New development proposals for land east of Keynsham

Developers are trying again to get planning permission to build up to 200 homes and community facilities on a 25-acre site to the east of Keynsham.

This week M + M Homes Ltd have launched a public consultation about their plans to develop land off the A4 Bath Road, known as Withes Green.

The land has been removed from the Green Belt and is safeguarded for future residential development in Bath and North East Somerset Core Strategy. It lies next to Crest Nicholson’s new Hygge Park development.

Last August (Issue 590) we reported that the developers had withdrawn the appeal they lodged after being refused planning permission by B&NES in December 2018 for 200 homes, a sports field, access roads, foot and cyclepaths and open space.

There had been more than 300 objection comments to the application. The council decided that the site was not currently allocated for development and that the existing road network didn’t have the capacity to accommodate the increase in traffic likely to be generated.

The developers had argued that if the application was refused, the playing field land for the new primary school being built at Hygge Park would not be brought forward, with the consequence that it would open with little outdoor space.

But the council said the lack of additional playing field would not have significant implications in the short term as the school would not be fully occupied for seven years.

Now M + M Homes Ltd are trying again to get planning permission. A spokesperson said: “As the region tries to address the housing shortfall, we believe this is a fantastic opportunity for Keynsham and the wider B&NES area.”

“This land has already been earmarked by B&NES for future development but we’re very keen to hear the views of local people through our online consultation.”

The developers say the scheme would enable the expansion of the proposed school being built at Hygge Park, with enhanced facilities to cater for the increased local population, alongside a new community hub, sports pitches and open space provision, including wetlands and orchards. Thirty per cent of the homes would be ‘affordable’.

The draft proposals for the development can be seen at www.withiesgreendevelopment.co.uk until 19th June. People are invited to leave their feedback before a planning application is submitted to B&NES Council later in the year.

Hard copies of the consultation materials can be sent via post on request by calling 01225 423400.