Keynsham and Saltford residents concerned over housing plans

RESIDENTS in Keynsham and Saltford are worried about the prospect of thousands of new homes being built in the area.

Bath and North East Somerset Council’s new local plan will form the basis for determining planning applications until 2042. An options document – approved by the council’s cabinet – has gone out for public consultation with a deadline of April 8.

The government says Bath and North East Somerset will need 725 new homes to be built each year, or 14,500 over the full length of the plan. Of these, 6,000 of these homes already have planning permission or are allocated in the current local plan, mainly on brownfield sites in Bath.

Options for new housing mentioned in the document include 1,500 homes in north Keynsham, 500-750 at Hicks Gate, 350 in south-east Keynsham, 100-300 in west Keynsham, 160 east of Avon Mill Lane and 40-100 in central Keynsham.

They also include 800 homes in south Saltford and 500 homes.

Residents at a public meeting in Saltford were told the proposals pose a threat to the green belt. And similar fears have been expressed in Keynsham.

Councillor Andy Wait warned: ““Following the two successful meetings about the Local Plan for Keynsham in February, it is clear that most people in Keynsham have major concerns about the number of houses proposed for the town.

“In our view, the six sites identified are far too many. There are sites all over B&NES and the 7,000 houses the government want us to find should be spread across the authority.

“Sadly, unless we get a lot of Keynsham residents objecting, all these sites could become housing. 

“The authority has identified more sites than they need, so your opinion could make all the difference. Please complete the consultation form so we get the houses we need and not those developers want. Your councillors can’t stop this on their own”.

The local plan options document recognises that removing land from the green belt would “require exceptional circumstances to be fully evidenced and justified.”

North Keynsham

This green-belt land lies to the east of the town centre, and south of the River Avon, separated from the town by the railway line.

The document says the area could provide 1,500 homes, including student accommodation, and about 6.5 hectares (16 acres) for employment use. There could also be a new primary school, shops and a hall with a theatre for community use.

Hicks Gate

A new neighbourhood of 500-750 homes is proposed in the Bristol local plan on green-belt land between the Hicks Gate roundabout and the local authority boundary with Bristol.

The B&NES document says there is potential for the Brislington Park and Ride to be relocated to land within B&NES nearer the roundabout, allowing the creation of a transport interchange for buses, e-scooters, hire bikes and e-car clubs.

SE Keynsham

The provision of about 350 homes on two parcels of green-belt land to the east and west of the B3116 Wellsway could be supported by a convenience shop on the Wellsway.

West Keynsham

Provision of 300 homes in the green belt to the west of Charlton Road would involve loss of employment land at Lays Farm Industrial Estate, and agricultural land. There is a second option for 100 homes.

East of Avon Mill Lane

Building about 160 homes, plus a playground, on a brownfield site east of Avon Mill Lane would involve loss of existing industrial employment land, and planting would be needed to provide a buffer to the railway line.

Town centre

The document says that, as part of a sustainable transport plan, some car parks near the High Street could be redeveloped to provide between 40 and 100 homes.

South Saltford

The document says about 800 homes could be provided on this green-belt site, accessed from Manor Road, with a new primary school, village green and a village shop.

West Saltford

On land to the west of Grange Road, there is the opportunity for 500 homes, a new primary school, and a public green space.

*People responding to the consultation can say whether they support developments in the areas listed.

They can also say whether they agree with “priorities and objectives” for Keynsham and Saltford that include boosting active travel and prioritising buses over private vehicles to improve bus journey times.

You can respond to the public consultation online at or by post to Local Plan Consultation, B&NES, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JG.

Printed copies of the options document are also being made available at Keynsham Library.

Pictured, an image of one of the Keynsham sites listed in the public consultation document