SPC letter to B&NES Council - LPPU Main Modifications consultation - Saltford Parish Council

As resolved at Saltford Parish Council’s October 2022 meeting, SPC has written an open letter to B&NES Council following a consultation opening on the Local Plan Partial Update (LPPU) Main Modifications.

The Local Plan Partial Update consultation is on the B&NES Council website and residents can respond until 2 November. A consultation on preparations for the new Local Plan has recently opened, SPC will respond to this at its 1 November meeting. More information can be found here on our website.

Saltford Parish Council’s open letter to B&NES Council states that SPC will not be submitting specific comments on the main modifications covered by the consultation as SPC fundamentally opposed the modifications to policies effecting Saltford. A full copy of the letter is below.

The Parish Council’s letter has been sent to B&NES Council’s Head of Planning and Deputy Head of Planning (Policy).

It has been copied in to Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Cllr Kevin Guy (Leader of B&NES Council), Cllr Tim Ball (B&NES Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Licensing), Saltford’s B&NES Ward Cllrs Duncan Hounsell and Alastair Singleton, the Inspector for the LPPU Examination held in the summer and to Keynsham Town Council.

A full copy of the letter is as follows:

B&NES Local Plan Partial Update (LPPU) Main Modifications Consultation 

This is to confirm that Saltford Parish Council will not be submitting specific comments on the main modifications covered by this consultation as the modifications concerning two East Keynsham safeguarded land sites, are modifications to policies that effect Saltford and which the Parish Council, like Keynsham Town Council and many local residents, are fundamentally opposed to, i.e. the removal of policy KE3b to thereby allow new housing developments totalling over 280 dwellings described in policies KE3c and KE3d, i.e. safeguarded land at East of Keynsham. 

However, the Parish Council resolved at its meeting on 4th October 2022 that due to the seriousness of this matter, it wishes to place on the official LPPU record that it is extremely disappointed that B&NES Council has not learnt from the mistakes of its existing Local Plan by overruling the expressed concerns of elected representatives for the area affected by prematurely seeking the development of safeguarded land in the LPPU. 

As described in the Parish Council’s submission resolved at its 5th October 2021 meeting for the main LPPU consultation, if the cumulative effect of new housing developments leading to the current levels of traffic congestion around and within Keynsham and on the A4 corridor between Bristol and Bath had been correctly predicted by transport projections when the original 2014 Core Strategy housing developments and other developments to the east of Bristol and in South Gloucestershire were permitted, it is doubtful that B&NES Council would have been so irresponsible as to have agreed to such negative consequences of that over-development in and around Keynsham that has evidently occurred. 

Those mistakes will now be compounded. By deciding against local advice to add further housing developments at East of Keynsham in the LPPU, B&NES Council plans to make peak time traffic congestion and gridlocks even worse for Keynsham and its surrounding area including the Bath Rd A4 through Saltford. Based on the past performance of transport projections including for the capacity of local roads to cope with new commuter traffic, the Parish Council is concerned that local roads cannot absorb yet more locally based traffic of the volumes likely to arise. 

Furthermore, the Parish Council is not confident that the sustainable transport measures proposed in the LPPU will, even if they are fully delivered by the developer, create a significant modal shift away from car commuting. Existing experience shows that it is inevitable that the new 280 dwellings on safeguarded land at East of Keynsham will further exacerbate the existing severe traffic congestion at peak periods. 

The Parish Council’s LPPU submission of 5 October 2021 and subsequent submissions of 3.5.2022 and 7.6.2022 also covered other issues including, in particular, the lack of public green space, biodiversity, land supply, and lower housing delivery targets for LPAs with a high proportion of Green Belt land, which further made the case for not developing land East of Keynsham. These remain important issues. However, the immediate consequence of the new housing developments will be to further reduce the day-to-day quality of life of residents who are seeking to commute to workplaces, support their children to attend local schools, and carry out their normal daily lives. There are many other negative consequences arising from severe road congestion including increased air pollution, lower air quality and reduced productivity due to prolonged peak vehicle use periods. 

Please note that the Parish Council also resolved to publish this letter on its website to make its position on this issue abundantly clear to the community that its Councillors seek to represent. 

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