Councillors under fire as extra housing proposals in Thornbury are debated
PARK Farm was on everybody’s minds as plans for 250 homes off Morton Way were discussed during a heated debate at Thornbury Town Hall.
Town leaders were due to consider their options after the local authority announced the extra houses could be built on the edge of Thornbury.
But the meeting soon turned into a trial with the public condemning councillors once again for "pushing" development on the Tudor deerpark instead of Morton Way and opening the door to more development.
Christine Ricard, a member of action group Save Thornbury’s Green Heritage, blamed leaders for allowing building both at Park Farm and Morton Way to become reality.
She said: "You are responsible for opening Pandora’s box. You can’t put the lid back now. Councillors having a hissy fit and declaring we don’t want housing on Morton Way are not presenting a logical argument."
Last month inspector Paul Crysell, charged with reviewing South Gloucestershire Council’s core strategy, decided an extra 850 houses should be constructed in the region over the next five years.
Although against the move, planners agreed if push came to shove, to put around 250 homes out of the 850 on Morton Way.
Town councillors strongly objected to the decision.
Resident Charles Eardley-Wilmott blamed councillors at the meeting for backing Park Farm instead of Morton Way in the first place. He urged them to launch a judicial review to shelve the inadequate plans and start over.
He said: " I believe you should consider a judicial review seriously for the benefit of Thornbury."
After some strong words from the public, the meeting descended into a shouting match between independent and Lib Dem councillors.
A majority of members eventually opted to write to the inspector and South Gloucestershire Council formally opposing the plans.
They agreed to demand the inspector reopen the examination in public, if necessary, to consider all sites available for housing in the region and not just Morton Way.
Cllr Maggie Tyrrell said the council was angry not to have been consulted by the local authority before it opted to earmark Thornbury for futher development.
She said: "We have always as a council had the opinion that if we start building on the other side of Morton Way, it will open the floodgates to more development and more development."