New twist in plans to build homes on Green Belt land at Saltford

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By BeckyFeather | Friday, February 22, 2013, 10:32

In a new twist in Crest Nicholson's plans to build homes on Green Belt land in Saltford, the developers' agents have come up with a revised scheme which would see almost 30 fewer properties.

There are now two masterplans on the table for three three fields at Manor Road - one for 99 homes and one for "no fewer than 72 units".

The revised scheme means that Bath & North East Somerset Council planners have extended the deadline for comments until March 6.

The developers have said that the "severe housing shortage" within Bath and North East Somerset justifies allowing development of the Green Belt site.

Hundreds of objections have been received with locals concerned that if the council allows this protected Green Belt land to be developed it will open the floodgates for development on other green fields.

Objectors have also voiced their fears about the negative impact of a high density development on their village, the extra traffic that would be generated in Saltford, with the A4 already very busy, the pressure on local services and the effect on wildlife.

Jim Tarzey, director of Crest Nicholson's agents The Pegasus Group, said in a letter to B&NES' planning office last week that they were aware of the large amount of public objection to the development, including from local ward councillors.

He said: "Many of these objections are based on the erosion of the Green Belt and the fact that the Green Belt is in place to stop the sprawl of urban areas.

"Many objections appear to focus on arguments that the scale of the proposed development is not sustainable given the size of Saltford which is argued to be a 'village'."

Highlighting "Saltford's excellent bus services between Bristol and Bath" and the plans to reopen the railway station, he says Saltford "has the potential to become one of the most sustainable settlements outside of Bath, providing direct access to two of the larest cities within the South West by a short trip".

He adds: "In terms of sustainable planning, it makes entire sense to direct future planned development to such sustainable settlements, such as Saltford, before direting it to more peripheral areas where such transport facilities to not have the potential of beimg available, like they are in Saltford."

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