Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Mystery of the Wansdyke

There are still tickets available for a fascinating discussion about the Wansdyke ancient monument on March 22 at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI).

Four expert speakers with differing views - Prof Andrew Reynolds, Prof Emeritus Peter Fowler, Jonathan Erskine and Dr Helen Geake - will unravel the mysteries of this prominent defensive ditch.

The Wansdyke dates from the Dark Ages, stretches from the hill fort Maes Knoll in the west and runs eastwards across the (modern) county of Wiltshire to Savernake Forest.

The Wansdyke also runs along the southern edge of Bath, between the city and South Stoke village.

Those of you supporting our campaign to save South Stoke Plateau from a 300-home development will know that the Wansdyke (a Scheduled Ancient Monument) passes along the northern edge of the Plateau.

The "Mystery of the Wansdyke" is being held at BRLSI on Saturday, March 22 between 2-5pm and tickets are available in advance from Bath Box Office - 01225 463362

Monday, 10 February 2014

SOBA makes the headlines - again!

MP Jacob Rees-Mogg's support of our cause has also been covered in the local press.

The Bath Chronicle ran a story headlined MP Jacob Rees-Mogg backs South Stoke green belt fight. He said he was on board with our campaign and believed the green belt should guarantee the highest protection to open land.

He added: "My view, and this is one which is long standing, is that the green belt is the best protection that we have in preventing Bath and Bristol merging.

"I support them and am opposed to all green belt development, and that includes at Newton St Loe, Saltford and particularly Whitchurch."


The Western Daily Press took a slightly different tack with Rees-Mogg under fire over housing scheme 'hypocrisy'.

This story highlights anger amongst the residents of Hinton Blewett who are annoyed that Mr Rees-Mogg is backing our campaign and not theirs to stop his mother, Lady Gillian Rees-Mogg, building houses on a meadow in the centre of the historic Somerset village.



Friday, 31 January 2014

Jacob Rees-Mogg backs our cause

Constituents from South Stoke village and members of the South of Bath Alliance met Jacob Rees-Mogg MP in Bath today.

Mr Rees-Mogg, who represents the land we're trying to save from a housing development at South Stoke Plateau, was given a copy of our petition which he plans to present to Parliament.

The final consultation on the core strategy – Bath and North East Somerset's council's planning blueprint for the next 15 years – was completed in December and more than 900 people responded.

Planning inspector Simon Emerson is due to hold an Examination in Public on the controversial Green Belt aspect of the Strategy at the end of March.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Do we need more unaffordable homes?

A recent survey revealed Bath is the most expensive place to live in the South West, with house prices climbing by 34% over the past 10. The average property in the city now costs £265,771.

Chronicle focuses on Bath's great housing debate

This week's Bath Chronicle is running a spread giving all sides of the planning debate in our city.

The Bath Chronicle's planning coverage
The paper reports that more than 900 people responded to the public consultation at the end of 2013 asking for views on where new housing and other development should take place in the Bath area.

Not surprisingly, plans to change the boundary of the city's green belt at South Stoke and Weston, so hundreds of homes can be built on fields surrounding the city, proved to be a divisive topic.

The article contains arguments from a planner, developer, politician, first-time buyer and a green belt campaigner from the South of Bath Alliance.

Bath and North East Somerset's planning blueprint, the Core Strategy, is due to be examined in public by independent planning inspector Simon Emerson at the end of March.

Here's a link to the article: http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/Green-light-red-homes-bid/story-20419374-detail/story.html

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Last chance to Say No to the destruction of Bath's Green Belt

Protect Bath, SOBA's fellow Green Belt campaigners, have created a simple online tool to make responding to the public consultation much easier.

Instead of having to fill in Word documents and attach them to an email, or write a letter, just click on the link below and fill in the form - and if you can personalise it, even better...

It only takes a minute or two to respond to Bath council's public consultation. Click here now!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Last chance to object to Bath council's plans to bulldoze the Green Belt


If you haven’t already responded to the council’s second public consultation about plans to build on South Stoke Plateau, the clock is ticking.

This is your last chance to influence events. Only those responses received by 5pm on December 20 will be considered by the Planning Inspector who will hold a public inquiry in the New Year to hear representations and then make a decision.

You can send in your objections by:

  • Filling in the council’s online comment forms (found at http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy/core-strategy-examination/consultation-core#four). These must then be attached to an email and sent to core_strategy@bathnes.gov.uk
  • Writing a letter which needs to be sent to Planning Policy, Planning Services, Bath & North East Somerset Council, PO Box 5006, Bath, BA1 1JG 

Please try to use your own words as much as possible to reflect your own opinions. There may be others you might wish to add - for example, Southstoke Road is already a busy highway in the morning rush hour - just imagine it with roundabouts or traffic lights at either end! And with the 800 houses planned for the ex-MoD site at Fox Hill, just think of the congestion if 300 additional houses are built on South Stoke plateau.

The four key issues relating to South Stoke Plateau that the inspector will take into account are:

  1. Bath’s UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) status, the Green Belt, the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and The Wansdyke ancient scheduled monument.
  2. Access problems, local infrastructure.
  3. Core Strategy housing numbers. Are they excessive? Should there be any need to bulldoze the Green Belt and AONB?.
  4. Is Bath a special case?

Bath’s UNESCO status is particularly important - the reason our city is a WHS is not just because of the buildings, but also its setting, which includes the hills around it.

If you require further guidance, the Sulis Meadows group have organised a meeting on Monday. Councillors and others will be there to answer questions and advise further.


Please spare 10 minutes to either print off a comment form and send it back to the council, or complete a comment form via a Word doc and email which can be found by clicking on the link below, where the process is fully explained: