South Gloucestershire housing targets at heart of plan for next decade
AN inquiry that will look at housing targets in South Gloucestershire over the next decade begins tomorrow.
The planning inquiry will set out how the council aims to plan for new jobs, homes and infrastructure which the area will need in the future.
One of the most contentious issues will be the future of Filton Airfield which the owners, BAE Systems, is due to close at the end of the year.
Campaigners will argue at the inquiry that the airfield should remain open but South Gloucestershire councillors have decided that up to 5,700 homes should be allowed to be built there.
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Inquiry inspector Paul Crysell has already indicated that one of the main issues will be to decide if the Core Strategy provides enough housing in the most appropriate locations to meet future housing needs.
The council is planning for 26,400 new homes to be built during the next 14 years, a figure which takes into account potential new housing at the airfield.
The inquiry will also examine a range of other issues including protection of the greenbelt, a controversial scheme for hundreds of homes at Yate and provision for gypsies and travellers.
It will run for 11 days at Kingswood Civic Centre when the inspector will take submissions from organisations, agencies, consultants, pressure groups and individuals.
Mr Crysell will then draw up a report which might include recommendations and which will be put before South Gloucestershire councillors in the autumn.
The aim is to formally adopt the blueprint before the end of the year.
Cabinet Councillor Brian Allinson said: "South Gloucestershire's Core Strategy is a vital blueprint for the future of our district, setting out a local vision for sustainable development and growth for the next 14 years.
"Good planning can make a positive difference to all of our lives and this strategy will ensure that we have the local policies in place to deliver the homes, jobs and opportunities we need, while also protecting and enhancing our natural environment.
"This is a joined-up document that reflects the aims and strategies of a wide range of local people, groups and organisations.
"It would not have been possible without extensive consultation and engagement and I am extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed to its development."
Further information on the inquiry, which is called an Examination in Public, is available at www.southglos.gov.uk/corestrategy.