A HOUSING developer has submitted plans to South Gloucestershire Council to build nearly 400 homes in Frampton Cotterell.

Barratt Homes is seeking planning permission for 380 houses on Woodlands Farm, despite strong opposition from local residents.

The firm has made several revisions to its masterplan for the site since a consultation event in December where numerous complaints about the scheme were raised by villagers.

Residents claimed the 400 homes planned would result in houses being squeezed in and that the development would cause Frampton Cotterell to become gridlocked.

Barratts has now reduced the figure by 20 and is negotiating with bus companies to divert services through the development so commuters can use public transport instead of their own cars.

The company’s strategic land director for the South West, Jeremy Sutcliffe, told the Gazette this week: "We expect there to be further changes as discussions with the council continue during the planning process.

"We do not have a decision date in mind but we feel it is important to get it right."

At the public exhibition last month, Barratts was accused of misleading residents over wording in its publicity material which said a planning inspector had confirmed Frampton Cotterell was suitable for development.

Cllr Claire Young (Lib Dem, Westerleigh) said the area had not been identified for housebuilding by planning inspector Paul Crysell, in his examination in public of the council’s Core Strategy planning blueprint last summer.

Barratts, however, said it was referring to a previous planning appeal for its adjacent housing development, The Meads, in 2009. A different planning inspector then said Frampton Cotterell was an appropriate and sustainable location for development.

Added Mr Sutcliffe: "There has been a misunderstanding and it certainly wasn’t our intention to give that impression.

"We believe 380 houses is about right for the settlement size of Frampton Cotterell. The Meads has been one of our most successful developments in recent years so there is a big demand for houses in that area."

The proposals for Woodlands Farm include a multi-use games area, playing pitch, allotments and two water retention lakes as well as numerous open spaces.

A local centre including an independent shop, doctors’ surgery and dentists is also likely to be built and if approved, Barratts would pay for the building of new classrooms at Watermore Primary School as there is not considered sufficient need for a new school.

There would be two main access points for vehicles from Park Lane and off Badminton Road, where traffic lights are being considered to ease queues.