AONB on South Stoke plateau under threat

[Previous support for SOBA’s aims.]

News coming in that SOBA, the South of Bath Alliance, has re-formed to oppose the Hignett Family Trust’s new plans to build 300 more dwellings on the South Stoke Plateau (referred to as “Land at Odd Down”).

The fields lie south of Old Midford Road and West of Southstoke Lane.  This land is in the Cotswolds Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and is part of the green setting of the World Heritage Site. 

Hignett Family Trust is planning to construct a road across Sulis Manor to gain access to Combe Hay Lane.  HFT recently sold land to developers Countryside, who are now constructing 171 dwellings off Combe Hay Lane.  SOBA’s view is that further green fields should not be concreted over.  It is a popular area for fresh air and exercise, as well as being important for agriculture. 

With the many recent developments on brownfield sites within the city, B&NES is currently up to date with its housing numbers. 

Councillors Neil Butters and Matt McCabe say “Once again, we see a major threat to the South Stoke Plateau – a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  171 houses are already under construction, off Combe Hay Lane.  However, there are now immediate plans for a further 300 houses – with the prospect of another 300 (possibly more) beyond that.  Total 800!”

“All this would bring total gridlock to much of southern Bath.  So many more houses would bring more noise, light pollution, and the loss of trees and natural habitat.  We cannot allow that to happen.”  

Colin Webb, Chairman of SOBA, said “Alarm bells are ringing. It must be possible to stop the developers ruining our green spaces.  We need enough people to voice their opposition.  The so called ‘affordable’ homes will be well out of reach of most people.”

You can contact SOBA to register your concern and for more information about how you can get involved

HFT has a brief 2 week public online only consultation from 11th – 25th February.

1 Comment


    I grew up in Odd Down – long before all of the recent development, the ‘Park & Ride’ site and even St Gregory’s (Originally Cardinal Newman) school. The only ‘developments’ on Combe Hay Lane being the entrance lodges to the old Sulis Manor and Odd Down Football Club – for whom my father and both my older brothers played. We greatly enjoyed walking down the lane and either turning left to cross to follow the well-worn path to Southstoke, going straight on down through the woods to Combe Hay or even turning right and following the road for the very long walk to Wellow! A beautiful piece of countryside, already spoilt and being spoilt further. Extensive redevelopment of the Southstoke plateau would be an absolute tragedy – especially if (as stated) Bath is already meeting its target for new housing!

Comments are closed.