Cllr Cherry Beath

and the Combe Down Liberal Democrat Team Learn more

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New Plans for “Sulis Down” will affect Combe Down

by on 15 November, 2016


Joel, Combe Down Liberal Democrat Campaigner

Some of you will know that the Hignett Family and Bloor Homes are showing new plans for a first Phase of 180 home on the site “Sulis Down”. They held a one day exhibition on the 1st November at St Gregory’s School. Below is a very good bulletin from SOBA (South of Bath Alliance with which we agree.

Joel Hirst (pictured) and I attend the SOBA local Meetngs   Our concerns are that:

1) any plans conform to the Inspectors statements in our Core Strategy. Which suggested housing numbers should be about 300.

2) That the plans conform to the Council Placemaking plans.

We have real concerns about the infrastructure, and road systems. We are concerned about future phases, and any other access proposed to the site. As it is this development enfringes the precious Green Belt. Sulis Down Website is here:

SOBA – South of Bath Alliance Bulletin November 2016

“We are writing to invite you to participate in the consultation that is in progress in respect of a proposed Masterplan and a proposed planning application for 180 homes in the first phase of the development at Sulis Down, on the Southstoke Plateau.

If you missed the public exhibition on 1st November there is still an opportunity to view the proposals on the developers’ website under News and Updates. You can make your comments by email to All feedback is requested by 14 November.

The Core Strategy requires as one of the Placemaking Principles:

Preparation of a comprehensive Masterplan, through public consultation, and to be agreed by the Council, reflecting best practice as embodied in ‘By Design’ (or successor guidance), ensuring that it is well integrated with neighbouring areas.

The Masterplan shows that the site will be developed in 4 different phases and that it will produce a total of 450 homes. We are concerned that the Masterplan does not include any proposals by the owners of the Sulis Manor site, so that it is not a comprehensive Masterplan for the entire site and that the planning application is being put forward before the Masterplan has been considered and agreed by the Council.

The number of homes proposed in the Masterplan represents an increase of 50% on top of the figure of 300 homes originally proposed for the whole site. Any proposal to deliver more than 300 dwellings on the site has to be supported by evidence to show that this can be achieved within the Council’s established ‘Placemaking Principles’. No evidence to support this has yet been made public.

The Core Strategy also requires the development to:

• Protect the tree belt on the southern edge of the site and enhance with additional planting to ensure visual screening of the site from views to the south
• Avoid or minimise detrimental impacts on (and provide enhancements to important landscape features and significant views)
• Protect the Cotswolds AONB • South Stoke Conservation area and its setting
• Protect the character of the Cam Brook valley and Sulis Manor Plateau
• Protect the character of South Stoke and Combe Hay Lanes, Midford Road and the Cross Keys junction including maintaining open rural views over the plateau
• Protect the Wansdyke Scheduled Monument
• Protect Medium and long distance views such as Upper Twinhoe and Baggridge Hill.

The layout for the 180 homes in the proposed planning application indicates that some will be sited inside the zone defined as having ‘high negative impact’ on the World Heritage Site and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

For all of these reasons we do not consider that the proposed Masterplan and the proposed planning application comply with the Adopted Core Strategy. There may be other aspects of proposals which specifically affect you, such as:

The increase in the number of homes will also significantly increase the potential traffic congestion and other demands on the local infrastructure.

Road access to phase 1 of the development is proposed through a field [Derrymans] which remains in the Green Belt.

The Sulis Down website claims that HFT’s “overriding objective” is “to ensure that new development is well integrated with neighbouring areas”. The only connection between Stage 1 and Sulis Meadows is one (already existing) footpath.

There is no community focus within this area. The lack of such a place ( eg shop, village hall, community centre) was a criticism made about the past Sulis Meadows estate.

Please take this chance to make your views known to the developers. It could make a huge difference.

SOBA comprises local residents’ groups and parish councils who originally opposed the building of any homes on the South Stoke Plateau but who now want to ensure that the developers—the Hignett Family Trust (HFT) and Bloor Homes—create the best possible living environment for both existing residents and those moving into the new homes.”
For further information, contact

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