Bristol

Bristol Hengrove Park housing plan approved

Map of housing project
Image caption Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick made the decision to approve the Hengrove Park plan

Plans to build more than 1,400 homes on a 49-acre site in Bristol have been approved by the government.

Campaigners said giving the scheme in Hengrove Park, south Bristol, the go-ahead made a "mockery" of neighbourhood planning.

Sport England had objected to the plans, which gained outline permission last year, so the government had to rule on the matter.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick made the decision to approve the scheme.

It is at odds with a neighbourhood plan put forward by Hengrove and Whitchurch Park Neighbourhood Planning Forum, which was adopted by the city council as part of its overall development plan in 2019.

That plan would have seen slightly fewer homes built and more parkland preserved, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

'Waste of time'

It provided for up to 1,400 homes, as well as a 30-hectare park and more buildings for jobs and the community.

Mr Jenrick's decision means up to 1,435 homes will be built and a "high quality, destination" 22-hectare park created on the site of the old Whitchurch Airport.

Andrew Gamlin, from the neighbourhood planning forum, said: "It makes a mockery of the neighbourhood planning process.

"What I take from this is that neighbourhood planning forums are a complete waste of time."

Bristol City Council's cabinet member for housing, Paul Smith, said: "This is excellent news for people in Bristol in need of new housing, great to improve the park and to provide more facilities for the communities of South Bristol."

Under the plan 30% of the homes would be affordable.

Developers said nearly 4.5 hectares of open space would be provided, as well as a new sports pavilion, buildings for community, office, commercial and educational use.

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