South Gloucestershire Council is currently consulting on proposals for land to be allocated for up to 20 homes at Westerleigh in its Policies, Sites and Places planning document. This page gives some more background to the proposals.
How we got here
The Core Strategy, the planning blue print for South Gloucestershire, did not set out housing numbers for the rural areas. Instead it said South Glos would work with Parish Councils and local communities to review their housing needs. So in 2013, South Gloucestershire Council wrote to all Parish Councils asking if they believed they needed any more development in their Parish. Westerleigh Parish Council said that no more was needed in Coalpit Heath, but a small amount in Westerleigh would help the vitality of the village, support local services and provide homes for young people.
South Gloucestershire Council ran a well-attended consultation event in July 2014. The responses were mixed – as were the responses I got when I asked residents what they thought over the summer. The Parish Council reviewed what people had said and agreed for South Glos to move to the next stage. This was for planning officers to look at possible sites around the existing settlement boundary for Westerleigh and do an initial assessment as to whether they would be suitable, then consult on their findings.
Effect on the Green Belt
Westerleigh village is currently washed over by the Green Belt. The sites considered for development are outside the existing settlement boundary. Allocating a site would mean changing the settlement boundary to include it, taking the site out of the Green Belt, along with some of the land inside the existing settlement boundary.
The latest consultation
Planning officers presented the results of their initial assessment at another consultation meeting on 1st December and have since made the documents available online. The documents include:
The next steps