Housing Development

posted 17 Jan 2012, 03:58 by Phil Handy   [ updated 28 Mar 2013, 05:18 ]
Barratt Development are in the early stages of a process which may lead to the development of 400 houses on the edge of Frampton Cotterell/Coalpit Heath and, on Monday 16th January, a number of local residents whose homes are closest to the proposed site were invited to a "workshop" with the stated aim of allowing local people some input into the planning and design process.

The proposed site is adjacent to the existing "Meads" development currently being built off Heather Avenue and will extend as far as the railway embankment to the south and to Badminton Road to the south east where a new access road is being considered near to the railway viaduct.  See the map below where the Meads development site is shown outlined in blue and the proposed new site is shown in red.

Proposed housing development site

The workshop was preceded by a site visit which was attended by about a dozen local people. As could be seen by those attending, the site is currently productive agricultural land which is also used by local people for enjoying the countryside or walking their dogs and by wildlife such as deer, foxes and herons which are frequently seen in the area.


Local residents visiting the green field site which Barratt want to turn into a housing estate

Following the site visit, the workshop was held at Crossbow House with about 40 local residents attending. Barratt's representatives stressed that the purpose of the workshop was to give local residents an early opportunity to influence the planning of any housing development. A number of residents stood up to state that they were opposed to the development in any form and an informal show of hands revealed NO local support for the proposal.

Some residents chose to leave the meeting at this point. The workshop then sought to get the views of those attending about how any development might look, a challenging task since the overwhelming view was that the existing green fields was the best use for the site.

Key issues which came out included:
  • People value the "village feel" of Frampton Cotterell/Coalpit Heath.
  • The rural environment and access to the countryside are also highly valued.
  • The additional traffic generated by an additional 400 homes would add to existing problems during busy periods as well as having a negative effect on safety particularly for children walking or cycling to school.
  • Public transport serving the villages is limited as are opportunities for jobs locally so any new residents would need to commute by car.
  • The villages already have overstretched facilities such as doctors, dentists and schools. The villages also have a 5 year waiting list for allotments which people would like to use to grow their own vegetables.
  • Distance from the existing local shops would only encourage people to drive to do their shopping rather than shopping locally. Provision of a shop within the development would be of limited use except to people living nearby and/or would give rise to more traffic with people driving to get to the shop.
  • Provisions for young people in the community are already limited leading to concerns about anti social behaviour simply because of the lack of alternative activities.
In summary none of the local residents who attended this meeting were in favour of development of any sort. The village feel of Frampton Cotterell and Coalpit Heath are highly valued and no-one wants them to be turned into just another suburban sprawl.  

Additionally the South Gloucestershire Council Core Strategy does not designate this land for development and says that the policy for villages is that local people should be involved in deciding what new development is needed.

Barratt's representatives propose to hold more public meetings in the near future including ones in the Westerleigh parish as, although any development would be contiguous with residential areas in Frampton Cotterell, the proposed site lies in on the Westerleigh side of the parish boundary. Ensure your views are known either by attending these meetings or by contacting this website.

Panoramic view of the  site from the public footpath 
(all of the visible fields as far as the railway embankment on the horizon are within the proposed development site)