Planners at South Gloucestershire Council are proposing that an extra 3,950 homes be built in the Patchway/Cribbs Causeway area over the next 15 years, on top of existing commitments to build 2,200 homes at Charlton Hayes and 1,750 at Cribbs Causeway and on land south of Filton Airfeld.
The plans for additional homes were revealed in a revised version of the Council’s Core Strategy document, the planning blueprint for the district for the period 2012-2027, issued last week.
The new plan, produced at the insistence of a Government inspector, accepts the closure of Filton Airfield, freeing up land for housing in a new neighbourhood tentatively called “New Charlton” – on the western half of the airstrip.
Further land for housing has also been designated west of the A4018, which is combined with land on the east side of the main road to form a new “Haw Wood” neighbourhood.
Whereas the old plan foresaw 1,750 dwellings in the Cribbs Causeway and ‘south of airfield’ zones, the new plan sees 3,700 in New Charlton and 1.000 in each of Haws Wood and Cribbs Causeway – giving a net increase of 3,950.
The eastern half of the airstrip, extending to the A38 near the Royal Mail centre, will be given over to industrial use in a zone called the ‘Filton Aerospace Cluster’.
The new Core Strategy also includes the possible re-opening of the Henbury Loop railway line, which runs along the southern boundary of the airfield site, to passenger traffic. Safeguarded sites for passenger stations at Filton, west of the A38 opposite Filton College, and Henbury are also identified in the plan.
More info: See how the plans have changed (Patchway Journal)
Local Labour Councillors are arguing that BAE Systems’ decision to close Filton Airfield by the end of 2012 is being used by the South Gloucestershire Council’s planning department as a short-term windfall to plug the gap in housing supply.
Labour Group Leader Cllr Andy Perkins said:
“We know that the Government inspector wants more new homes in addition to the 21,500 initially planned, despite high-profile Conservative and Liberal Democrat election campaigns against growth above this figure.”
“The council is in danger of responding with no long-term vision for the district. The Council is proposing that the airfield should be redeveloped without sufficient work being done on possible alternatives. There is no Plan B if the airfield site is not developed. The neighbouring sites around Cribbs Causeway and the airfield in particular have been singled out as a convenient dumping ground for nearly all of these additional homes.”
Concern has also been expressed about the effect the new housing would have on road congestion and quality of life in the North Bristol area.
Local Cllr Ian Scott (Labour, Filton) said:
“The North Fringe already suffers from terrible congestion and the addition of 5,700 new homes is an awful prospect. Development on this scale would seriously damage the quality of life not only in the immediate areas of Filton and Patchway but in neighbouring districts including Stoke Gifford, Bradley Stoke and Almondsbury.”
“I can foresee the Ring Road, the A38 and the local motorway network gridlocked if this many new homes are built here. We have no assurance that measures to overcome congestion, such as the rapid transit scheme or new passenger rail services, will ever materialise.”
Related links: Filton Airfield (South Glos Post)