October 2021: News from your local MP
Regeneration can help protect the Green Belt
AS the local MP, I have long believed that whilst we need to build more homes locally, this should not come at the expense of concreting over our precious Green Belt countryside.
First and foremost, we need to ensure that we maximise the regeneration of brownfield sites across Kingswood, of which there are many.
I was therefore delighted recently to receive positive news from government ministers that a £2 million funding bid put together by South Gloucestershire Council to regenerate the previously-developed former Grange School site in Warmley has been successful.
Thanks to this new funding – which I lobbied ministers about on behalf of our community – this eyesore site will become a thriving new community, with 200 new homes, a school, green space and sports facilities. Seventy of the energy-efficient homes will be affordable and 10 will be self-build. We can now get on and allow this site to contribute to our community’s future, just as it contributed to its past.
Brownfield regeneration is also a major feature of the Kingswood Masterplan that is currently being consulted on by South Gloucestershire Council.
As well as the conversion of the Masters Church site into new flats and a park, there are proposals to re-imagine the Kings Chase Shopping Centre now that it is under public ownership.
On most days of the week the community hub in the Kings Chase Shopping Centre will be staffed by council officers, ready to answer people’s questions on the Masterplan proposals.
The consultation closes on October 10, and you can find more details on the council’s website.
There remain other brownfield sites that I am determined to see brought forward for regeneration and the fresh investment this brings into our communities, including the former Kleeneze site in Hanham, where construction work is expected to start in 2023, subject to planning.
The Chief Trading Post site in Oldland Common is another previously-developed site and its proposed regeneration would allow for a new GP surgery, alongside new homes and jobs.
A brownfield first approach to new development is something I will continue to champion as your Member of Parliament.