Keynsham residents will have the opportunity to find out more about B&NES Council’s proposed changes to its Core Strategy at one of two public events being held next week. Both are on Tuesday 22nd April, starting at the Key Centre on Charlton Road from 1.30pm until 3pm and then moving to Wellsway School from 4.30pm to 7pm. An update document and comment form can also be obtained from local libraries, the One Stop Shop at the Riverside or at the Council website www.bathnes.gov.uk.
As we reported last month, a special meeting of B&NES Council approved a raft of changes to the original Core Strategy in order to try and satisfy initial concerns expressed by the Government Inspector. Key among these was finding room for 12,700 new homes to be built before 2029, a rise of 1200 on the figure first proposed to the Inspector. Almost half of these will be in the local area with 200 planned for Whitchurch, a similar number added to the K2 West development and 250 around the A4 on the east side of Keynsham. The exercise is still very much at a broad strokes stage and Council officials have been at pains to point out that areas indicated on the maps they have drawn for each of these proposed sites are not boundaries but simply indications of where they are investigating. The more detailed proposals will come during what is called the Placemaking Plan. This operation complements the Core Strategy by setting out the specific planning requirements of specific sites within the current areas of investigation. A launch document will be published next month.
As for the Core Strategy consultation, once the public events have been completed (they started in Whitchurch) residents have until 8th May to submit their comments. These will go straight to the Government Inspector who is expected to re-start the Public Examination process in June or July. The Council is hoping the Core Strategy will ultimately be approved by the end of the year.