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Local Group Name - Campaign to Protect Rural England

Bristol region: as green as it claims, or gone west?

Thursday, 22 November 2018 10:12

The current proposals from the West of England Combined Authority – the so-called Joint Spatial Plan - are a worrying continuation of business of usual.

Bristol and the wider West of England ‘city region’ (the former county of Avon) should be a fruitful area for a greener, smarter approach to housebuilding and development than we’ve seen in recent years. Bristol is the birthplace of the National Cycling Network, it was European Green Capital in 2015, and in recent years significant strides have been made to re-use derelict brownfield land and regenerate the centre of the city. Bath is unique as the whole city has been designated a World Heritage Site. The well-established Green Belt has been critical to maintaining a sense of the countryside in and around both cities. The Forest of Avon initiative has sought to increase tree cover in, and public access to, the area’s countryside and has been celebrated by well-known local artist Richard Long.

When one digs deeper, though, the kind of growth that has recently taken place in the city-region has caused major problems for the environment.

The current proposals from the West of England Combined Authority – the so-called Joint Spatial Plan - are a worrying continuation of business of usual. In short:

The Plan has taken a lot longer than expected to finalise, mainly because so many of the proposals lack robustness. There will still be scope for local people to have their say a recently announced consultation, with comments due on the 7th January 2019. CPRE is pressing for what we think is a better approach. In particular:

We need to build more housing in the West of England. But a lower target, with clearer location criteria, would be more realistic than the 105,000 being proposed in the Plan. A better-planned West of England will however mean many more genuinely affordable homes, well connected to an excellent public transport network, and a more beautiful and accessible countryside.

© CPRE Avonside, PO BOX 1621, Bristol, BS40 5YG | Phone: 07854 741130 | Email info@cpreavonside.org.uk | PRIVACY POLICY