Hands off our Green Belt – campaigners

HUNDREDS of people across the Kingswood area have put in comments to South Gloucestershire Council on its proposals for housebuilding for the next 15 years.

Many are concerned about plans that could mean thousands of homes being built on the Green Belt between Shortwood and Warmley.

The Save Our Green Spaces group organised a petition on the change.org website that attracted 2,239 signatures by the time the public consultation ended on February 16.

The petition says: “South Gloucestershire Council has a plan to build 4,240 new houses on Green Belt and virgin land on the eastern fringe of Bristol – from Oldland Common, Bridgeyate, Warmley, Siston, Hanham to Shortwood and Lyde Green. The re-classification of protected Green Belt to development land is unjustifiable on a number of environmental, practical, social and historical factors.”

Campaigners gathered outside South Gloucestershire Council’s offices on February 15 to highlight their objections by holding up a giant ‘cheque”.

Protest organiser Alex Duck said: “Whilst we appreciate the need for additional housing, until all brownfield sites, empty office blocks, derelict houses and infill is utilised, our Green Belt must remain sacred. Our Green Belt is protected. If the Green Belt status can be removed by a simple consultation, what future lies in store for the protected green spaces across the UK.

“Nowhere is safe. Hands off our Green Belt!”

Parish councils and other organisations have also made extensive responses, with one describing SGC’s  emerging Local Plan as “unimaginative and inward looking” and urging it to think again. 

The council will consider all feedback  before finalising its Local Plan, which will set out where in South Gloucesterrshire the homes needed by 2040 will be built.