South Gloucestershire agreed to a Liberal Democrat motion calling on developers to build the homes they have permission for, instead of constantly adding more and more permissions with no strategic plan.
Proposing, Cllr Maggie Tyrrell said: “It feels like we have no control over planning at the moment. I fear the new planning document we passed tonight will be as useless as the Core Strategy. Given all the work put in, it seems to be completely overridden by one sentence in the National Planning Policy Framework. The frustration is overwhelming. Thornbury has never said ‘no more’ to housing – we just want some control over the process.
“I hope this sends a message to our officers, and to Government. Please, let us build communities, not sprawling estates that take 20, 30 years to develop a community.
Cllr Clare Fardell added: “We have in fact got our 5 Year Land Supply – but the developers aren’t building it! Thornbury has accepted around a thousand new houses, and more has already been agreed, with more in the pipeline behind. It is absolutely absurd. We used to ask what kind of place South Gloucestershire was – and we realised we had many strong communities. They were all different, and all had pride in their communities. This is what we want to foster, which is so hard when we just get more and more piled in.”
The motion passed unanimously, and read:
Council acknowledges that Thornbury has accepted multiple new developments in recent years, including 500 homes at Park Farm, and 300 at Thornbury Fields.
Council also notes that Thornbury Town Council has worked constructively with South Gloucestershire, seeking to integrate these new developments with the existing town. Council believes that well-planned development can breathe new life into towns, by increasing the economic and social activity present.
Council recalls that planning permission has been granted for approximately 12,000 homes that remain unbuilt across the District.
Council calls upon developers to make progress building homes for which they already have planning permission, rather than seeking additional permissions, which worsen the strategic needs of the communities they will be adding to.
Council calls upon government to take action to allow Councils to take into account permissions already given when calculating the 5 Year Land Supply.