It is long but there are a lot of things that need to be said
I wish to object to the land being allocated in the core strategy for Odd Down and Weston,
SPC6 (Broad Locations) object to allocation for the sites at Weston and Odd Down for the following reasons, which are expanded on later:
- Their allocation doesn't fit NPPF guidance on allocation of land in the AONB
- The sites are urban sprawl and against green belt policy
- Neither site is sustainable as employment would be in the city centre not on the outskirts.
- There is no need, by increasing the housing density on the brownfield sites the need for greenfield development would be removed.
- In the case of Odd Down would damage the setting of the Wansdyke
- Co-coalescence of Bath and Southstoke may occur.
- For Weston this site is visual from a number of locations in Bath and would damage the world heritage setting of the City.
SPC14 (Need for Greenfield sites) I object to the this paragraph as I believe that increasing the density of housing on the brownfield sites would remove the necessity of building on the greenfield sites. Council's assessment has shown to sustain the number of houses required for job creation that only 10,000 hours would be required, this would exclude the greenfield sites
SP15 (economic growth) The council rightly says that economic growth will be directed along Western Corridor, but then allocates land at the edge of Bath, these areas being the worst possible possible in terms of sustainability in already transport poor areas. A petition is being collected against the cost of First's bus fares, the monopoly supplier of bus services in Bath, meaning it is likely that the developments will be car based. This could have been alleviated by increasing the density of housing in the surrounding areas.
SPC19 (Green Belt boundaries) Green Belt requirement is defined in NPPF as “The fundamental
aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open;” The allocations at Odd Down and Weston will be fundamentally opposed to this principal. The land allocated will create urban sprawl, although the core strategy document talks about small scale local employment, there are limited examples within Bath of this occurring. In reality this will just provide housing, with employment being outside of Bath or as the council indicates with the river corridor. It would mean that the current urban areas will be expanded.
SPC24 (Green Belt boundaries ) Same as SPC19
SPC47 ( Green Belt boundaries) Same as SPC19
SPC54 housing at Odd Down and Weston See SPC 88 and SPC89 comments
SPC78 (Outer areas contributing) Same as SPC19
SPC87 General Same as SPC19
SPC88 (Odd Down) NPPF states “Planning permission should be refused for major developments in these designated areas except in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated they are in the public interest.” The council is proposing that 12700 houses should be built in the plan period, for Odd Down this represents 2% of the housing proposed, combined with Weston this totals 4%. Overall the level of error of a plan that is 15 years long could not justify the allocation of this site being in the public interest.
The paragraph goes on to say the need for the development, including in terms of any national considerations, and the impact of permitting it, or refusing it, upon the local economy; Evidence from the Council shows that there is only a need for 10,000 houses if only the need for jobs is considered in looking at housing number requirement.
Further paragraphs say “the cost of, and scope for, developing elsewhere outside the designated area, or meeting the need for it in some other way; and” This could be met by increasing the density of housing within other brownfield sites, and therefore the allocation should not go ahead.
The proposals don't fit within the final sentence in this paragraph any detrimental effect on the environment, the landscape and recreational opportunities, and the extent to which that could be moderated. There are a number of footpaths to
Protection of the Wansdyke should be an important consideration, even though a large stretch is within the council's ownership, a management plan has not been developed, destruct has taken place when the council built Threeways school. These proposals will not enhance the setting of the Wansdyke, with the potential for creating urban development both sides of the Wansdyke.
The village of Southstoke is quite different in character to the surrounding areas, with a lot of the housing built in a different style and from a different time to surround Bath areas to create a co-coalescence of Southstoke with Bath would not be desirable. Currently the village is separated by only 500 meters, to reduce this distance would effectively make Bath and Southstoke one urban entity.
One of the settings of the AONB around Bath is the escarpment at Odd Down, which is viewable for many miles around if building occurs on the plateau there is a distinct possibility that light pollution will be seen from miles fundamentally altering the character of the AONB in this area.
SPC89 (Weston) A lot of the objections to Odd Down apply to Weston, as defined by NPPF guidance on building on the AONB.