Inquiry set to consider plans for 500 new homes
By The Bristol Post | Thursday, May 10, 2012, 05:00
CONTROVERSIAL plans for 500 new homes in Thornbury will be considered at an inquiry into South Gloucestershire's development blueprint, with a day set aside for evidence to be heard.
The row over the housing proposal has led to the time being allocated specifically to look at issues affecting the town.
An area at Park Farm has been identified in the core strategy document prepared by South Gloucestershire Council to cover development of the whole district up to 2026.
But families living near Park Farm are fighting the proposal. They are especially angry at what they regard as ineffective consultation before the site was put forward for building, claiming they were unaware it was even being considered.
Thornbury Town Council believes such a scale of new homes will bring more families into the area and give a boost to the struggling town centre and local primary schools.
The area in question is about a mile from the town centre and extends from the back of The Castle secondary school towards Butt Lane.
The core strategy will be the subject of an examination in public starting on June 19 at Kingswood Civic Centre.
It will be led by inspector Paul Crysell, who has already raised questions over the number of homes proposed for the entire district.
South Gloucestershire Council leaders believe 21,500 is the right level – down on the 33,000 previously imposed by the last government – but Mr Crysell said the lower target could have implications "for the economic vitality and robustness of the region" and lead to higher levels of commuting.