Residents speak of 'heartbreak' at plans for homes on former Keynsham green belt

Published on: 02 Apr 2016

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April 2016

Public consultation is officially open on proposals to create a new housing estate of 250 homes on land between Keynsham and Saltford.

Developer Mactaggart and Mickel is hoping its masterplan, which includes a new primary school, a network of new footpaths and cycleways and green spaces, will win the support of planning chiefs at Bath and North East Somerset Council within the next couple of months.

The site, which is bordered by the A4 to the north and Manor Road Community Woodland to the south, covers around 12 hectares of agricultural land that was part of the green belt until it was allocated for development to meet housing needs in B&NES Council’s Core Strategy in 2014.

Describing its proposal, the developer says: “Our vision is to create a high quality and sustainable scheme which incorporates generous amounts of open space, respects its location and character, and improves connectivity to the countryside and the town centre.”

In its bid to the council, the company says a public drop-in event held in Keynsham in December resulted in some changes to the proposal, including a reduction in development close to existing residential areas and a “village green” area next to the existing Teviot Road play area.

Concerns over the scheme clearly remain, however, with a number of objections from members of the public already lodged with the council.

In her comment to planning chiefs, Teviot Road resident Charlene Fleck writes: “The prospect of our beautiful views being replaced with whatever they choose to build, within a few metres of our front door is heartbreaking. Also, the concerns raised at the public consultation have appeared to be completely dismissed. We object to the loss of our open space, increased exhaust pollution, the possibility of approximately 500 more cars trying to commute on the A4 with minimal traffic management solutions, increased parking problems and the removal of habitation for the wildlife, the complete loss of green belt land.

“The town infrastructure cannot sustain the amount of new housing that Keynsham has had to endure.”

Vehicles would access the new housing estate via a traffic light-controlled junction between Ellsbridge Close and Harding Place on the A4 Bath Road, which the developer admits in its documents is “already congested at peak times” but says the site was earmarked for development by B&NES in “full knowledge” of this.

The developer says the impact on the local road network will be “negligible”, however, with alternative modes of transport to the car available, including buses and cycle routes, and a travel plan designed to promote these options.

Bath Road resident James Fagan says in his comment that the plans don’t take into consideration the way the site is currently used, saying it “fails to consider the animals i.e. the deer who reside in that area and the other small animals. It fails to consider the needs of the dog walkers, OAP walking groups, schoolchildren who use the fields to get to and from school and also the general users. What about the footpaths which we have been using for many years - how will they be protected?”

Comments on the scheme are being accepted until April 14 and the proposal and all supporting documents can be viewed in full in the planning applications section of B&NES Council’s website, www.bathnes.gov.uk, by searching planning reference PP-04821775.

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