MORE THAN 110 residents from Thornbury, Falfield and the surrounding area visited a public event on Friday to find out how a proposed garden village fits into South Gloucestershire’s future housing plans.

The roadshow event on Friday at Falfield Village Hall for South Gloucestershire’s next local plan is the last in a series of events that have also covered Charfield, Coalpit Heath, Thornbury, Yate and Chipping Sodbury.

A local plan is the mechanism by which councils set the rules and requirements for new developments and will be informed in part by the West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) which outlines housing targets across the region up to 2036, and is currently in the drafting stages.

At the event, which focused primarily on the proposed 3,000-home Buckover Garden Village, residents were given the chance to ask SGC planning officers about the Local Plan, with questions on sustainability, transportation and infrastructure very much the talking point.

The Buckover Garden Village, which has been put forward by the Tortworth Estate, proposes a new settlement on the borders of Thornbury, Falfield and Tytherington, causing considerable debate in recent months, with many residents up in arms about the plans.

Following the opposition by the community, with thousands of residents having said they would be against the proposals in a survey led by Thornbury and Yate MP Luke Hall, applications for government support and funding have been turned down.

Nevertheless, the plans appear to be looked on favourably by South Gloucestershire Council and the West of England Combined Authority, with the proposals being allocated up to 2,200 homes in the latest draft of the JSP.

Cllr Colin Hunt, SGC’s cabinet member for planning, transportation and the strategic environment, said: “We are pleased that the local community has been engaging constructively in these sessions, because their feedback will help us to ensure the plans we adopt in the future reflect their priorities.

“We need to plan for growth, not just in housing, but also in space for businesses to establish or expand, to provide job opportunities for the community.

“To deliver this in a sustainable way we want this community input to answer questions about what this growth should look like and what infrastructure and community facilities should be delivered alongside new housing or business premises. 

“A good, strong Local Plan, based on sound evidence and local community input, means we are much better placed to demand that developers deliver what we want and need. We look forward to more local input from across South Gloucestershire next year when we will publish the full draft Local Plan.”

Following the event, James Wilson, south west residential land director for St. Modwen, the proposed village’s developer said: “We welcome and value the views of local people as part of the planning process and we fully respect the need for South Gloucestershire Council to do so in an impartial environment where the landowner and developer are not present.

“We look forward to taking these views into careful consideration to ensure that the master plan for Buckover Garden Village provides a lasting legacy that everyone can feel proud of in years to come.”