Friday, 16 March 2018

New school plans - and success in campaign to save Brockeridge School building

For seven years since the merger of Brockeridge Infant School and Highcroft Junior School, Watermore Primary School has been operating across two sites. Now plans have been submitted to build a new 420 place Watermore Primary School on the Meadow site on Lower Stone Close (the old Highcroft Junior School). You can find out more by going to the planning application search page and entering the reference number PT18/0930/R3O.

In the same application they are seeking outline permission to demolish the old junior school buildings and erect 5 new homes on the Meadow site and 22 homes on the Orchard site, including converting the old Brockeridge School building to 6 flats.

Your Focus Team is delighted that the campaign to save this ‘Locally Listed’ school building built in 1846 from demolition looks set for success.

Local History Group Members, Stella and Cllr Andy Beecher, researched the history of the school. They found from records in the archives held in Gloucester that it was founded by members of Zion Congregational Church to enable “poor children from Frampton Cotterell and Coalpit Heath to be educated”. We understand that the cost per pupil was just two old pennies a week!

Generations of local children have been educated at this lovely old landmark building. We know that the school holds precious memories for many local families. Most of them would be horrified if the old building was flattened to make way for new development on the site.

Local Cllrs Dave & Pat Hockey, backed by Frampton Cotterell Parish Council and members of the Local History Group, made their strong views on this  clear to South Glos Council’s Head of Property Services Department. The good news from the Property Services Department is that the £175,000 funding that they were awarded on 16 February is for “Demolition of part of the existing school building (retaining the older part of the school)".

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Reminder - drop-in event on Local Plan next week

As we reported last month, South Glos is currently consulting on its new Local Plan and there is a drop-in event next Tuesday when you can find out more.

The event is being held 6-8pm on Tuesday 20 March at the Ridgewood Community Centre, Yate, BS37 4AF. Planning officers will be there to answer your questions about any aspects of the Local Plan - including the options for further development in our villages and proposals for making better use of land in Yate and other urban areas.

Full details of the consultation can be viewed at - you can also view a short video about it here.

Planning to travel by train at Easter?

Network Rail have warned us that they will be carrying out their largest ever resignalling project this Easter, from Friday 30 March to Tuesday 3 April, in and around Bristol Temple Meads. The aim is to improve reliability and increase capacity to meet growing demand. No trains will run to, through or from Bristol Temple Meads during this time.

While this is bad news for those planning to travel over Easter, they promise that in the long run it will mean fewer delays and faster journey times, and enable an increase in trains from 2019. Passengers will benefit from almost twice as many trains between Bristol and London Paddington from 2019.

You can find out more on the Network Rail website.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

New bungalow on Ram Hill refused by planning committee

Last Thursday the Planning Committee voted to refuse an application for a new bungalow on Ram Hill.

The planning officer had argued that it could be considered to be "limited infilling in a village", justifying it as being within a village by asserting that residents have access to services within Coalpit Heath. Residents and local ward councillor Claire Young spoke against this. A narrow majority of members concluded that it was not "in a village" and therefore did not constitute appropriate development in the Green Belt.

30mph speed limit for Bristol Road

The proposals for a 30mph speed limit on the B4058 Bristol Road, Frampton Cotterell have now been formally advertised. More details are available here.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Local history talk - 21 March

The latest Frampton Cotterell and District Local History Society talk takes place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 21 March at Zion Church,Woodend Road , Frampton Cotterell, BS36 2HY

Alan Freke of Frenchay Museum will be doing a talk entitled ‘The GWR Badminton Line'. All welcome, entry £4 or free to members (annual subscription £15), light refreshments included.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Quiet Lanes Scheme - latest updates

Claire campaigning for safety
improvements in Ruffet Road in 2011
I recently met residents and highways officers regarding the ongoing problems with rat running through Ruffet Road/Coalsack Lane. During the Bromley Heath Viaduct Closure there have been even worse problems with traffic driving up on to the pavement where the road is narrow, including HGVs that shouldn’t be accessing the lanes as there is a weight restriction in place.

In the short term, the highways officers have got agreement from the police that they will aim to have a presence on site in the near future.

In the new financial year, a number of options are being considered to tackle this problem as well as reduce casualties at the Kendleshire Crossroads. There will be a consultation process on this in due course.

Officers also explained why the vegetation has been cut back at the Coalsack Road/Westerleigh Road junction. The barriers that run along to the M4 overbridge on Westerleigh Road have old wooden supports which do not meet current standards and need replacing. This has been scheduled for the coming financial year, but at the point the work will be done there may be nesting birds present. They have therefore carried out the vegetation clearance in advance, in line with their standard practice.

Elsewhere in the Quiet Lanes Scheme, the 20mph limit for Ram Hill/Serridge Lane/Broad Lane (Ram Hill end) is being recommended to go ahead.