Thursday, 31 July 2014

Henfield Paddock and Westerleigh Crematorium plans approved

At the meeting today, the DC (East) planning committee granted a 5 year temporary permission for the two extra mobile homes and the storage of up to 5 touring caravans at Henfield Paddock.

The debate was lengthy and complex, revolving mainly around the strength of the special circumstances arguments.  Residents had requested a deferral until the Planning, Sites and Polices DPD is adopted. That would have meant a delay until 2016 and if this had happened, then the applicant would almost certainly have appealed against non-determination, taking the decision out of the council’s hands and possibly resulting in a permanent consent. The officer suggested a 5 year temporary permission to enable the DPD process to be completed and this was agreed by the committee on a split vote.

An extra condition was added requiring full details of a suitable drainage system to be submitted prior to the start of development, which must be fully installed prior to the first occupation of either one of the mobile homes. Members also stipulated that it should all be in accordance with the plans as submitted, to tie the caravan storage to the fenced area shown on the plans.

The consultation is still running on the Policies, Sites and Places DPD, which has two separate proposals that would affect Henfield Paddock. The first is that it be intensified, by the two pitches in the application considered today. The second is that along with all sites with temporary and/or personal conditions it be designated a permanent gypsy site, which involves removing the land from the Green Belt. You can read more and make your comments online:

Claire will put in a response as a ward councillor on behalf of the community, but it’s important that people write individually as well. The deadline for comments is 28th August.

There were two other Westerleigh ward applications at committee today. An extension to a house in Oakwood Gardens was unanimously approved, while plans to build a new chapel and a hospitality suite at Westerleigh Crematorium went through with a large majority.

South Gloucestershire Show this weekend

The South Gloucestershire Show takes place this weekend, Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd August, at the Windmill Fisheries off Westerleigh Road in Henfield. AA routing signs have gone up for both motorists and cyclists, but if you're travelling in the Westerleigh area be prepared for extra traffic.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Did you see incident in Lower Stone Close?

The police have issued an appeal for witnesses and information after a car failed to stop at the scene of a crash in which a 72-year-old man came off his motorbike.

It happened just after 8pm on Wednesday 23 2014 in Lower Stone Close, Frampton Cotterell. A motorcyclist had to swerve to avoid a car coming towards him, coming off his motorbike. Thankfully the gentleman was not injured, but the car hit his motorbike, causing damage.

The incident was reported to police the following day, Thursday 24 July, when officers were alerted by the fire service to a similar car which had been found burnt out in Box Hedge Lane, Coalpit Heath.

The police would be very interested to hear from anyone who saw either of the vehicles involved in the collision – a silver Volvo and a black and orange Triumph Trident – in the area around the time of the crash or who may have seen a vehicle being abandoned and set alight.

If you have information, contact the police online or by calling 101 quoting collision report reference 2014/5019. Officers have carried out door-to-door enquiries in the surrounding area and reviewed local CCTV.

First World War exhibition launched

Last Wednesday, South Glos Council Chair Howard Gawler launched the ‘South Gloucestershire and the First World War’ project at Tesco in Yate.

Thanks to a grant of £60,000 under the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) First World War: then and now programme, the First World War Centenary project will see the council working with local community heritage organisations on a range of activities. These include a travelling exhibition that shows the impact of the war in this area and how it changed communities abroad that are now twinned with ones in South Gloucestershire.

After Yate, the exhibition will move to the Tesco store in Bradley Stoke and will then be available for other local venues. For more information visit

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Keeping an eye on bridge progress

You can now keep an eye online on progress on the replacement of the Church Road bridge. "The view now" is updated every 15 minutes and there is also a time lapse showing how the works got to this stage.

The page says:
In the early hours of the morning on Sunday 20 July, Church Road Bridge in Frampton Cotterell was closed for the final time to allow replacement of the bridge deck that passes over the River Frome. Our workforce worked throughout the day to remove the old carriageway surfacing, expose the bridge deck and its supports. Throughout the week specialist contractors worked using a diamond saw to cut the 130 tonne bridge deck into manageable sections. Problems were encountered throughout the week with the positioning and spacing of some of the steel reinforcement, but operatives worked into the early evenings to ensure that project timescales were not compromised.  

On Saturday 26 July, in front of a small crowd, the redundant bridge deck was lifted from its supports and hauled away from site where the old concrete will then be crushed and recycled. The demolition phase of the project has been completed on-time and now the next phase of re-building the bridge supports commences for a period of two weeks. 

It's great news that the work is on track so far.

Police appeal following fatal accident

Police are appealing for anyone who was travelling on the A432 Badminton Road north of the Wick Wick roundabout last Friday evening (25th July) to contact them on 101. They may have important information about a fatal collision.

The incident happened at 4.41pm when a Mini Cooper, which was emerging from Cuckoo Lane, was in collision with a motorcycle travelling along the A432 Badminton Road from the direction of Wick Wick roundabout. Sadly a man in his 30s died at the scene, despite receiving medical attention.

Police believe the road was quite busy at the time of the incident with people travelling home from work and they are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Westerleigh Parish Council response to planning consultation

Following the drop-in session in Westerleigh village hall on the draft Policies, Sites and Places DPD planning document, Westerleigh Parish Council has circulated its response. Claire has uploaded it here so you can read it.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Work underway at Church Road bridge

Following Saturday’s great Frampton Festival, Church Road was shut at 5am on Sunday morning after the diversion signs had been put up, the giant display boards had their text changed to let motorists know and the temporary 20 mph signs had been put up along Iron Acton High Street and Nibley Lane.

Remotely controlled, diamond tipped rotary blade cutters are now being used to slice off and up the existing reinforced concrete bridge deck (see photo).

Work starts at 8am and continues until 8pm each weekday – the aim is to slice up the bridge deck this week ready for a large crane to lift each slice up and to load it onto a transporter for transfer by road to Avonmouth at the end of the week.

We hope that the forecast thunderstorms and heavy rainfall will not cause delays to the programme.

Henfield Paddock goes to committee 31st July

The DC (East) planning committee will consider the Henfield Paddock application at their meeting at 3pm on Thursday 31st July in Kingswood Civic Centre (agenda here). Also on the agenda are two other Westerleigh ward applications, in Oakwood Gardens and at Westerleigh Crematorium.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Dairy farm application referred to committee

Claire Young has referred the application for a dairy farm building south of the B4465 at Wapley to the planning committee. Dodington Parish Council and residents continued to have concerns despite revised plans being submitted.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Work on Nibley substation planned for October

Last year Claire Young got in contact with Western Power after residents raised concerns about a new substation that had been installed on an area of open grass at Nibley. The wrong size box had been used and it was installed the wrong way round, so it overhung its concrete base.

Claire recently got in touch with the company again to find out why the problems still hadn't been corrected and to ask about a pole that is leaning over. Western Power say that the work to connect the new substation to the high voltage network will start on October 23rd 2014 and will involve traffic lights and the closure of Nibley Lane (the Badminton Road to Iron Acton stretch).

The existing building will be changed to one the correct size for the plinth and the poles changed and the old ones removed at the same time. Western Power assure residents that the old pole is not a danger, it had been identified as needing changing in the next 10 years so they will do it at the same time as the rest of the work.

The delay has been because they have been inundated with customer requests for new connections, cable diversions and generator connections, which take priority over internal works.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Community Health Services for Children and Young People

The Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group are seeking feedback on Children's and Young People's Community Health Services. If you are a parent or carer, you can complete the online survey - the deadline is Monday 21 July. There is also a survey for young people.

Have your say on Community Composting

The future of the Community Composting sites at Thornbury, Hawkesbury and Shireway, Yate was a hot topic for discussion at last night's Frome Vale Area Forum.

Unfortunately although the Lib Dems prioritised protecting the sites in our budget, the other two groups didn't agree. There will be no council funding for them from April 2015 so a consultation is underway on their future. An alternative way of keeping the sites going will have to be found.

The intention had been to keep all three sites going until next April. However Shireway Community Centre has given notice to the council that they want them to leave the site, due to abuse of it, so the site has had to be closed.

You can respond to the consultation online - the deadline is 1 August.

Church Road bridge - crash deck in place

The crash deck is now in place ready for the demolition of the bridge following the closure of Church Road on 20 July. It's been installed to ensure bridge debris does not fall into the River Frome and pollute it. If necessary, it will carry the entire weight of the existing bridge deck.

Let’s hope we don't have any torrential rainfall upstream in the coming days and weeks. It doesn't take much to raise the river levels to a point where work would have to stop until they fell again and we don't want to see any delays.

Reminder - drop-ins - shaping the future of Charfield and Cromhall

Next week, Charfield and Cromhall Parish Councils will be holding drop-in events. This is a chance to have your say on how South Glos Council's latest planning document could shape these parishes.

  • Charfield - 3pm-8pm, 16th July at Charfield Memorial Hall
  • Cromhall - 4pm-8pm, 17th July at Cromhall Village Hall

Protecting our rural environment is a priority for your Focus Team. To help John fight on your behalf please:

  • let him know your views, so he can speak for the community
  • make your own comments directly to South Glos, to add weight to what he is saying.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Free fruit tree pruning workshop 13 July, all welcome

Orchards are a South Gloucestershire priority biodiversity habitat because many orchards have been neglected or grubbed up in recent decades.

In order to help stem this decline, Wapley Bushes Conservation Group, Dodington Parish Council and South Gloucestershire Council are now all working together to preserve the traditional horticultural skills that are needed to maintain existing and newly-planted orchards.

A free fruit tree pruning workshop is being held at the Wapley Rank cottages opposite the southern Besom Lane entrance to Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, Besom Lane, Westerleigh, South Gloucestershire, BS37 8RW, starting at 10am on Sunday, 13 July 2014. The workshop tutor will be local fruit tree expert Mr Graham White. No advance booking needed - just turn up on the day.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Illegal tobacco campaign launched

On Monday Smokefree South West, in partnership with South Gloucestershire Council, launched the latest stage of its campaign to highlight the dangers that illegal tobacco poses to South Gloucestershire.

Illegal tobacco sells for less than half the tax paid price of legally sold tobacco. The problems include:
  • impact on legitimate traders
  • makes it easier for children and young people to start smoking as it is readily available at pocket money prices. 
  • brings crime into communities - the criminal gangs selling it also sell other illegal products
  • discourages smokers from quitting
Illegal tobacco is linked to low-level and large-scale organised crime, nationally and internationally, including smuggling of other illegal goods such as drugs, alcohol and weapons. It goes hand in hand with child exploitation and money laundering and particularly targets poor and disadvantaged communities.You can read more at

Bus number correction

The buses to Southmead from Frampton Cotterell are 81 and 82, not 41 and 42 as it said in the Frampton Cotterell ward Focus. Service 82 goes all the way to the hospital while service 81 requires a change at Parkway but takes a shorter route. Both go down Church Road.

Reminder - shaping the future of our area

Next week both Westerleigh and Frampton Cotterell Parish Councils will be holding drop-in events where you can have your say on how South Glos Council's latest planning document could shape our area.

The Policies, Sites and Places DPD will add more detail to the policies in the Core Strategy and includes a section for each Parish setting out local needs and aspirations. Westerleigh Parish has been working with South Glos to look at the need for a small amount of new housing development at Westerleigh village. This could help to meet local housing needs, for example for younger people, and support existing facilities and services such as the village shop. You can see the full notice for the Westerleigh drop-in here.

Both Westerleigh and Frampton Cotterell Parish Councils have asked for Woodlands Farm to be designated a "Local Green Space" - as well as a number of other sites. They have also proposed having separate settlement boundaries for Coalpit Heath, Frampton Cotterell and Winterbourne, to make it clear they are distinct communities. South Glos has made some proposals about how to meet the future need for Gypsy and Traveller pitches.

You can find the draft plan and information on it at - take a look at the section for your Parish. The drop-in events are:
  • Westerleigh Parish - 5pm-7pm, Monday 7th July in Westerleigh Village Hall
  • Frampton Cotterell - 5.30pm-7pm, Wednesday 9th July in the Brockeridge Centre
    Protecting our rural environment is a priority for your Focus Team. To help us to speak on your behalf please:
    • let us know your views, so we can speak for the community
    • make your own comments directly to South Glos, to add weight to what we are saying.
     You can find our contacts here.

    Free child car seat safety checks

    Officers from South Gloucestershire Council’s road safety team and Avon and Somerset Police are offering free child car seat safety checks at Yate Fire Station on Wednesday 9 July.

    Between 8.30am and 4pm, police officers will stop vehicles carrying young people to allow the road safety team to check if child car seats are fitted correctly. They are offering these free checks to give reassurance to parents that their children are safe and secure when travelling by car.

    Young passengers will also be measured to ensure they are the correct height to safely use seatbelts. The legal requirement is 135cm unless they are sitting on a booster seat.

    Previous safety checks carried out in South Gloucestershire have shown that around two thirds of all child car seats are fitted incorrectly. Any parents, grandparents, childminders or carers who would like to have their child car seat checked voluntarily are welcome to stop by Yate Fire Station, Station Road, Yate, BS37 4AL between 8.30am and 4pm on Wednesday 9 July.

    Thursday, 3 July 2014

    Another fly tipper prosecuted

    Another local fly tipping case has resulted in a conviction.

    Last year waste including plastics, suitcases, furniture and cardboard was fly-tipped and set on fire on land belonging to Network Rail at Nibley Lane Railway Bridge, Iron Acton. Avon Fire & Rescue Service had to be called on two occasions on July 21 and October 12 to deal with the incidents.

    A local man was fined £1,500, £750 for each fly tipping offence and ordered to pay costs of £2,000 to South Gloucestershire Council when he appeared at court on June 26th.

    In court he claimed he had permission to cut down wood and foliage from the area around the railway bridge and needed to burn excess foliage such as brambles. However, environmental protection officers were able to trace some of the waste back to St Peter’s Hospice charity shop in Chipping Sodbury. The man was captured on CCTV removing items donated to charity from the rear of the premises.

    Officers also spoke to him near the railway bridge when they spotted him there in his lorry. Residents had also called the council to report the fly-tipping and quoted seeing a lorry parked nearby with the same vehicle registration.

    If you see anyone fly tipping in South Gloucestershire, please report it by calling 01454 868000 or online via the South Glos website. At that link you will also find other useful information on flytipping.

    It's worth noting that if you use a waste carrier, it's your responsibility to make sure they are properly registered. If not and your waste ends up fly tipped, you could be fined up to £5,000. To avoid this, South Glos advises: 
    • ask to see a copy of the company’s waste carrier registration certificate, and where your waste is being taken. Legitimate firms will be happy to provide this information 
    • you can check whether your waste carrier is registered by calling the Environment Agency on 08708 506506 or on line at 
    • ask for a registered trading address and telephone number – not just a mobile phone number 
    • ensure you have an official receipt and make a note of the registration number of the vehicle taking the waste away, along with the waste carrier's licence number 
    • do not be tempted by “cash in hand deals” or cold callers and if in doubt, say no and contact the Envirocrime team for advice on 01454 868001.

    Frome Vale Area Forum next week

    For those living in Frampton Cotterell, Ladden Brook and Westerleigh wards, the next Frome Vale Area Forum is at 7pm on Thursday 10th July in Shireway Community Association, Yate. This is your chance to go along and influence local decision making.

    As well as the usual open session where you can put your questions on local issues to councillors and officers, there will be a presentation about the current consultation on community composting sites, applications for community grants and Positive Activities funding for your people, updates on the New Homes Bonus scheme and progress reports on local transport schemes.

    Building understanding between drivers and cyclists

    On Sunday, First Bus are running an event to build understanding between drivers and cyclists.

    You'll be able to sit behind the wheel of a bus, speak with bus drivers, other First Bus staff and the police who will be present to give safety advice and promote bike security. Bus drivers will be on hand to talk to you, to understand more about how you feel about cycling near buses. The intention is to build mutual understanding and awareness.

    Dr Bike and the Travelwest team will be there to talk about bike maintenance and cycle routes.

    There will also be the opportunity to win cycle tool kits, hi-viz jackets and bus tickets.

    The event is on Sunday 6 July 2014 between 10am and 4pm at the Lloyds Amphitheatre, Bristol Harbourside.

    Wednesday, 2 July 2014

    Stop Press - First Bus Meet the Manager event on Thursday

    First bus will be holding a meet the manager event in the Atrium at Southmead Hospital this Thursday 3 July from 10:00 - 14:00.

    In the evening, there will be an online meet the manager session from 17:00 - 19:00 on Twitter (@FirstBSA) and Facebook (First West of England).

    Both sessions will offer opportunities to residents of the West of England area to provide feedback on the changes to the services to the hospital which were made in April, the forthcoming changes to the fare structures in the wider West of England area (as Bristol was changed last November) and to discuss anything else which is of concern to them.

    People thinking of catching a bus to Southmead from Frampton Cotterell should note that the correct service numbers are 81 and 82, not 41 and 42 as it said in the Frampton Cotterell ward Focus. Service 82 goes all the way to the hospital while service 81 requires a change at Parkway but takes a shorter route. Both go down Church Road.

    Tuesday, 1 July 2014

    Reminder - drop-in - shaping the future of Iron Acton

    On Thursday (3rd July) Iron Acton Parish Council will be holding a drop-in event from 5pm to 7pm in the village hall. This is a chance to have your say on how South Glos Council's latest planning document could shape our area.

    Protecting our rural environment is a priority for your Focus Team. To help us to fight on your behalf please:

    • let us know your views, so we can speak for the community
    • make your own comments directly to South Glos, to add weight to what we are saying.
     You can find our contacts here.

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