Land News

Green belt land 'can be built on'

BBC News , 14th May, 2006

The future of 55 acres of green belt land in Bath has been decided.

A government inspector from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has ruled 20 acres of land, known locally as St John's Field, are to be preserved.

The remaining 35 acres are to be removed from the green belt with the potential to be built on.

Residents opposed to the plans said the ruling was a "mixed blessing" and are very disappointed the remainder of the land was likely to be built on.

'Already decided'

Chris Beesley who represents the preserve the green belt of Claverton Down campaign group, said: "Three years ago the whole issue seemed to be already decided between the council and the university.

"The decision is good in part in that we've managed to save 20 acres but we're disappointed the other 35 acres are now likely to be earmarked for student accommodation."

A university spokesman said: "The university is pleased with the inspector's recommendation to amend the green belt boundary where it runs through the campus.

"The university regrets the inspector did not accept the full proposal, which would also have removed another existing playing field, St John's Field, from the green belt.

"If Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES) accepts this recommendation, it will constrain future development of the Claverton campus and the university will still have to seek other development opportunities."

The move follows a request from the University of Bath to build accommodation for 2,000 students at its Claverton Down campus.

The site is registered as an Area of Natural Beauty and is also protected as part of the World Heritage Site.

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