Cross-party opposition to proposals for 1,100 homes on site by airfield
BRISTOL councillors of all political parties are calling on a neighbouring authority to throw out plans for 1,100 new homes on land next to Filton Airfield.
The decision on whether planning permission is eventually given lies with South Gloucestershire Council but city councillors were asked to put forward their comments.
The development control committee for Bristol North met yesterday and unanimously recommended refusal for the scheme.
The plan, submitted by Persimmon Homes and Ashfield Land, is to build 1,100 homes, together with a new primary school, public open space and landscaping, on 133 acres of land off Wyck Beck Road, a dual-carriageway linking Henbury and Cribbs Causeway.
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The site is bordered by the Avonmouth-Filton railway line, the dual-carriageway and the airstrip.
Bristol planning officers had already recommended refusal due to the development being "very car dominated".
A report before councillors said that the proposed Cribbs and Patchway new neighbourhood would see a total of 5,700 homes and employment land on the airfield and surrounding area. But Bristol's transport officers argued that the whole site should be planned so that all the highway and traffic problems are dealt with from the outset.
Many councillors at yesterday's meeting voiced strong opposition to the plan.
Fabian Breckels (Lab, St George East) said: "This application is very premature.
"This is the destruction of Filton Airfield, which I think the greater Bristol area will come to regret.
"It could have been used as a second small city airport for domestic flights like in Belfast.
"It's a completely stupid idea to destroy this airfield and build on it.
"The plan is very shortsighted and will have a damaging effect on our long term infrastructure."
Leader of Bristol Green Party Tess Green (Southville) said: "The thing we will have is lots more places for people to live but nowhere for them to work.
"Filton is traditionally an industrial area, where people want to work. We should not be prematurely destroying this opportunity – there must be some employment value for such a big piece of land.
"If these houses are built there will be a lot of people looking to Bristol for many of their facilities."
Chris Windows (Con, Henbury) said the idea was "terrible".
"I have serious concerns about the traffic situation," he said.
"It's already a nightmare and this will just make it worse.
"I think South Gloucestershire Council has just got pound signs in its eyes."
Liberal Democrat councillor Trevor Blythe (Clifton) also raised concerns over traffic.
"It's going to generate huge amounts of traffic and there doesn't seem to be any plan for public transport into Bristol," he said.
"We ought to send a message back to South Gloucestershire Council that this should be treated as a much bigger plan.
"Maybe there should be a park-and-ride facility."
The recommendation for refusal will go forward to South Gloucestershire Council, which will make a decision on whether to approve or refuse the planning application at a later date.