Sunday, 29 June 2014

We urgently need your help

It's not been a good week for our campaign to save Bath's beautiful South Stoke Plateau from 300+ homes.

The Government's Planning Inspector has published his recommendations and he's agreed to release Green Belt land at South Stoke/Odd Down for the building of new houses - effectively doubling the Sulis Meadows estate.

This is despite the fact that these green fields supposedly enjoy the highest level of protection as an Area of Outstanding Beauty (Cotswold AONB) and Green Belt. They are also the location of Bath's little known Scheduled Ancient Monument, The Wansdyke, and a part of our unique setting - a factor in our UNESCO World Heritage City status.

The only good news last week was that the land at Weston will stay in the Green Belt and developers will not be able to build there.

All is NOT lost and the proposal for South Stoke Plateau has to go through many hurdles yet - not least the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles. Just earlier this month he said the Government's drive to build houses must be focused on land which has already been built on "preserving the best of our countryside".

We need you

Our next opportunity to stop the proposal to build at South Stoke Plateau is on July 10 when the Full Council will vote on whether to adopt the revised Core Strategy.

When the Council last voted on changes to the Core Strategy in 2013, 35 councillors voted for it, 19 voted against and 6 abstained.

We want you to put your councillors on the spot. Urge them to vote against the Core Strategy on July 10. Urge them to stand up for the future of Bath, because once we lose our countryside and unique setting, there's no going back.

We believe there is no need to build on Green Belt. It should only ever be the final option when exceptional circumstances have been proven.

In other words, when all brownfield land has been fully exploited and every empty home and disused building filled.

Also, just forcing the developers to up the percentage of affordable homes on existing brownfield sites - or simply building at a slightly higher density on the three ex-MOD sites, would mean that there would be no need to bulldoze our valuable Green Belt.

The Council argues that if the Core Strategy is not agreed, it will leave Bath's Green Belt exposed to speculative planning proposals. This is scare-mongering of the highest order.

Any planning proposal on Green Belt land must still go through the normal planning process, which ultimately ends with Secretary of State.


If you live in Bath, please contact your local councillor (or councillors) as a matter of urgency. A letter works best, but if you're short of time an email is OK.

You can find your local councillors' addresses using this link

You can email your local councillors via this link

Follow our campaign at Our colleagues at Protect Bath afre also fighting the cause -

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