South Gloucestershire Housing Development Update

Last year South Gloucestershire Council gave the final planning consent to new house building on the Former Filton Airfield site. This is the largest of the three main sites that are collectively known as the Cribbs-Patchway New Neighbourhood (CPNN) – and all of which now have planning permission. So the question becomes what do we know and how will this impact on our communities.

So here’s what we know:

- There will be around 5700 homes built just over the border in South Gloucestershire. Most of which will be built by three major developers – Alder King (to the west of the dual carriageway), Persimmon Homes (immediately behind Brentry) and YTL (on the airfield site itself). There are several smaller developers in and around these ‘bigger fish’.

- Collectively they have all bought into the ‘Landowner Agreement’ which binds them into providing specific facilities at certain points in the build (such as schools, parks, doctors surgeries, shops etc).

- A large part of the development will be used for ‘employment land’. This is primarily concentrated at the far end of the runway off the A38.

- The current estimate is that the build will start next year and could take up to 15 years.

- If the normal process is followed then each of the developers will build in 200 house ‘lots’ (taking a couple of years). These will then be sold and work will begin on the next lot and so on. Some of the smaller developers will also start work (for example the Redrow site off Charlton Common lane)

- Traffic will not be granted access down Fishpool Hill, Charlton Road or Station Road. In the latter two cases it will be public transport only.

- As part of the plans two new train stations will be provided at Henbury (the final location now looks set to be on the Brentry side of the dual carriageway) and Filton North (near Brabazon).

- As part of the development over £7m will be used to try and mitigate the traffic impacts on the local roads (a large chunk of which will be spent on trying to improve the Crow Lane roundabout).

- Although we haven't seen the full traffic modelling yet we know that the Council is still thinking of running bus lanes in each direction of the dual carriageway. These would start near Cribbs Causeway and run all the way down the A4018 onto Falcondale Road. 

- As part of this they are currently thinking of banning several of the right hand turns on Falcondale Road as a means to keep traffic flowing. 

- The Crow Lane Roundabout is NOT being changed. Essentially the Council's current thinking is that there isn't a way to make it work any more efficiently. 

- The Passage Road turning onto Charlton Road will be massively changed. Essentially it will be bus only so that they can access the full length of Charlton Road and into the Airfield development itself. 

So what will the impact be?:

In many ways the development ticks a lot of boxes. It will have local facilities, shops, and employment opportunities. It, at least for the moment, seems to be taking a joined up approach. The problem will be traffic which, despite the inclusion of new train stations and bus routes, is going to be bad. How bad it will be we still don’t know. We were meant to have a traffic report detailing the likely impact in March 2016, and at the time of writing we are still waiting, which must surely be a record.

Whatever the final report says though I expect we can all agree that the Crow Lane roundabout will be ‘adversely impacted’, and that the road network in North Bristol will get busier. This is why we are both so keen to get the new stations in as early as possible, road improvements on Brentry Lane, junction improvements at the Crow Lane and Henbury Road and a whole raft of lesser improvements.

So in a nutshell building will probably start later thus year but it will take over a decade before everything is finished. Traffic wise it’s going to be bad but how bad is yet to be seen (or even estimated ). I will keep you informed as best I can. If you want to sign up to my monthly e-newsletters then please email me at mark@markweston.org.uk.