Villagers are calling for a Gloucestershire farm to be saved from housing development by creating a new nature reserve.

Frampton End Farm, in the village of Frampton Cotterell, was recently earmarked for development, writes Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporter.

Villagers are urging South Gloucestershire Council chiefs to protect the farm and create a new nature reserve there.

The 102-hectare farm, which is partly owned by the council, was included as a potential development site in the council’s new local plan. Residents called on council chiefs to act in a cabinet meeting on Monday, June 13.

Tom Howell, a local resident, said: “The farm is one of a number of locations that’s owned by the council, and it’s been identified in the response to the call for sites as part of the new local plan. While no specific proposals for its future use have come forward as yet, there has been a lot of speculation in the village that this could lead to more housing.

“Arguably there is a much better use of land for this site. I appreciate that more housing is needed and I think the community overall would support the council’s approach to plan-led sustainable development. But we feel that housing on this site would be inappropriate, particularly given the potential loss of biodiversity and the loss of green space.”

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Setting out where huge developments will be built in South Gloucestershire, the council’s local plan is an important document which it is in the middle of redrafting. The new plan will come into force in 2024, and could lead to Frampton End farm, among other areas, seeing major development. Elsewhere, the council has agreed to create five new nature reserves.

Mr Howell added: “Preserving the site as a nature reserve would turn it into a really positive community asset, help support the council’s climate and nature goals, help to boost biodiversity, and help to preserve local wildlife in the village. It would also provide a new community space for local people to enjoy and young members of the village to learn from.

“Conservation is at the heart of what we want to achieve in our village. I strongly believe that a nature reserve in Frampton Cotterell would have huge ecological and environmental benefits locally.”

Calls to create a nature reserve “would be taken on board”, council chiefs said, when decisions are made about the future of the farm. No decisions have been taken yet on including the site on the new local plan, nor granting planning permission for development there.

Councillor Ben Burton, cabinet member for corporate resources, said: “Frampton Cotterell is an area which I know well, I have family locally so I’m well aware of how well that area is particularly treasured. We share a commitment more widely to biodiversity and ecology. Your comments will be taken on board as we look to bring forward proposals for the future use of Frampton End farm.”