SPC 'strongly objects' to B&NES Council's Local Plan Options Consultation proposals for 1,300 residences at West Saltford & South Saltford - Saltford Parish Council

At its March 2024 meeting, Saltford Parish Council resolved its response to the B&NES Council Local Plan Options Consultation following consideration of the information shared by B&NES Council.

SPC resolved to compile its response into a document titled ‘B&NES Local Plan Options Consultation 12 February to 8 April 2024 – Response from Saltford Parish Council (resolved by SPC on 5.3.2024)’. Please view this document to see SPC’s full response as submitted to B&NES Council.

Sections responded to by SPC

As in the compiled document, Saltford Parish Council resolved to respond to the following sections of the B&NES Council Local Plan Options Consultation as follows:

Chapter & Section  Response from SPC
Chapter 5 “Bath (Area 1)” Section: South of Burnett, next to A39 (potential site) Comment    
Chapter 6 “Keynsham, Saltford, Hicks Gate and Whitchurch Village (Area 2)”  Section: Keynsham and Saltford: Area overviewPartially Object    
Chapter 6 “Keynsham, Saltford, Hicks Gate and Whitchurch Village (Area 2)”  Section: Keynsham and Saltford: Transport opportunitiesPartially Object    
Chapter 6 “Keynsham, Saltford, Hicks Gate and Whitchurch Village (Area 2)” Section: Keynsham and Saltford: Site options – Site Option: North KeynshamPartially Object    
Chapter 6 “Keynsham, Saltford, Hicks Gate and Whitchurch Village (Area 2)” Section: Keynsham and Saltford: Site options – Site Option: West SaltfordStrongly Object    
Chapter 6 “Keynsham, Saltford, Hicks Gate and Whitchurch Village (Area 2)” Section: Keynsham and Saltford: Site options – Site Option: South SaltfordStrongly Object    
Chapter 6 “Keynsham, Saltford, Hicks Gate and Whitchurch Village (Area 2)” Section: Keynsham and Saltford: Site options – Site Option: SE KeynshamStrongly Object    
Chapter 9: “Development management policy options” Section: Green Belt  (Option B)  

SPC ‘strongly objects’ to proposals at South Saltford and West Saltford

In its responses to the sections of the Local Plan Options Consultation listed, the Council resolved to submit comments relating to all sections as detailed in the document. This included robust comments in reference to proposals at ‘South Saltford’ (800 residences + primary school) and ‘West Saltford’ (500 houses + primary school) to support SPC’s ‘Strongly Object’ stance to the proposals, including that:

  • The unwelcome precedent from the creation of new housing developments on Saltford’s Green Belt land would undermine that important planning constraint that helps Bristol and Bath maintain their unique identities and provides surrounding green open spaces that are essential for protecting the quality of life for city dwellers.
  • Further new housing developments on Saltford’s Green Belt land would contravene policy RA1
  • Losing local green space and footpaths to development would cause considerable harm to the health and wellbeing of residents whilst increasing demand for a limited resource.
  • The overall increased demand for the remaining open green space would place further harmful pressure on local wildlife habitat.
  • The Bath Road A4, cannot take more housing. Recent new housing developments had resulted in prolonged periods of heavy traffic congestion which harmed the economy and made local travel increasingly difficult and unreliable.
  • The narrow lanes between Keynsham and Saltford used for rat-running to avoid congestion on the Bath Road A4 would become less safe or usable for walkers and cyclists (including school children).
  • Saltford’s Green Belt rich mix of habitat for nature was important for a wide-ranging richness of wildlife, and that in the ecological emergency it should be protected and enhanced, not built on.
  • Losing agricultural land to development would show a lack of foresight and be irresponsible during the ecological emergency and when the UK obtains 40% of its annual net food requirements from overseas.
  • Saltford, now a large rural village, had already undergone significant development since the 1950s and 1960s, and that since 1961 Saltford had grown by 36% from a population of 3,044 in 1961 to 4,133 in 2021. Saltford grew by a significant 58% between 1951 (at 1,928) and 1961 (at 3,044) and by a massive 114% from 1951 to 2021 (source: census data).
  • Saltford had reached the peak of its growth potential if it is to retain its rural countryside setting without drastically reducing the quality of life for existing and potential new residents moving into new housing developments whilst having a negative impact on neighbouring settlements (including Keynsham, Corston, and Newton St Loe), as well as further reducing the open green spaces outside the city boundaries desired by Bristol and Bath residents alike.

Supporting information submitted to B&NES Council

Further to the above, the Council resolved to submit ‘The Saltford Area of Great Landscape Value – Planning Policy and Character Appraisal by Saltford Parish Council’ dated March 2024, as evidence to support its response to the B&NES Council Local Plan Options Consultation. It was noted that the document included reference to SPC’s original bid to B&NES Council for designated landscape protection at Saltford South of the A4 (in its ‘Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) or Local Green Space (LGS) designation for Saltford South’ paper dated January 2023).

Raising awareness of SPC’s response

The Council resolved to submit SPC’s ‘B&NES Local Plan Options Consultation 12 February to 8 April 2024 – Response from Saltford Parish Council (resolved by SPC on 5.3.2024)’ response by post by the 5pm end date on 8 April 2024, and that it would include a copy of ‘The Saltford Area of Great Landscape Value – Planning Policy and Character Appraisal by Saltford Parish Council’ dated March 2024. This was resolved according to the options given on the B&NES Council Local Plan Options Consultation ‘Submit Your Feedback’ page.

As a courtesy, the Council resolved to submit by email a copy of SPC’s ‘B&NES Local Plan Options Consultation 12 February to 8 April 2024 – Response from Saltford Parish Council (resolved by SPC on 5.3.2024)’ Options Consultation response with a copy of ‘The Saltford Area of Great Landscape Value – Planning Policy and Character Appraisal by Saltford Parish Council’ dated March 2024 to the B&NES Council Planning Policy Team, copying in Saltford’s B&NES Ward Councillors. It was also resolved that SPC would send the same to Keynsham Town Council.

Residents encouraged to respond directly to the consultation by 8 April

Residents are strongly advised to submit their own responses to the Local Plan Options Consultation by the 5pm end date of 8 April 2024. Information can be found on B&NES Council’s Local Plan webpage.

SPC has created a web article titled ‘Proposals for 1,300 residences on Saltford’s Green Belt: B&NES Council’s Options Consultation Opens (12 Feb – 8 Apr)‘ , which signposts residents to the Saltford sections of the Options Consultation as well as sharing useful information from B&NES Council’s website and the ‘drop-in’ event held at Saltford Hall.

(Image below shows proposed locations for 1,300 residences in Saltford, and information from B&NES Council’s Local Plan website)

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