Homes on Kleeneze site backed by MP
PLANS to build 150 homes on the former Kleeneze site will take pressure off the green belt in Hanham, according to Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore.
But the proposals will do little to please shoppers and traders because there are no plans included for a car park.
The site in Martins Road was purchased by Tesco in 2003 but it wasn't until 2012 the supermarket giant finally got permission for a store with more than 200 car parking spaces.
A downturn in company profits subsequently led to Tesco announcing in 2016 that it would scrap the plans and sell the site.
Now government agency Homes England is working with South Gloucestershire Council in a bid to redevelop the site for housing and small business use.
Homes England is conducting preliminary ground investigation work and other research ahead of purchasing the site.
Mr Skidmore has held talks with Kevin Bourner and Alastair McChesney, from Homes England, saying local people want an end to the uncertainty surrounding any future use of the site.
The MP said: "I was keen to push for the future of this site to be resolved as soon as possible and I was delighted that Homes England agreed to meet with me to discuss their plans for the former Kleeneze factory site.
"It is welcome that part of the site will be retained for employment use and while I am disappointed that a car park can no longer be accommodated on the site, I welcome the fact that there will be a significant amount of affordable housing and that this development will help ease pressure on the Hanham Green Belt. I will continue to follow this application closely. Above all, residents need certainty that after so many years this derelict site will be put to good use."
Kevin Bourner, from Homes England, said: "I am delighted we have the opportunity to purchase this site for much needed housing in the South West. I am also pleased that we will be working closely with South Gloucestershire in order to bring forward 150 homes and provide much needed affordable housing in Hanham."
Car parking in the area has suffered since Hanham Community Centre announced that only users of the centre would be allowed to park there.
Although there is a 48-space car park in Laburnum Road, drivers sometimes have to wait until a space becomes free because it is so busy.
"Hypothetical" proposals to build 96 homes on Hanham Cricket Club and another 105 houses on green belt land further along Abbots Road were aired last year, leading to an outcry from local people who say services in the area are already under pressure.
Tom Stanley, director of commercial property specialists Colliers International which is working on behalf of the developer, said it would be at least 2019 before a planning application is submitted to the council.
Opponents were left disappointed back in November when it was revealed the cricket ground in Abbots Road was not included in a document giving protection to green spaces.
The Policies, Sites & Places Development Plan did, however, feature Hanham Mount, Woodland Tennis Club and Conham River Park.