B&NES Core Strategy – ‘Greenbelt must not be put at further risk’

Local Greenbelt must not be put at further risk as a result of additional delays to the production of Bath and North East Somerset’s Core Strategy planning blueprint, Conservative councillors have said.

Conservatives have said that B&NES must be robust in its defence of the Greenbelt after the Planning Inspector looking into the authority’s Core Strategy challenged some aspects of the Liberal Democrat-run Council’s plans.

Conservatives have also said that the Council should be committed to defending against opportunistic planning applications from developers whilst it resolves the issues with its draft Core Strategy.

In a letter to Bath and North East Somerset Council, the Planning Inspector, who is responsible for signing-off the Core Strategy, highlighted concerns over the Council’s consultation process and challenged the authority to defend its proposed housing numbers.

B&NES Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Tim Warren, said:

“The Council must be robust in its response to the Planning Inspector and make it clear that we will absolutely not accept any further threat to our area’s Greenbelt. Government policy is clear on the issue of protecting Greenbelt, and the Inspector must abide by it.

“It is now incumbent upon B&NES to demonstrate to the Inspector that it has followed the correct process in calculating its housing requirements.

“We do have concerns about the impact the delay to signing-off the Core Strategy could have on the Council’s ability to control development in our area. We will therefore also be seeking reassurance from the Council that it will robustly defend against unwelcome and opportunistic planning applications for developments which are damaging to local communities.”