Councillors pledge to fight Greenbelt threat

Conservative councillors representing Saltford and East Keynsham have pledged to fight to defend the Greenbelt land which separates the two communities.

The promise comes after it emerged that a developer has put forward proposals which could see up to eight hundred new homes built on the last remaining piece of countryside between Keynsham and Saltford.

The threat to the Greenbelt is contained within a submission by developer Mactaggart & Mickel to Bath and North East Somerset Council’s consultation on its Core Strategy, which earmarks the sites the Council deems appropriate for new development.

Local councillors in the area have said the proposal is totally unacceptable and will be pressing the Council to reject the idea outright. The submission by the developer also comes just months after local councillors successfully fought to prevent B&NES from earmarking Greenbelt around Saltford for up to 5,000 new houses on within its Core Strategy.

Keynsham East Councillor Marie Longstaff (Cons), who also Chairs the Council’s Planning, Transport and Environment scrutiny committee, said:

“Residents will be horrified that the prospect of effectively merging Keynsham and Saltford with new housing has once again reared its head. We have successfully fought against such a proposition before and we will continue to campaign against such a damaging plan.”

Saltford councillor Mathew Blankley (Cons) commented:

“The Greenbelt which stretches from Hicks Gate along the A4 to Bath is there specifically to prevent Saltford and Keynsham being swallowed up by a Bristol and Bath conurbation. Residents value the openness of this land, which protects the distinctiveness of our local communities. We will simply not allow for this land to be bulldozed.”

Fellow Saltford councillor Francine Haeberling (Cons) added:

“In addition to the need to protect our Greenbelt, there is also the issue that our local roads and infrastructure simply cannot cope with more development on this scale, with the A4 already at capacity.

“Fortunately, the decision on whether to earmark this land for housing doesn’t sit with the developer – it rests with B&NES, and we will continue to fight to defend our valued Greenbelt from being destroyed in this way.”