Thursday, 27 March 2008

Barratt Homes proposals

Last week Barratt Homes held an exhibition in Zion Church Hall showing how they would like to develop land next to Park Farm. As you may have read in the Evening Post, your local Focus team believe this is jumping the gun. The Council's consultation on where the thousands of new homes being imposed on South Gloucestershire should be built hasn't even started yet!

If you oppose these proposals, you might like to write to Barratt Homes. If you do, keep a copy of your letter. It will be really important that you also respond to the Council's consultation. Watch this space for more information on how to do this when the time comes.

Ruffet Road flooding - a solution?

Last week South Glos Council's drainage engineer visited the Ruffet Road/Coalsack Lane junction to investigate the recurrent flooding problems. He and his team probed the highway culvert and located a blockage/collapse half way across the road.

Next week (week beginning Monday 31 January) Ruffet Road will be closed between the Coalsack Lane and Henfield Road junctions so that the repair gang can dig down and either repair the culvert or lay a new one.

Phone mast appeal - how to comment online

All the original objections will be passed on to the planning inspector considering the Badminton Road phone mast appeal, but you can also make additional comments or comment if you didn't first time round. To do this online, go to the case summary, click on the link under "Documents" and then click on "Comment on this case". Fill in the form and submit it.

To find out more about the appeal process, try these links:

Helpful guidelines from the Planning Portal

Advice notes on electronic submissions

More advice from the Planning Inspectorate

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Phone mast - the appeal process

The Planning Inspectorate have now written to South Gloucestershire Council about the phone mast appeal. You can see the letter on the website.

The Council has until 3 April to write to all those who made comments on the original application informing them of the appeal. Comments made before will be forwarded on but if you want to make additional comments you should send three copies to the Inspectorate by 1 May 2008.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Composting - the latest developments

Recent newspaper reports have suggested that the new site SITA are considering is in the same area as the withdrawn application, outside Westerleigh.

At the same time, New Earth Solutions who have already proposed building a composting facilitiy at Falfield, are reported to be weeks away from submitting plans to build one at Avonmouth, to process Bristol City food waste which is currently sent to Poole in Dorset. This is an industrial site, much like the location of the facility local Councillors visited in North London. While it remains to be seen whether permission will be granted for the Avonmouth site, an industrial site would seem a more appropriate location for this type of facility.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Could you help at Ram Hill colliery?

Last week the Frome Vale Area Forum gave a grant to the Friends of Ram Hill Colliery to put towards spoil heap clearance and tools for cutting back vegetation.

The Friends group completed a series of working parties last year that cleared away vegetation at the site and made a start on removing a top soil heap. Over the winter they have been putting together a programme of work for 2008 and you can hear more about this at their AGM at 7.30pm on Wednesday 26th March at Coalpit Heath Village Hall (Miners' Club).

Your first chance to help out on site this year starts at 10am on Sunday 30 March. For more information contact the Chair, Steve Hillyard, at

Saturday, 8 March 2008

MP launches fight against PO closures

Steve Webb MP has launched a campaign against PO closures.

Residents of Nibley and the Stover Road area of Yate may be particularly concerned about plans to close the Post Office in the Tesco Express store in Station Road. Yate is a growing town and if this post office closes people will have to use the Crown post office in Yate shopping centre which already has long queues at peak times.

To find out what you can do to help, go to the Save our Post Offices website.

Steve Webb MP welcomes withdrawal of composting application

Local MP Steve Webb has welcomed the decision by SITA to withdraw their application for a giant composting plant in the Green Belt between Pucklechurch and Westerleigh. You can read more on his website.

Mayshill roadworks

There will be temporary traffic lights on the A432 Badminton Road, A432 at Mayshill on March 9th for a water supply pipe.

Westerleigh roadworks

Work is due to start on 10 March on installing the traffic lights at the crossroads of the B4465 with Westerleigh Road and Shorthill Road. There will be temporary traffic lights in place, mainly during off-peak times, and the work is expected to finish in mid-May.

There will also be temporary traffic signals from 7th to the 14th March on Westerleigh Road in Westerleigh village for the installation of bus boarder kerbs.

Composting - new site?

SITA have not yet revealed the new site they are considering. However, in their letter formally withdrawing the application to build a composting facility off Batchfield Lane they say it is a brown field site but still in the green belt. Clearly they are not looking at an industrial area such as Avonmouth, which would be more like the site of the facility that Claire Young and other local councillors visited in London.

Friday, 7 March 2008

LATEST - Composting application withdrawn

SITA have withdrawn their application to build an in-vessel composting facility in the Green Belt near Westerleigh.

They now say that they are pursuing an alternative brownfield site in the area, which has only become available in the last two weeks.

This is excellent news for residents, who opposed the application in unprecedented numbers. More news as it becomes available.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Frome Vale area Forum on Thursday

The Frome Vale Area Forum starts at 7pm on Thursday 6 March in the Ridgewood Centre, Yate. Topics this time include anti-social behaviour in Chipping Sodbury High Street and the new Council offices on Badminton Road. The panel will be considering community grants and there will be the usual open forum for residents to raise issues affecting them.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Phone mast appeal

Many people are asking what is happening with the phone mast appeal. Claire Young has discussed it with the Case Officer, who assures her that when the Planning Inspectorate notifies the Council of the appeal, the Council will write to all objectors for whom they have addresses.

The appeal will be decided by written representations. That means that rather than holding a public inquiry, the Planning Inspector will consider written submissions from the applicant, the Council and objectors. All the original comments will be forwarded on but you can send the Inspector further comments if you wish. Details of where to send them will be on the letters that go out.

On a related subject, those who attended the public meeting may recall that the meeting called on South Gloucestershire Council to take a co-ordinated approach to mobile phone mast applications. Claire Young raised this issue in a question to the Cabinet Member responsible for planning at January's meeting of full Council. You can read the question, supplementary question and responses starting on page 10 of the minutes.