Major housing scheme heads to public inquiry

April 29 2018

A CASE against a plan to build up to 370 homes on open farmland on the north side of Thornbury will be developed by opponents before a ten-day inquiry in the autumn.

As reported in Thornbury Voice last month, South Gloucestershire councillors were being recommended to say they would have rejected the controversial scheme for nearly 60 acres off Gloucester Road if they had been able to do so.

They subsequently followed the recommendation, after the Voice went to press, and voted unanimously against the outline application.

But it will be down to a planning inspector to make a formal decision on the proposal as South Gloucestershire Council had not determined the application within a designated period.

House builders Bovis and members of the Fear family lodged an appeal against the non-determination as a result of the delay and evidence from all sides will now be put before the inspector at a hearing in September.

However, the resolution made by members of South Gloucestershire’s development control committee will form the case to be presented by the council.

The scheme involves building on agricultural land stretching from Upper Morton to Crossways Lane at The Knapp, taking development further out of the town into the countryside towards Whitfield alongside the B4061.

Thornbury Town Council, pressure group TRAPP’D - Thornbury Residents Against Poorly Planned Development - the Campaign to Protect Rural England and parish councillors in neighbouring Hill and Oldbury-on-Severn, as well as many individuals, are fighting to stop the building.

Opposition has been raised on a number of grounds, including development in open countryside, the unsustainable nature of the scheme and the harm it could cause to the hamlet of Upper Morton.

There is concern about the closeness of the site to that of the proposed Buckover garden village on Tortworth Estate land - a controversial scheme in itself - and fears of flooding downstream of Thornbury.

Objections have also been raised over increased traffic, road safety concerns and increased pressure from so many new households on the town’s GP surgeries, schools and sewerage systems.