Labour councillors in South Gloucestershire say they couldn’t positively support the “flawed” Core Strategy as presented to the Council last week because it sacrifices both Filton Airfield and areas of Green Belt for development.
The revised Core Strategy, supported by the council’s ruling Conservatives, will agree 26,435 new homes to be built in the district in the period up to 2026. This is almost 5,000 more than the previously-agreed figure of 21,500 which all political parties campaigned for at the last council elections. 5,700 new homes will be built on Filton Airfield and neighbouring sites in what planners call the ‘Cribbs/Patchway New Neighbourhood. In addition to using the Airfield site, this neighbourhood would also eat up Green Belt land west of the A4018 at Cribbs Causeway (the Clifton Rugby Club site).
Explaining Labour’s position, Group Leader Councillor Andy Perkins (Labour, Woodstock) said:
“South Gloucestershire needs to get a Core Strategy in place so that the council has an agreed plan against which development proposals can be judged. This will be even more necessary now that the Coalition Government is relaxing planning laws with a presumption in favour of development.”
“However, the version put forward is deeply flawed and was never going to attract Labour support as we have been unambiguous in our defence of the airfield. The removal of Green Belt in Patchway is another factor preventing us from voting for it.”
“The Tories are doing a major U-turn as they adamantly campaigned against higher housing numbers and against building on the Green Belt. They have now voted to do both. I deeply regret that the airfield and neighbouring sites around Cribbs Causeway have been targeted to become the dumping ground for thousands more homes. I fear great economic, transport and environmental damage for all the neighbouring communities if these plans are confirmed in their current form.”
“The revised Core Strategy will now go through a period of public engagement and I urge local residents to join us in using that opportunity to express their opposition to building on the Green Belt and sacrificing Filton Airfield for development.”
Source: South Gloucestershire Labour