Protecting Saltford's green belt: SPC Cllrs meet with Jacob Rees-Mogg MP - Saltford Parish Council

SPC Councillors met with Jacob Rees-Mogg MP today to discuss next steps available to SPC to achieve designated landscape protection for Saltford’s green belt.

The meeting, held at Saltford Hall, was requested by SPC following B&NES Council’s dismissal of SPC’s request originally made in January 2023 (which was reaffirmed by SPC in January 2024) for landscape designation at Saltford’s green belt south of the A4 Bath Road (originally referred to by SPC as ‘Saltford South’).

Actions available to SPC with regards to B&NES Council’s dismissal of SPC’s request for landscape protection were discussed, including options for SPC to appeal directly to the Secretary of State or to follow the Judicial Review process. Any future actions with regards to these options would be resolved at a SPC meeting should SPC Councillors request as an agenda item for discussion.

Image shows Jacob Rees-Mogg MP with members of SPC’s Planning Policy Working Group – L-R: Cllrs David Halton (Vice Chair), Phil Harding (Chair of Planning) Jon Godfrey (Chair) and Gary Graveling (Member of Planning Committee).

SPC Councillors also valued the opportunity to express SPC’s concerns to Sir Jacob about the significant negative impact of 1,300 residences proposed for Saltford in the B&NES Local Plan Options Consultation (800 at ‘South Saltford’ and 500 at ‘West Saltford’). This included that, should ‘West Saltford’ occur, the green belt between Saltford and Curo’s Withies Green development in Keynsham would measure just 160 metres.

Photo shows Cllr Gary Graveling highlighting to Sir Jacob Maps the significant impact of proposals on Saltford’s rural identity

SPC’s concerns and other views on proposals in the Options Consultation for both Saltford and other areas can be found in SPC’s robust objection comments submitted to the Local Plan Options Consultation, as resolved at SPC’s March 2024 meeting and submitted to B&NES Council.

SPC Councillors welcomed Sir Jacob’s recognition of the important purpose served by Saltford’s green belt. Sir Jacob expressed at the meeting that he would be willing to make representations to the Planning Inspector on behalf of SPC at the Local Plan Public Examination should this be requested. (A timeline for the Local Plan process can be found on B&NES Council’s website here).

SPC Councillors also took the opportunity to express their concerns about the B&NES Local Plan process, specifically relating to the webform issue impacting the successful submission of responses. SPC had flagged the issue to B&NES Council earlier in the week, and Saltford Parish Council has advised residents to ensure that they received confirmation emails for all sections of the Options Consultation completed as this can only be achieved by clicking twice on the ‘submit’ button (and if not received, to resubmit). SPC has recommended B&NES Council make all residents in the B&NES area aware of the need to click twice to submit, and requested they resolve the webform issue. SPC awaits further response, and will have this as an item on its April agenda.

SPC Councillors appreciated the generous amount of time given by Sir Jacob to listen to – and provide comment on – the concerns raised at the meeting.

SPC continues to encourage residents to respond via online or post to the Local Plan Options Consultation by the 8 April end date.

SPC Planning Policy Working Group: Cllrs Gary Graveling, Jon Godfrey, Phil Harding and David Halton

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