all of you who vote not to build on land live in houses that were built on land - most of them built on old green belts. Do you not see the irony in that one too? You own a house and now want to stop other people having a home. Where is your sense of decency and fairness? You may vote me down, but I am one of the few that is telling the truth.

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