Monday, 29 April 2013

Does your group need a grant?

If you are involved in a voluntary group and would like a small grant to help you serve the local community, now is the time to apply for a South Gloucestershire Capital Grant.

Starting today, you can apply for up to £3000 (in the Frome Vale Area, there is no limit in Severn Vale although obviously the total funding available is limited). The decision on how much to award will be made by local councillors at the relevant Area Forum. The closing date is 10 June and you apply online. If you need help, ring the Grants Helpline on 01454 865865.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Child car seat safety checks in Yate

On Monday the police and South Gloucestershire Council are joining forces to carry out child car safety checks.

Between 8.30am and 4pm at Yate Fire Station, police officers will stop vehicles fitted with child car safety seats while the council's road safety team will check they are fitted correctly. Previous safety checks carried out in South Gloucestershire have shown that more than half of those checked were fitted incorrectly so the council is offering the free checks to give reassurance to parents that their children are safe and secure when travelling by car.

If you would like to volunteer to have your child car seats checked, please stop by the Fire Station on Station Road, Yate between 8.30am and 4pm on Monday 29 April.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust, with the support of South Gloucestershire Council, is applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £2 million grant to restore and regenerate the grade 2* listed barn and associated outbuildings at the Old Court Farm on Church Road, Winterbourne.

If you would like to have your say on the types of activities and events that would attract you to the site, please reply to the survey on the South Glos website. You have until 14th June to make your comments.

For more information on the Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust, please go to

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Solar Farm application - have your say

AEE Renewables have submitted their application for a solar farm at Says Court Farm. You can view the details and make any comments you may have on the South Glos website. The closing date for comments is 1st 10th May.

(Having seen a number of different dates quoted, I checked with the case officer who has confirmed that the deadline for comments is 10th May).

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Chipping Sodbury School consult on Co-operative Trust

The Governing body of Chipping Sodbury School is consulting on a proposed change of category from a Voluntary Controlled to a Foundation school, and at the same time acquiring a co-operative charitable trust, to be called the Chipping Sodbury School Co-operative Trust. You can find out more and have your say on their website.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Good news in cinema campaign

As reported on our sister blog, there is good news in the long running campaign for a cinema in Yate.

The owners of Yate Shopping Centre have announced a consultation on plans for a cinema complex on the land at the back of the Overflow Car Park. At a press conference with Steve Webb MP - a long-term campaigner for the cinema - proposals were revealed for a six-screen cinema complex, six restaurants and three or four shop units. There will be extra parking spaces and over 150 jobs will be created.

The plans will be put on display in one of the shop units in the Shopping Centre. The public will be able to come along and quiz the developers about the scheme. Once any fine-tuning has been done there will be a formal planning application. If all goes well the cinema could be open by Christmas 2014 or Easter 2015.

You can read the Shopping Centre press release here:

We'll post more details as we get them.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Have your say on bus fares

You can now have your say online as part of the First Bus fare review process. They are hoping to hear from both bus users and those who don't currently use the bus. The survey is available here:

You have until 29 June to fill it in. If you know people who would like to respond but who aren't online, hard copies will be available at the Travel Shop in Bristol Bus Station from the end of April. First Bus have also organised some events where people can have their say in person:
  • Monday 22 April: Clifton Downs Shopping Centre, from 9am until 5pm
  • Wednesday 24 April: The Galleries Shopping Centre (near the post office), Bristol, from 9am until 5.30pm
  • Wednesday 24 April: Bristol Bus Station – Travel Shop, Marlborough Street, Bristol, from 11am until 4pm
  • Thursday 25 April: Willow Brook Shopping Centre, Bradley Stoke, from 11am until 7pm
  • Thursday 25 April: Bristol Bus Station – Travel Shop, Marlborough Street, Bristol, from 8am until 11am and 4pm until 7pm
  • Friday 26 April: Kings Chase Shopping Centre, Kingswood, from 9am until 5pm
  • Friday 26 April: Bristol Bus Station – Travel Shop, Marlborough Street, Bristol, from 10am until 12.30pm

Monday, 8 April 2013

STOP PRESS - Engine Common appeal dismissed

A Planning Inspector has dismissed the Engine Common appeal and has refused permission for 210 new homes plus employment uses and a new club house and car park for Yate Town Football Club.

Join the Discover Festival

South Gloucestershire Council is currently planning the 2013 Discover Festival which will take place 12th September to 1st November 2013. The first Discover Festival in 2012 saw over 6,000 people attending 186 events across the local area and had themes around heritage, food, nature, arts, health and wellbeing, and also special events for people aged 50+. The Festival is organised by South Gloucestershire Council working in partnership with community groups and businesses.

For this year’s festival the council is inviting businesses, community groups or organisations to organise an open day, a talk, a walk, a taster session or a performance to promote their group or area to allow them to showcase their work and encourage new members to join. Previous examples of events at Discover include food tasting sessions, drawing classes, history talks, nature walks, workshops on tracing your family tree, and an open day at a local brewery.

If you are involved in a group or business that would like to organise an event you can register at before Friday 3 May.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Crowd turnout for Woodlands Farm site visit

A large crowd of local people turned out this morning to object to plans to build 380 houses on land at Woodlands Farm, Coalpit Heath.

Members of the DC (West) planning committee were visiting the site to see the impact the proposed development would have on the landscape, environment, roads and the local communities. Standing by the kissing gate that gives access to the public footpath across the site, officers introduced the application before Barratt Homes' agent spoke about their plans.

Westerleigh councillor Claire Young spoke on behalf of residents, highlighting the important landscape features such as the dry valley, mature trees and Blackberry Brake. Claire spoke of residents' concerns about hundreds more cars travelling along Badminton Road and Park Lane and the importance of protecting not only the village feel of Coalpit Heath and Frampton Cotterell but also their separate identities. She also raised concerns such as the impact on wildlife, drainage, local heritage and the public right of way across the site.

Richard Merrick, organiser of the Save Woodlands Farm action group then spoke, welcoming the strong line South Gloucestershire Council took on protecting Woodlands Farm at the recent session of the Examination in Public on the Core Strategy. He said that if the council turns down the application, residents will give their full backing at any appeal.

After that the Chair, Dave Hockey, allowed a number of others to make points that hadn't already been covered. The Clerk from Frampton Cotterell Parish Council highlighted their concerns and Jen Dunford from Village Action and Walking to Health talked about the Parish Plan and the importance of the footpath for the walks she leads. Long time resident Mr Angell asked the committee to protect the land for food production.

Stella Beecher spoke about the link with author Dick King-Smith and his famous book, The Sheep Pig, which became a Hollywood blockbuster. Former Westerleigh councillor Alan Bracey asked the members to make sure they looked closely at the proposed junction on to Badminton Road. Other residents raised concerns about wildlife, road safety and keeping Kendleshire, Coalpit Heath and Frampton Cotterell as separate communities.

Dave Hockey said the committee would travel out via Park Lane, to consider the road issues and view the site from there, and then go up the Badminton Road into Coalpit Heath to see where the new junction would go. Having closed the public meeting, the members of the committee then walked along the footpath and back so that the planning officer could point out significant features and answer any questions they had.

The decision will be made at a future Development Control (West) meeting, possibly in May or June.

You can see more photos from the site visit here.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Reminder - Woodlands Farm site visit tomorrow

Don’t forget that the planning committee will be visiting Woodlands Farm at about 11.30am tomorrow, Friday 5th April. The committee will access Woodlands Farm via the gateway between Park Farm and Woodlands Farm, on the footpath that leads across the public open space from St Saviour’s Rise.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Oil spills - what to do

Every year there are several pollution incidents in South Gloucestershire caused by faulty or badly maintained domestic heating oil pipes and tanks. Leaked oil can be very difficult and expensive to clean up. In some circumstances residents have had to move out of their houses for months because of the fumes from leaked oil.

The Environmental Protection team at South Glos has a leaflet online that gives advice on how to prevent an oil leak, what to do if you find a leak and the law relating to tanks and spillages.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Have your say on health and wellbeing strategy

You have until 15th May to have your say on the draft Health and Wellbing Strategy for South Gloucestershire. This is the document that will set out the priorities to make sure that local health and care services meet the needs of local people in the coming years.

The draft strategy includes priorities such as health and care providers making it easier for people to make healthy lifestyle choices, for example by providing advice on stopping smoking or taking more exercise. It also highlights the fact that health is generally poorer in some parts of South Glos than others.

You can view and make your comments on the strategy online.