Action group formed to fight green-belt housing development
HOUSEHOLDERS in the Hambrook Lane area of Stoke Gifford have formed an action group to fight a proposed housing development on green belt land.
A new "mixed development" called East of Harry Stoke is included in South Gloucestershire Council's planning blueprint for the period up to 2027, to help it meet its housing targets.
Around 2,000 homes are planned on green belt land between UWE and Winterbourne Road.
Dr Nicola Hembry, leader of the new Hambrook Action Group and whose family have lived in the area for the last 60 years, believes the development will further congest the area and ruin local wildlife habitats.
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She says she represents a growing group of residents who are opposed to the development.
Dr Hembry claims people have not been informed by the council about the proposed development and believes the majority of locals in Stoke Gifford are still ignorant of it.
She told The Post: "I have formed a group in opposition to the proposed development which will take the last bit of green belt land in this area, which is also a flood plain, and will further congest an already extremely congested area.
"There is already substantial development underway at Cribbs Causeway, and the brownfield site of Filton airfield, where there will be thousands of new homes.
"Planning permission for 1,200 houses at Harry Stoke has also been granted – and this proposed development is double that.
"We haven't seen any evidence identifying the specific need for even more housing in this area on green belt land.
"It will take the only remaining bit of green belt land and natural habitat in this area, and suggesting that a few trees planted along the motorways and ring road will somehow provide wildlife habitat and make up for the loss of this precious green belt is a deception.
"There have not been any leaflets delivered by the council, or notices posted. It is arrogant and unfair to suggest that people should find out for themselves.
"When I found out about this proposed development, I personally informed as many local people as I could – this was the basis for the group, as local residents have not been involved in decisions regarding this proposed development.
"I feel it would be wholly undemocratic if concerns are not answered properly by the council as residents are the people who will be affected most by the proposed changes to the land."
A South Gloucestershire Council spokesman said: "The council has provided a wide range of opportunities for local people to learn about and comment on the proposals for the new neighbourhood east of Harry Stoke and associated infrastructure.
"These consultation opportunities were publicised in a variety of ways and the proposals were also discussed during the public examination of the core strategy, which was held last summer."
The Hambrook Action Group has organised a public meeting at the Little Stoke Community Hall at 2pm tomorrow.
Local MPs, South Gloucestershire Council and Bristol mayor George Ferguson have been invited along to discuss the proposed development.