Monday, 31 December 2007

Safer, Stronger Commununity Group Meeting

The next meeting of the Safer Strong Community Group takes place at the Manor School, Roundways, Coalpit Heath at 7.30pm on Tuesday 8 January 2008.

You will be able to speak directly to a panel of decision makers from the police, council and key local agencies who will agree the top priorities for your neighbourhood and put an action plan together.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Mobile mast petition

Local residents have started a petition against the proposed Vodafone base station. This an excellent way to show the strength of local feeling. However, it's important that people still make individual comments on the planning application as these generally carry more weight.

The Gazette has covered the story.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from your Focus Team.

PS If you're wondering when your bin will be collected over the Christmas period, you can find the details on the South Glos website.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Badminton Road roadworks

From 2nd January until around 25th January there will be off-peak temporary traffic lights on the A432 Badminton Road in Coalpit Heath near the Church Road junction while electricity cables are layed.

Planning application in for Badminton Road phone mast

The formal planning application for the Vodafone base station on Badminton Road has been registered by South Gloucestershire Council. You can see full details on the South Gloucestershire website, where you can also make objections by clicking on the "Comment on Application" link below the green tabs. Alternatively you can view the plans at the Yate One Stop Shop and submit comments in writing. Either way the deadline for comments is 10th January 2008.

The pre-application consultation was distorted because many residents did not receive the letters telling them of the proposals. It appears Vodafone's agent used the wrong addresses for around half the households. Some were told by concerned neighbours and made objections anyway and Claire Young has talked in person or delivered letters to households near to the proposed site.

A partial explanation?

Claire Young may have uncovered the reason why some residents who were supposed to be consulted did not receive details of proposals for a new Vodafone base station on Badminton Road.

It appears that the wrong addresses were used when sending out the details. The supposed Rose Oak Drive addresses were actually a combination of addresses and postcodes from Rose Oak Lane and Rose Oak Drive, and some of the postcodes for Woodside Road were wrong. Given the Royal Mail's reliance on postcodes, it is not surprising some letters went astray.

That does not explain why some objections have not been acknowledged and the next move will still be the formal planning application. So far this has not been received by the Council.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

New adventure play area for Coalpit Heath

You may have read in the Gazette that a project to create a new adventure play area at Newman's Field off Ram Hill near Coalpit Heath will go ahead after winning £35 000 of lottery funding.

Karen Mitchell, Chair of Friends of Newman's Field, had the idea for the project and it is being led by Westerleigh Parish Council's Newman Field Committee. The funding forms part of a successful bid by South Gloucestershire Council for £454,400 to provide better access to play, better quality play areas and help children to feel safe playing outside.

Tubb's Bottom radio masts application

Back in September, Claire Young visited the site of proposed radio masts at Tubb's Bottom as part of a pre-application consultation. Things went very quiet for a while, but now the formal planning application has been submitted. You can view it and make comments online or view the plans at the Council's One Stop Shop in Yate and make comments in writing.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Vodafone base station - were you consulted?

Vodafone's agents, wrote to Claire Young to say they are going ahead with a formal planning application, "Given the lack of alternative sites, the low level of responses and the urgency of this site requirement". They went on to say that they had written to everyone who contacted them, but residents have contacted Claire to say that they have heard nothing and are concerned their objections have not been considered. Others were not even notified of the original proposals in order to make comments in the first place.

On Wednesday Claire talked to many residents in the area and left letters with others in an attempt to find out just who was consulted and how many objections were acknowledged. She has now written back to the agents - watch this space.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Phone mast latest

Time is running out to take part in the pre-application consultation on the proposed phone mast on Badminton Road, Coalpit Heath.

Claire Young put residents' concerns about interference with Sky, digital and terrestrial TV and other electronic devices to Needham Haddrell.

In relation to Sky equipment, they responded:

In 1989, the European Commission issued a directive governing all forms of electronic equipment (89/336/EEC) regarding interference that such equipment produces and in turn, its immunity to interference from outside. Both Sky and Vodafone's equipment fully comply with this directive.

Any equipment compliant with that directive is unlikely to suffer or cause interference. In addition, Vodafone's RF operating frequencies for this type of installation are around 2.1 GHz, whilst Sky's RF operating frequencies are around 10.8 GHz. Given this large gap between the two sets of operating frequencies, I can guarantee no interference will occur.

When asked to confirm that the same advice applies regarding interference with other equipment - radio, terrestrial and digital television and so on - they replied that yes, it is covered by the same regulations and:

In addition, OFCOM allocate and strictly control the entire radio frequency spectrum (from 9 KHz to 275 GHz) to ensure that no registered user (e.g. Vodafone, BBC, police etc) interferes with another.

Do send in any comments you have on this pre-application consultation.

Work Day at Ram Hill

Friends of Ram Hill Colliery are holding a Work Day at Ram Hill from 10am until 4pm on Sunday 16th December. For more information, contact David Evans pm 01454 863649 or .

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Interested in our mining heritage?

7.30pm Wednesday 5th December at the Miner's Club in Coalpit Heath

An illustrated talk by Steve Grudgings of the South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group (SGMRG) on their excavation on the site of the 1790 Newcomen Engine

Success for Paul's Place and Coalpit Heath Cricket Club

The People's Millions application made by Coalpit Heath Cricket Club in partnership with Paul's Place received the most votes last Thursday and they received a cheque for £89,300 during the ITV West local news on Friday night.

Plans are now going ahead to build a ramp down from the cricket club to the pitch and refurbishment of the cricket club.

Paul's Place is the nominated charity of the Chair of Council, Sandra O'Neill, who is the member for Charfield ward.