Sunday, 16 June 2013

Frequently asked Questions about 300 houses at South Stoke

We felt it would be useful to put up a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) regarding our position on building on the greenfields around Bath. This will be updated as questions arise.

Of course this is NIMBYism

No, the council is proposing to build 12,700 houses, this is something we support. There is evidence to show that over 3,000 social houses are required. To build these we need to build the 12,700 houses.

There is an alternative to Weston and South Stoke, that is to increase the density of housing building on the existing brownfield sites.  In Bath there is a proposal to build 6,600 houses, of which 600 are to be built at Odd Down and Weston. The density of build is around 35/40 per hectare. Oldfield Park is 90 per hectare, so increasing the density is not unachievable. For information Georgian Bath is 120 houses per hectare. This issue is the level that current developers would accept, we feel that they should have to accept the higher level.

This is is AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) this designation, which is the highest in planning terms, means something then . National guidance, NPPF, paragraph 116 says

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. Consideration of such
applications should include an assessment of:

● 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;
● the cost of, and scope for, developing elsewhere outside the designated area, or meeting the need for it in some other way; and
● any detrimental effect on the environment, the landscape and recreational
opportunities, and the extent to which that could be moderated.

What happens next

The council's plans goes to a government inspector at a public meeting. Only selected people will be called to speak, if as part of the earlier consultation you asked to speak. This is expected in July 2013.

The inspectors report will then go to government. The options for the inspector are to remove the allocation, completely, to decrease it, leave it as it is or increase it.

After going to government the report will be considered by the council, expected April 2014. This will be a yes or no decision. Accept or not.

As this is a fifteen year plan then there will be a five year review. This would offer an opportunity to remove the allocation then. If it could be shown there was no need for the allocation.

The petition if you wish to sign it is at:

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