Developer hosts exhibition on plans for up to 800 homes in Coalpit Heath

June 17 2019
Developer hosts exhibition on plans for up to 800 homes in Coalpit Heath

A DEVELOPER has hosted an exhibition on its proposals for up to 800 new homes and 80 care units in Coalpit Heath.

Bloor Homes wants to build on around 39 acres of a 185 acre (75 hectare) site on land east of Roundways, which is currently in the Green Belt.

The developer is currently working on an outline application and its exhibition, held in early June, was attended by more than 200 people.

Bloor says the application will include a new two-form entry primary school with facilities that would be shared with the community, a local centre for community use, open space with children’s play areas, landscaping, and two new access points for traffic onto Roundways.

Ground investigations have taken place because of the presence of mine workings on the site, and both local campaigners and councillors who attended the exhibition remain unconvinced about the proposal.

Pete Connors from pressure group VALID (Villagers Against Local Intended Developments) said: “VALID have consistently raised the concerns of local people about the unsustainable nature of the proposed development.

We are clear that local transport, health and education infrastructure will be unable to cope, and that remedies put forward by the developers are vague, unfunded, and have no agreed timescale. If they happen at all it will be long after the homes are built.

In the meantime, our community’s unique identity will be destroyed.”

Frampton Cotterell ward councillor and Liberal Democrat group leader on South Gloucestershire council Claire Young said: “Nothing at the exhibition changed my view that building in one of the narrowest parts of the Green Belt, on top of extensive mine workings, is a very bad idea.”

We will continue to make this case at the upcoming JSP public hearings. Local people were disappointed Bloor Homes hadn’t seen the feedback from previous drop-ins about this site.

Their biggest concerns were the loss of open countryside, drainage and highways issues, but there were also questions about the plans for a new school, extra care housing, the impact on wildlife and other issues.”

VALID is urging people to consider Bloor Homes’ proposals in the broader context of the West of England Joint Spatial Plan. Another 1,000 homes are proposed for the remaining part of Roundways under plans submitted to the JSP and potentially another 2,000 could be built between Coalpit Health and Yate.

No planning decisions have yet been made. The whole 75 acre site has been identified as a Strategic Development Location and put forward for consideration as part of the JSP. Public hearings examining the detail of the JSP start this month at Bath Guildhall, with a hearing focusing on the greenbelt on July 10. A session relevant to Bloor Homes’ proposal will be heard on October 8. Both are open to the public to attend.

A spokesman for Bloor Homes said: "More than two hundred residents and their elected representatives from the parish and district council attended and gave us their views.

"The exhibition detailed the considerations being made in evolving a development plan and sought to give residents an opportunity to shape community infrastructure at the site.”