Controversial plans to build 37 houses on a Bath field containing rare habitat have been scrapped by the new head of council.

Councilor Kevin Guy said uses of the so-called “Tufa Field” behind Englishcombe Lane would be reassessed and would not be sold.

In setting his priorities, he also pledged to create low traffic neighborhoods within a year, to do everything in his power to prevent heavy trucks from leaving Cleveland Bridge, to build the first council houses in a year. generation and seek to maintain golf on the Approach golf course.

Mr Guy was sworn in at the Bath and North East Somerset Council Annual General Meeting on May 4 after receiving 35 votes from fellow Liberal Democrats.

Nine opposition advisers voted against and 12 abstained, including Joanna Wright, the ousted Liberal cabinet member.

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Announcing that he would “fine tune and then double down” on promises made by the party when it came to power in 2019, Guy said: “My agenda for the future is driven by two things. The first is that Covid has, of course, hit us hard financially, but, more importantly, it has slowed down our ability to make the progress we had planned in some of our key priority areas.

“Now we have to refocus and set it right, to drive a gear change, rather than a change of direction.

“Second, our goal of net zero by 2030 is now approaching one year. The climate emergency is, quite simply, the most critical problem we face; it’s at the heart of everything we do. If we fail to address it effectively – always remembering that climate justice cannot be achieved without social justice – all we do is in vain. “

Mr Guy said the council is committed to the ecology and protection of green spaces so that plans for the tuff field are withdrawn.

Former executive Dine Romero had previously said his intention to cede the site to Aequus, the authority’s development company, had been withdrawn, but that it could be sold with the building permit in place. Cllr Guy said it would remain the property of the council and not be sold to “stingy” developers.

Kevin Guy, Head of the Board of B & NES. Youtube

Residents said they were “delighted” with this decision.

Mr Guy said the council will build on the success of the Clean Air Zone and there will be renewed efforts to tackle carbon emissions, with active commuting programs and low traffic neighborhoods. in place by next May.

Traffic over 18 tonnes has been banned from using the Cleveland Bridge since last year. The Grade II * listed structure is set to shut down all traffic from May 31 for a £ 4million renovation project.

Mr. Guy told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I will try absolutely everything in our power to try to prevent the heavy goods vehicles from coming back on this bridge. The board will explore and exhaust all available options. ”

Previous attempts to stop heavy vehicles using the bridge, which is part of the National Strategic Highway System, have been challenged by Wiltshire advisers amid concerns about shifting traffic.

Mr. Guy also told the meeting: “We have listened to the thousands of petitioners on the Approach Golf Course, and we are committed to maintaining a golf course at this site subject to the identification of a viable operator. “

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He later said residents wanted the golf course to stay and large parts of the site allotted to open space, adding, “I’m 100% in favor if a viable option presents itself.

More than 4,800 people have signed a petition calling for the golf course to remain open.

The council has launched two calls for tenders to find a new operator for the site and no golf operator has come forward. In February, the firm rejected the only bidder in the latest tender – supposed to offer disc golf – saying there were “not enough advantages”.

Mr Guy said his administration would build the first council houses in a generation, reassess the impacts of student housing and Airbnb, and “do the basics” like tackling litter and graffiti.

He vowed to listen to locals and act on the evidence, but said if “the Twittersphere and the social media manipulators have nothing constructive to offer, they will be ignored.”

Here is the new cabinet of Cllr Guy:

Deputy Chief, Economic Development and Resources – Richard Samuel Deputy Chief, Climate Emergency and Sustainable Travel – Sarah Warren Adults and City Council Building – Alison Born and Tom Davies Children and Youth, Communities and Culture – Dine Romero Neighborhood Services – David Wood Planning – Tim Ball Transport – Manda Rigby

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Source: www.somersetlive.co.uk
This notice was published: 2021-05-06 11:53:04