Green Belt vote looms
Councillors to vote today on ‘sound’ future development plan
South Gloucestershire’s Core Strategy future planning blueprint for the next 14 years will be voted on at a meeting of all councillors today (Wednesday 11th December).
The vote follows a Planning Inspector’s ruling in recent weeks that the council’s blueprint is 'sound', which has delighted Green Belt campaigners.
Councillors can now consider whether the plan - which includes 28,355 new homes and runs until 2027 - should be formally 'adopted' for implementation at tomorrow’s Full Council meeting.
This plan will help deliver the new jobs, homes and infrastructure South Gloucestershire will need in the future.
And at the same time, vast swathes of Green Belt land will also be protected, including down the eastern side of Kingswood which had been threatened with a new ‘urban extension’ under plans set out in the previous Labour Government’s controversial ‘Regional Spatial Strategy’.
Councillors fighting to protect the Green Belt have welcomed the news. Boyd Valley Conservative Councillors Steve Reade and Ben Stokes said:
"For those of us who have been campaigning to protect villages like Pucklechurch, Shortwood and Wick from damaging urban sprawl, the last few weeks have been very encouraging and we look forward to the council meeting.
It's important that we can provide the new homes and jobs that our residents need, but in a way that doesn't concrete over our precious local Green Belt, which needs to be preserved for future generations."
"We have been fighting the risk of inappropriate development along the eastern fringe of the Bristol-South Gloucestershire urban area for several years before we got elected and we will continue to fight to safeguard the area.
Some small scale development is necessary to keep some villages viable and sustainable, but this can be done by working with local people and without swamping them."
The strategy also includes the creation of 3 new Enterprise Areas focused on Filton, Severnside and Emersons Green, which will deliver thousands of new jobs.