PLANS for a massive new housing development in Thornbury have been criticised by campaigners.

The proposed ‘Pickedmoor’ development put forward by the North West Thornbury Landowners Consortium and Barwood Land could see between 700 and 750 new homes built northwest of the Park Farm estate.

The developer has said that space has been set aside in the development for a community centre and public facilities, with suggestions including a new primary school or medical centre.

Many in the town have criticised the continued approval of development, with Thornbury currently facing hundreds of new homes from a series of prospective and approved developments around its borders, including the recently approved 350-home Cleve Park development and the 3,000-home Buckover Garden Village, which has begun public consultation.

Barwood planning director Rebecca Mitchell said that while the firm appreciated some will be “overwhelmed” and “concerned” over the impact of further growth, they were also aware house prices had soared in the area, in part due to so few being approved.

She said: “The primary reason we are progressing a planning application now is to demonstrate that should more sites be needed then the land to the west of the Park Farm site is the most suitable and deliverable option.”

As part of the public consultation, an exhibition was hosted in Thornbury Methodist Church Hall on Monday, with representatives of the developer talking through the proposals.

Thornbury Methodist Church Hall on Monday, with representatives from the developer talking through the current masterplan for the site.

Ms Mitchell said that comments during the exhibition would be taken away for consideration, and that no decision had been taken on the timescales for the submission of an application.

“We are committed to continuing our engagement with the local community,” she said, “and to guarantee that should the development go ahead, meaningful community benefits will be delivered, including where possible to help address identified local priorities.”

Colin Gardner, co-chairman of residents’ action group TRAPP’D, said he was “concerned” by the proposals.

He said: “The number of homes they are suggesting puts a huge hole in the JSP, as Thornbury is only meant to be taking the burden of 500 new houses, and 350 have just been approved for Cleve Park.

“These sites are all supposed to be within accessible walking distance to the town which is nonsense really. We are just concerned that the town is slowly moving away from the town centre.”

Thornbury town and South Gloucestershire Cllr Maggie Tyrrell added that the proposals were not just “over the edge” of the town, but were “over the precipice as far as Thornbury is concerned”, with the plans well beyond what the council had previously been told would be the settlement boundary.

“It is way beyond what the town can sustain,” she said. “There is no consideration to any of the issues like infrastructure that we have been raising all the time.

“They might be proposing extras like a primary school and community space but they have no responsibility for them, they just use them as a sales pitch, but we have heard so many of these pitches that we don’t fall for it anymore – we just know there isn’t the funding for these things.”