Friday, 29 February 2008

A432 Badminton Road roadworks

There will be two way temporary traffic lights on the A432 Badminton Road north of Frog Lane on Monday 3rd March to enable work to be done for a new water supply.

Monday, 25 February 2008

5000 new houses - your chance to do something about it

As you may have read in Focus, the South West Regional Assembly is recommending 5000 new houses for Yate. This is equivalent to an extra two or three Chipping Sodburys. At the moment there is no suggestion that the new development should spread out along the Frome Valley, but it is none the less worrying and has been decided without proper local consultation.

Steve Webb and Yate councillors are forming an Action Group. They are holding a PUBLIC MEETING at 7.30pm on Friday 29 February at Brimsham Green School.

The Gazette previews the meeting here

You can see the Panel's report here or here.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Road works - Nibley Lane and Westerleigh Road

Nibley Lane (from the A432 Badminton Road to Iron Acton High Street) will be closed from 9.30am to 2.30pm on Wednesday 27 February so the road can be cleaned.

Westerleigh Road, from Coalsack Lane to Folly Brook Road, will have "Temporary traffic management" from 25 March until the end of July so that maintenance work can be carried out on the bridge.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Police appeal for crash witnesses

Police are appealing for witnesses to a fatal collision on the B4465 Wapley Road near Dodington Ash on Friday (February 15), shortly before 8pm.

A Fiat was travelling along the B4465 towards the A46 at Tormarton when it collided with a Hyundai travelling in the opposite direction.

The driver of the Fiat, a man aged in his 20s, sustained serious injuries and died at the scene.

Anyone who witnessed the collision is urged to contact the police collision investigation unit on 0845 4567000.

(Copied from our sister site for Yate, Sodbury and Dodington, who in turn thank Avon and Somerset Constabulary's local website for the details)

Is your bin being completely emptied?

A resident contacted Claire Young this week to say that for two collections running their black bin had not been completely emptied. Had they not rung the Council to complain, food waste could have been sitting in the bottom of their bin for a month.

The Council can penalise SITA if bins are missed or not emptied properly, but they need residents to report problems so they can be logged with SITA and performance monitoring started. To do this, call Street Care on 01454 868000 and select option 1.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Deadline for IVC comments is today!

The deadline for making comments on the In-Vessel Composting application is today, Wednesday 20 February. Comments made after this date might be considered but the only way to ensure your views are considered is to meet the deadline. The easiest way to do this is to view the application details online and click on the "Comment on application" link to make your comments online.

Residents at Monday's public meeting were unhappy about the Council not directly notifying them of the application. I have taken this issue up with the Head of Development Services, who says that they follow the consultation arrangements set out in the Council's Statement of Community Involvement. That simply requires them to consult with the following neighbours for major applications:

"all adjoining occupiers having a common boundary with the site, and properties directly opposite. All occupiers of land within 100m of the vehicular and pedestrian access points (measured linearly along the road, including properties on the opposite side of the road). If the subject of an enforcement investigation, the complainant."

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Residents turn out to oppose composting plans

Westerleigh Village Hall was packed on Monday night to hear SITA representatives give a presentation on their plans for an In-Vessel Composting facility off Batchfield Lane near Westerleigh. During the question and answer session that followed, residents raised fears about the impact on the Green Belt, the effect on the bridle way next to the site, disturbance to the neighbouring crematorium, the impact the HGV traffic generated would have on local houses and roads and the risk of smells and health hazards.

Claire Young challenged SITA's assertion that all of South Gloucestershire outside of towns and villages was Green Belt (it is not) and asked whether SITA had really considered all non-Green Belt alternatives. She also raised the issue of the flood risk at the site.

At the end attendees voted unanimously to oppose the plans.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Phone mast battle continues as Vodafone appeal

At the end of January, the planning committee voted to object to Vodafone's plans to erect a 3G phone mast beside the Badminton Road in Coalpit Heath. Sadly Vodafone have now appealed. Claire Young has not yet received official notification of this but the documents can be viewed on the South Glos website.

Information from Pucklechurch

The site of SITA's proposed composting facility is just inside Westerleigh Parish's boundary with Pucklechurch and there is much interest in both Parishes. The Pucklechurch community website has a useful round-up of reports, information and a presentation which Parish Councillor Martin Smith gave to the public meeting in Pucklechurch.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Have your say on composting proposals

Westerleigh Parish Council are holding a public meeting on Monday 18 February at Westerleigh Village Hill where local people can hear more about the proposed in-vessel composting facility off Batchfield Lane and ask questions. More than 250 people attended a similar meeting in Pucklechurch on Tuesday.

If you want your views to be considered as part of the planning process, you will need to make comments to South Glos Council either in writing or using the "Comment on application" link on their website by Wednesday 20 February. At the time of writing there were over 120 objections registered.

The application will be decided by the DC (West) planning committee rather than by an individual planning officer.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Visit to an In-Vessel Composter

On Friday Claire Young, along with other South Glos Councillors and Parish Councillors, visited an In-Vessel Composter in North London, similar to the one proposed for farm land near Westerleigh.

Around 8-10 rubbish collection lorries would each make 2 visits to the site a day, one mid-morning and one in early to mid-afternoon, following the collection rounds. The lorries travel up a ramp so that they can drop the waste down into the reception building. At the Westerleigh site, the drop-off would happen in an enclosed area to minimise odours. When you consider the size of the lorry in relation to the height of the building that's visible and bear in mind that the drop off point is quite high above the floor of the building, you get some idea of how of the overall scale.

Inside the reception building a digger places the waste into a shredding machine, which also sprays the shredded material with water that has leached out of the composting process before depositing it in a heap. The building would be around 11m high but could possibly be sunk up to 1.5m into the ground.

In the last hour and a half of the working day, the shredded waste is transferred to a tunnel with a goretex roof and shut in. The temperature increases to around 80 degrees celsius and is then lowered to 50-60 degrees. Fans located in a tunnel beneath the compost tunnels aerate the compost through rows of holes in the floor. The compost remains there for two and a half weeks, longer in winter, before being transferred to a second tunnel.

When it has finished in the second tunnel, the compost is moved to the Maturation Building. Plastic and metal contaminants are removed (people often throw cutlery in with kitchen waste) and if necessary compost can be processed for longer. The people and machinery in the pictures give some sense of scale.

In this picture, Claire Young examines the final product, which is primarily aimed at agricultural use. It would be taken away from the Westerleigh site in "bulkers", articulated lorries. The small amount of material (< 1 percent) that has to go to landfill would either be taken out in the emptied collection vehicles or saved in a skip and moved out less than once a week.

In terms of noise, smell and public health concerns, the visit was reassuring. The message was that the management of the operations was the key and the company that would build the facility would provide help and training to SITA, who would run it. They have a good record at this site, having had no complaints from local residents in 2007.

The sheer size of it (and this facility wasn't quite as large as the proposed one at Westerleigh) was still a concern for those who would be able to see it from their homes. This facility was located on an industrial park in North London, the Westerleigh one would lie in the Green Belt.

Possible delay for composter application

As you can read on the South Glos website, the Highways Agency have issued an Article 14 Holding Direction for SITA's application to build an In-Vessel Composter (IVC) near Westerleigh. This means that the Council cannot approve the application before 6th May 2008, in order to allow time for SITA to provide the Highways Agency with more information and for the Agency to assess any negative impacts on the motorway.

Temporary lights on Henfield Road

There will be temporary traffic lights on Henfield Road, Coalpit Heath, next to number 60, while some tree surgery is carried out. Estimated completion date is 20 February.

Kerbside Collection of Plastic Bottles:If you want it, demand it!

If you want SITA to collect your plastic bottles from your home along with the green box, make sure you make this clear in your response to South Glos. Council's 'Local Waste Strategy 2008 to 2014' consultation document.

The consultation form is designed to make this difficult!

The only way to do it is to answer NO to the question 'Do you support our current policy of collecting plastic bottles using a network of local recycling banks?'. Then in the space for the answer to the next request 'Please tell us where you think we should install addition plastic bottle banks' write 'We want kerbside collection of plastic bottles'.

Copies of the consultation form can be obtained from local libraries or you can reply online. The deadline for responses is 31 March.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Find out more about the In-Vessel Composter

For those who weren't able to get to the meeting on Monday to see SITA's presentation on their In-Vessel Composter application, Westerleigh Parish Council have arranged a special meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 18th February in Westerleigh Village Hall. SITA will make their presentation again and there will be an opportunity to ask questions.

The deadline for comments has been extended to 20 February. You can view the application on the South Gloucestershire website.

The entrance to the proposed site of the In-Vessel Composter

Could you help deliver Focus?

The recent phone mast campaign shows just how important it can be to get information to large numbers of people in a short space of time. One way your local Focus team does this is through the regular Focus newsletters. We are always looking for new deliverers, if you could help why not contact one of us? All our contact details can be found here.