Feud between Oaklands Drive residents in Almondsbury and care home developer Options Group has happy ending
A FEUD between Almondsbury villagers and care home developers, which had left everyone involved feeling confused and misunderstood, has had a happy ending.
In November, the Gazette reported Oaklands Drive residents' concerns after an application was lodged by Options Group to turn derelict buildings in their peaceful cul-de-sac into a home for young people with autism.
As part of the scheme, the firm planned to fence off the fields and woods used by the villagers and their children, as well as local groups - a move they strongly opposed.
After failing to get in contact with Options Group and feeling "out of the loop", they set out to protect the land at the bottom of their road and surrounding the proposed care home by having them declared village green.
In January, however, Options Group agreed to a meeting with the members of Oaklands Drive Action Group (ODAG), ending the heated row and putting villagers’ minds at ease.
Tracy Sparrow, of ODAG, said residents would not be going ahead with its village green application after all.
"A couple of weeks ago we met with the Options Group," she said. "It was a very successful and much-needed meeting and all agreed that this should have taken place several months ago.
"Options were extremely accommodating and explained in depth about their residents, which put our minds at rest. We will not be going ahead with the village green application."
Following the discussion, the developers promised to fence off only part of the fields to allow the children safe access to their beloved paddock.
"They have also agreed that our children can still have access to the paddock and that they will build a small fenced path going into the paddock so our children don’t have to go around via the A38."
Options Group also pledged the new care home would not lead to increased traffic down the quiet road.
Chief executive Graham Baker said: "I am pleased that we have been able to resolve a number of issues to the benefit of the local residents and given assurances on other matters.
"We have suggested that we build on the positive relationship that we have now established with residents and they have agreed to the formation of a liaison group."
Options Group's planning application for a care home on Oaklands Drive was due to be voted on today, Thursday, February 14, by councillors at a meeting of South Gloucestershire Council's development west committee.