By Sam Rkaina, Local Government Reporter / email@example.com
Bristol councillors have objected to plans to build up to 340 homes on green-belt land near Whitchurch.
The applications, from developer Robert Hitchens, are to build on 32 acres of land bordered by Staunton Lane and Stockwood Lane.
They have already attracted criticism from residents who say brownfield sites should be considered before building on green land.
Two planning applications have been submitted and will be determined by Bath and North Somerset East Council as it falls within their remit.
But as the neighbouring authority Bristol is entitled to comment, councillors did so at a planning meeting yesterday.
They weren’t happy with the plans, criticising the principle of building on green land and the potential increase in traffic in an area with little public transport.
The committee agreed with officer recommendations to object to both sets of proposals unanimously.
Councillors Colin Smith (Labour, Bedminster) said: “I do have serious concerns about the effect this will have on traffic congestion and pedestrian safety.”
Councillor Mark Wright (Cabot, Liberal Democrat) said: “The problem we’ve got with building there is that 100 per cent will be commuters, 90 per cent will go to Bristol and ten per cent to Bath.
“We’re doing is simply adding a significant amount of traffic problems and messing up further the problems with sustainability at the edge of the city. It’s completely rubbish.”
Councillor Richard Eddy (Conservative, Bishopston) agreed.
He said: “Any development there will have an impact on traffic in Bristol and on the green belt.”
The smaller of the two applications, for 47 homes on land to the south of Orchard View, has already been refused by Bath and North East Somerset Council, but planning officers believe it is likely to go to a public inquiry.
The other application is for up to 295 homes of between one and five bedrooms on fields north of Orchard Park.
Whitchurch Village Action Group have opposed both schemes.
They argue that if they are approved Whitchurch and Stockwood would “just become one big suburb of Bristol”.
Bristol planning officers also believe the application has not properly predicted peak-hour traffic growth at other nearby developments like Hengrove Park, and say that the overall traffic impact of the new homes has not been adequately accounted for.
The developer has argued the homes would help the Bath council meet its targets for new housing.