Conservatives welcome Core Strategy approval

Conservative councillors and campaigners have welcomed the approval of South Gloucestershire Council’s planning blueprint.

Approved at a Full Council meeting in mid-December, the authority’s Core Strategy has set out plans for 21,500 more homes up to 2026, whilst protecting the countryside surrounding Chipping Sodbury, as well as the Shortwood Green Belt and Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

These areas had been under threat by the previous Labour government’s Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) and its target for an unsustainable 32,800 more homes.

Expressions of support for the Core Strategy were presented at the Full Council meeting by Conservative councillors and local campaigners.

Conservative councillor for Boyd Valley, Sandra Grant, said:

“I am delighted that the Green Belt that protects the villages of the Boyd Valley has been further strengthened through approving the Core Strategy.”

“But it was disappointing to see some Liberal Democrat councillors vote against this on the night.”

Fellow Boyd Valley campaigner and Dyrham and Hinton parish councillor, Ben Stokes, was one of those to make a public submission at the council meeting. He said:

“We know that developers are looking for the slightest hint of uncertainty which would allow them to submit their outrageous planning applications, including on the local Shortwood Green Belt.”

“Doing anything other than approving the Core Strategy would have given them the early Christmas present that they crave.”

A submission of support for the Core Strategy was also made by Cotswolds campaigner, Helen Heeley, said:

“I made my submission to the council meeting because, as a resident of Badminton, I welcome the Core Strategy’s protection of the Cotswold Green Belt and the Area of Outstanding Beauty because this is hugely important to the local area and the residents that live here.”

Chipping Sodbury campaigners Paul and Wendy Whittle also made representations at the South Gloucestershire Council meeting in support of protecting countryside east of the town that the developer, Maximus, is promoting for massive housing development. They said:

“St John’s Way forms an important barrier and should not be breached and we are pleased that the Core Strategy confirms this. It’s another nail in the Maximus development coffin.”

The Core Strategy will now be submitted for examination by a planning inspector in 2011.

Source: Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council