Outrage from villagers over house building proposals
Published on: 01 Dec 2017
CAMPAIGNERS opposed to large-scale house building plans for Coalpit Heath are outraged that their concerns appear to have been “disregarded” so far by the West of England authorities.
The controversial Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) includes an allocation of 1,800 new homes for the village up to 2036 - the life of the document.
Residents are worried about the effect of that scale of building on the locality.
They said they feared local roads, schools and health services would not be able to cope as the village would more than double in size.
Pete Connors, a member of action group VALID - Villagers Against Local Intended Development - said: “Building at Coalpit Heath would be in one of the narrowest sections of the green belt in the West of England.
“Together with other developments planned for Yate and Nibley it would lead to Coalpit Heath losing its identity and becoming part of a ribbon of development leading more or less continuously from Yate through to Emersons Green.”
VALID was formed last year to raise awareness and fight the proposals and its members have urged people to get involved in a recently launched consultation on the JSP, stressing that it was not yet a “done deal”.
In total, South Gloucestershire is set to expand by 32,500 homes up to 2036. Yate, which is already getting large scale house building, is earmarked for at least 1,000 homes more in that period, along with employment land, on the edge of the town, at Engine Common, Nibley and on to Westerleigh.
Other allocations include 1,200 in Charfield and 500 in Thornbury, both areas having already seen large numbers of new homes.
A 3,000-home garden village in Buckover, near Thornbury, could see half that number built during the JSP period.
The plan sets out the overall amount of residential and employment development and where it should be located in the West of England, as well as the infrastructure to support it.
South Gloucestershire Council and the authorities in Bristol, Bath and North Somerset have each debated the plan and agreed that consultation should go ahead, with the process now running until January 10.
Liberal Democrats voted against the plan when it came up before South Gloucestershire councillors.
Pat Hockey (Lib Dem, Frampton Cotterell) said: “This JSP could have been a great opportunity to plan for the future of our area and combat the national housing crisis.
“Instead it has sold South Gloucestershire down the river with an over-concentration of new houses, few of which will be affordable for local people.”