YATE residents are expected to turn out in large numbers for a public meeting on plans for 5,000 new homes in their town.

Northavon MP Steve Webb has organised the meeting to inform residents of proposals for a mass house building programme for the north of Yate.

The Yate-based MP will explain the independent housing report on the South West's Draft Regional Spatial Strategy.

The report, published by the government, sets out how many houses should be built in and around Yate, how much new employment land should be allocated and how the environment should be protected and enhanced.

It proposes 5,000 homes should be built on a corridor of green belt land to the north of Yate between the railway line and the B4060.

Mr Webb said: "Local people are starting to hear about this extra 5,000 houses, but may still have little idea where they might go, where this figure has come from and how residents can register their opposition.

"This meeting will give people a chance to find out more about the plans and what impact they could have on the town."

Mr Webb hopes an action group will be launched at the meeting to campaign against the proposed development.

He said: "There will be a consultation coming up on the plans which we will want to be involved in.

"I am sure a lot of people will want to join in a campaign to get these plans changed and this meeting can be the start of that.

"Whilst there is a need for more affordable housing for local people, development on this scale would overwhelm our area.

"We could lose acres of countryside, find our roads completely grid locked and our public services such as hospitals be overwhelmed.

"If we do not take a stand now, we will be facing the consequences for decades to come."

The independent report is currently being considered by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears.

She is expected to publish a final draft of the panel's report in early Spring and there will then be a final round of public consultation.

The public meeting will be held at Brimsham Green School in Broad Lane, Yate, on Friday (7.30pm).