A development survey conducted by Thornbury and Alveston’s MP Luke Hall has revealed that 9 in 10 residents are opposed to proposals by South Gloucestershire Council and landowners Tortworth Court to see a possible 3,000 development take place on the outskirts of the town. The development has been promoted as a ‘Garden Village’.
The survey which was sent to every resident in Thornbury received a huge response with thousands sharing their views with the MP on the proposals, the first wide ranging survey the town has seen on the issue.
The survey came from the MP following numerous successful speculative applications to the north and east of the town prompting fears that Thornbury’s services and transport infrastructure would not be able to cope with the expansion.
The West of Englands Housing Plans, also known as the ‘Joint Spatial Plan’ involves the four west of England authorities, Bristol City, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset allocating agreed housing numbers across their respective authorities.
Whilst the Buckover Development proposals have been promoted under the name of ‘Buckover Garden Village’ it was revealed at packed meeting in Thornbury’s Armstrong Hall earier in the year by local MP Luke Hall that the Governments official scheme has decided that the scheme had not met the criteria required to gain the Government or the Department for Local Government and Communities support in progressing the application, casting doubt on the authorities ability to deliver the large scale project successfully.
The bid’s rejection has meant that the authority will not receive capital funding to help leverage the project, funding to employ expert planners to deal with application or advice from the specialist Home and Communities Agency ‘Large Scale application team’.
The MP has since been clear in his strong objection to the plan and has begun campaigning for the plan to be reconsidered.
Other interesting information gained from the survey showed that if extra housing in the area were to go ahead that residents felt health investment was a priority. The breakdown of ‘needs’ were as follows:
37 % felt extra GP facilities were needed
19% would like to see a new train link to Thornbury
14 % felt roads such as the A38 should be invested in
13% said school places needs to be looked at
12% supported the idea of a Thornbury MetroBus Link
With 5% naming other priorities.
Other questions asked included whether residents thought that other authorities such as Bristol city should be taking more of the share of the numbers required with a huge 93% of residents either agreeing or strongly agreeing that it should.
In recent weeks the MP has gained the prospective West of England Mayor Tim Bowles support for a review of the Buckover proposals, if elected. The new West of England Mayor will have important devolved powers over Housing and infrastructure in the region following the 4th of May ballot.
The backing comes as South Gloucestershire council's development control committee began a robust defense of the town in rejecting a speculative housing application off of Morton way, known as Cleeve Park, which could of seen for 300 more homes.
In recent weeks the MP has been joined in campaigning against the proposals by the front runner for and prospective West of England Mayor Tim Bowles who has now said that if elected he will review the proposal. The new West of England Mayor will have important devolved powers over Housing and infrastructure in the region following the 4th of May ballot.
Luke Hall MP commenting on the results said;
“It is really important that I firstly thank the thousands of residents in Thornbury and Alveston for taking the time to provide their feedback to my survey. It’ important to me as our MP to ensure that we are being heard and it has been hugely helpful in helping me keep up the fight for our community. On these proposals our communities’ feelings could not be clearer. There is no support for the 3,000 development a stone’s throw away from our town and I will be doing everything within my powers to make sure we are heard”
Prospective West of England Mayor Tim Bowles added;
“It is clear there is very little support for the Buckover development from residents in the Thornbury and Alveston. I am calling for this development to be stopped. If elected as our first West of England Mayor these plans will be reviewed. I am saying no to Buckover.”