Last time I stood for election in Stockwood, I warned that 'they're moving the countryside further away'. Sure enough, it's all beginning to take shape now.
A new town in our own back yard.
While development plans for the Ashton Vale/ Barrow Gurney green belt have been hitting the headlines recently, we've not heard so much about the equally controversial bid for massive development along south-east edge of the city, bordering Stockwood and Whitchurch, and stretching to Keynsham and Hicks Gate.
That's about to change, as Bath & NE Somerset council consults on its 'Core Strategy' to guide future planning. It sees the development centred on Hicks Gate and on the fields around Whitchurch village.
In the next couple of weeks, they'll be holding two display and drop-in sessions to explain the options that are being considered in relation to a potential SE Bristol urban extension. Both take place at Whitchurch Community Centre (off Bristol Rd, about opposite Maggs Lane) between 3.30pm and 7.30pm. They're on Monday 2nd and Friday 6th November.
The BaNES website at www.bathnes.gov.uk/corestrategy shows the Core Strategy. It's called the 'final approval version' which doesn't give much confidence in their willingness to change anything now!. The details of the SE Bristol Urban Extension can be found in Chapter 5 - much more comprehensive than the map above.
Deadline for comments is December 11th.
Meanwhile, the Friends of Stockwood Open Spaces somehow find themselves as one of the first ports of call for developers and planners in the area. Our (I confess an interest in this, as the secretary) 'to do' list now includes offering a local (pre-planning application) opinion of possible brownfield residential development immediately behind the Hollway Road shops. There's also an invitation from the City Council's 'Urban Extensions Project Manager' (honest!) to feed into a 'South Bristol Retail and Centres Study' commissioned from consultants GVA Grimley.
Arguably, Stockwood needs a separate and representative group of residents with an interest in local planning to take on these tasks.