B&NES Council to purchase Keynsham’s Abbots Wood

Bath and North East Somerset Council is set to buy Abbots Wood in south Keynsham from the Woodland Trust. The purchase of the woodland from the Trust will pave the way for the Council to sell land adjacent to the woodland, known as the ‘K2A’ site, for new housing development.

In a report by Council officers, the authority says that the purchase of the land is necessary in order to resolve a right-of-way issue which could otherwise prevent the sale of the land from going ahead. If the sale goes ahead, it will open the door to 266-houses being built on land between Abbots Wood and Charlton Road in Keynsham.

Alan Hale (Cons, Keynsham South), the area’s local councillor, has welcomed the fact that safeguards have been put in place to ensure the woodland continues to be protected for community use.

However, Conservative councillors in the town have voiced concerns over the impact the new development will have on local infrastructure and are pressing the need for road improvements to be made to cope with the additional traffic.

Councillor Alan Hale (Cons, Keynsham South) said:

“It’s welcome news that the Council’s proposed purchase of Abbots Wood includes a safeguard to protect it for community use, a protection which was originally established in the mid-1990s by way of a restrictive covenant to ensure its use was only as woodland and for the enjoyment of the public.

“However, Keynsham as a whole, and south Keynsham especially, is already having to cope with a significant amount of new development, and these plans will put more pressure onto our town’s roads and local infrastructure.

“The Council needs to ensure that it seizes the opportunity to improve local road connections. In particular I’ve longed called for a road linking the current K2 Meadows development to Charlton Road to ease traffic on Park Road, but not to the detriment of Abbots Wood. Also, if this further development is to take place there desperately need to be improvements to road connections to the A37 to avoid all the extra traffic piling onto Charlton Road and the town centre.”