Coalpit Heath housing plan is defeated – but we must stand ready to fight again

October 01 2019
Coalpit Heath housing plan is defeated – but we must stand ready to fight again

Thornbury & Yate MP Luke Hall writes for the Frome Valley Voice

FOR the last four years we have been fighting proposals to double the size of Coalpit Heath. Together, we have waged a fierce campaign to protect our exceptionally beautiful village. We know that building a thousand houses here, without the transport infrastructure, community services and medical facilities to support them, is completely unsustainable.

As the local MP I have fought these proposals every step of the way by taking the fight to Government Ministers, holding debates in the House of Commons and raising the community’s concerns at the highest levels in Government, helping to ensure ministers did not back the Buckover ‘Garden Village’ element of the proposals, which would have put even more pressure on our roads and supported residents and campaigners, including key groups such as VALID.

Together, we have presented robust technical submissions at every consultation opportunity and conducted local development surveys demonstrating our wholesale opposition to the proposals and demanded that other elected officials, like our Metro Mayor, stand by their commitments to our village.

I have now received the Government inspector’s official response to the proposals. It echoes the 2017 speech I made in the House of Commons against the plan – that it is fundamentally flawed – and they have recommended that the plans are completely withdrawn. This is a huge success for Coalpit Heath!

Together we have defeated these plans, for now, and the council will have to go back to the drawing board and start again. But these plans to double the size of Coalpit Heath could still, and may very well, be brought back in the months and years ahead.

Every day that I serve as your Member of Parliament, I will work to ensure Coalpit Heath has real influence, and I will always fight to protect our village.

As ever, if you would like me to keep you updated on the campaign, or if there is anything else I can help with as your local MP, please do not hesitate to get in touch at luke.hall.mp@parliament.uk.