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Be Involved Blog

 

Bleadon Be Involved Blog is for anyone who would like to raise an issue about, affecting or concerning Bleadon Parish Area. Please send your information for a new blog item to us using the normal contact us page and we will add it as soon as possible then anyone can add comments to it. These comments can be made in your name or anonomously but we reserve the right to take down anything we consider inappropriate or likely to offend.

 

You may be interested in other Bleadon BOB pages: Parish Council , Parish Council Precept , Parish Plan and Issues. Also remember that historical posts can be viewed by selecting the drop down menu at the top of the blog home page. More Blogs on Whats New, Neighbourhood Watch, Events and Classified/Lost and Found. Also see new Action Group page

 

For convenience, you can subscribe to RSS feeds from this page via email or by your own RSS reader, click for detail.

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North Somerset Car Parking Review Consultation

Posted on 17th February, 2020

 

 

ConsultationOpensClosesInformation

North Somerset Car Parking Review

14 Feb 2031 Mar 20

"...looking to understand the fairest way to manage parking in our communities and help encourage lower carbon choice..."

 

North Somerset Council is:

"... reviewing parking in North Somerset and are looking to understand the fairest way to manage parking in our communities and help encourage lower carbon choices ...

 

First, [NSC] asked town and parish councils to let [it] know the best way for [it] to gather this feedback. [How did BPC respond?] 

... Some tariffs in car parks and on the roads in Weston will become cheaper, while fees will be introduced to other areas and charges will become more consistent across North Somerset [See report here] 

... [NSC launched] an online questionnaire to help you think about the key issues and help [it] understand how people use the parking available now, and how and where they would like to see changes in future. Visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/carparkingreview 

 

... If you would like to raise concerns that you feel haven't been addressed in the questionnaires you can speak to a representative from your town or parish council or your North Somerset councillor. They will collate and share with [NSC] a combined set of comments for your area 

 

... Once all the feedback has been collected transport teams will use it to develop detailed proposals for each area. There will then be a legal process we have to follow, which usually includes a statutory consultation. The earliest new charges are likely to be seen is the summer, but this will depend on the feedback we are given in the coming weeks.

 

See previous Your Neighbourhood Consultation.

 

Information on Statutory Consultees.

 

---

Full extract from NSC Consultation website 17 Feb 20:

 

"North Somerset Car Parking Review

 

We are reviewing parking in North Somerset and are looking to understand the fairest way to manage parking in our communities and help encourage lower carbon choices in line with our climate emergency declaration.

 

We have to:

  • Make sure the finite number of spaces we have allow people to park when needed
  • Encourage turnover in our town centres to give retail businesses more potential customers
  • Consider the safety of everyone who travels in areas where on-street car parking is allowed
  • Raise enough money to cover operational costs, including maintenance and enforcement
  • Encourage people to consider making sustainable travel choices

 

A cross-party working group of councillors from across the district have drawn up the proposals.

 

A detailed report outlining the proposals was presented to the councils Executive Committee in January 2020. You can read the report here.

 

Tell us what you think!

 

We invite you to respond to our questionnaires to help us develop our parking proposals. We are looking for feedback to help us decide on how new parking controls will operate in each area of North Somerset. After the consultation closes work will be undertaken to design final details. The detailed proposals will then be subject to a further statutory consultation before changes can be adopted.

 

If you would like to raise concerns that you feel haven't been addressed in the questionnaires you can speak to a representative from your town or parish council or your North Somerset councillor. They will collate and share with us a combined set of comments for your area. You can find the details for your town or parish council on our website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/parishcouncils or your North Somerset councillor at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/findmycouncillor

 

Your answers to the questionnaires will be used alongside the feedback from town and parish councils to help our transport policy officers develop the details of the proposals. There will then be a legal process we have to follow, which usually includes a statutory consultation, before bringing a report back to the Executive for a final decision. The earliest new charges are likely to be seen is the summer, but this will depend on the feedback we are given."

 

--

Full extract from NSC Consultation website 16 Feb 20:

 

"About the car parking review

 

Changes to car parking charges are coming to North Somerset this year and we want your help to shape the plans. In January our Executive agreed to several changes to what and where people will have to pay to park.

 

But before the plans are finalised, we are collecting feedback from communities to help us design the best approach for each area. First, we asked town and parish councils to let us know the best way for us to gather this feedback. We planned to launch the consultation on Monday 10 February, but have put this back to Monday 17 February to make sure we are able to incorporate all the comments we have received.

 

The proposals were drawn up by a cross-political party working group in response to residents’ calls for a fairer approach to parking. Some tariffs in car parks and on the roads in Weston will become cheaper, while fees will be introduced to other areas and charges will become more consistent across North Somerset.

 

The changes aim to make sure parking is managed in the best and fairest way possible, to encourage turnover of visitors to town centres, to make sure any fees are reasonable, and to cover the costs of enforcement in paid for and free spots. In response to the climate change emergency declared by the council last year, the changes also aim to encourage people to choose different ways to travel. If you have substantial comments or concerns you should speak to a representative from your town or parish councillor, or your North Somerset councillor, so they can collect and share with us the best information for your area. You can find the details for your North Somerset councillor on our website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/findmycouncillor 

 

Next week we will launch an online questionnaire to help you think about the key issues and help us understand how people use the parking available now, and how and where they would like to see changes in future. Visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/carparkingreview on Monday to take part. It will be open until Monday 16 March.

 

Once all the feedback has been collected transport teams will use it to develop detailed proposals for each area. There will then be a legal process we have to follow, which usually includes a statutory consultation. The earliest new charges are likely to be seen is the summer, but this will depend on the feedback we are given in the coming weeks.

 

Car parks where new charges are proposed Clevedon – Great Western Road East Clevedon – Great Western Road West Clevedon – Marson Road Nailsea – Clevedon Road Nailsea – Station Road Portishead – Roath Road

 

Areas where new on-street charging is proposed Clevedon town centre Clevedon Hill Road area Clevedon seafront Leigh Woods area Nailsea town centre Portishead town centre"

Your Neighbourhood Consultation

Posted on 16th February, 2020

 

 

ConsultationOpensClosesInformation

Your Neighbourhood

13 Feb 2007 May 20

NSC are consulting on the

following services:

  • Garden waste
  • Leisure and sport centres
  • Libraries
  • Parks and open spaces
  • street cleaning contract and

NSC is "particularly interested in

your ideas around how (it) can work better with you"

 

 

Extract from NSC Consultation website:

 

"Have your say

 

We want North Somerset to be a sustainable and fair place to live, work and visit. We want to work with you to create a place where all our residents have the opportunity to access quality education, jobs and housing.

 

We want you to get involved and work with us to shape the future of North Somerset and harness the great opportunity we have to achieve more for our people and place.

 

As part of this, we are looking at how your neighbourhood services are run and how we can ensure that they are fit for the future. Over the next few months we will be seeking your views on how we deliver a number of these services and where we should focus our future priorities.

 

The services we are consulting on are:

 

Garden waste

Help us shape the new garden waste collection service and options for home and community composting.

Leisure and sport centres

Help us understand the way North Somerset’s leisure and sport centres are currently used and how you would like to see them used in the future.

Libraries

Help us understand what is important to you about our library services and how we can ensure they are fit for the future.

Parks and open spaces

As we review our parks and open spaces maintenance contract, help us understand which parks and open spaces you use and how you would like to see them used in the future. Street cleansing

As we review our street cleaning contract,

help us shape how it will look in the future.

We are particularly interested in your ideas around how we can work better with you, your local communities and stakeholders to make these valued services as efficient and sustainable as possible. For example by pooling resources, creating delivery partnerships and taking advantage of income generating opportunities.

 

As well as completing our survey, we are inviting you to take part in a local consultation event to share your thoughts in more detail on your neighbourhood services and your ideas on how we can make them more fit for the future.

 

-----

Link to previous NSC Consultations ending in January i.e. Corporate Plan, Corporate Budget 2020/21, Rewilding in North Somerset and Climate Emergency Strategy consultations.

 

Information on Statutory Consultees.

Consultations Ending January 2020

Posted on 16th January, 2020

 

 

BOB has just become aware of a number of NSC consultations about to end this month.

 

ConsultationOpensClosesInformation

DRAFT Corporate Plan

2019-2023

 

17 Dec 1917 Jan 20

Corporate Plan

&

Overview

DRAFT 2020/21 Budget17 Dec 1917 Jan 20

Budget

&

Overview

Rewilding in North Somerset11 Nov 1924 Jan 20

Native Woodland

Tall Grass Management

Overview

Climate Emergency Strategy13 Dec 1931 Jan 20

Action Plan

Strategy

Overview

 

Corporate Plan

"Every four years the council develops a Corporate Plan. This is the council’s overarching strategic document. It sets out our vision and priorities for the area and for the organisation. 

As part of our commitment to engagement and transparency, we would like your views on this draft plan"
UPDATE 18 Jan 20 - Corporate Plan Questionnaire.

Corporate Budget 2020/21

"Every February the council approves a budget for the next year setting out how much money we have available to spend on the services we provide. We're consulting on our draft budget for 2020/21 and we would like to hear your views."

 

UPDATE 18 Jan 20 - NSC Budget Questionnaire.

How is it that NSC consult with the public on its Budget but Bleadon Parish Council held their budget and precept setting behind closed doors, in a working group with unknown members, and did not offer it for public consultation or even viewing before it was agreed at full council 13 January 2020 (Min 330.8)?

 

Rewilding in North Somerset

"Rewilding seeks to change the way open spaces are managed to allow nature to reinstate a more natural environment to benefit both biodiversity and local communities. We are committed to rewilding our parks, open spaces and verges across the district. In order to achieve this, we are planning to change some of our maintenance programmes. This will primarily include planting more trees and allowing some areas of grass to grow taller.

 

More information on the benefits of rewilding can be found on [NSC] website. We have identified locations to rewild and we have created an interactive map to show where these are. The map shows our amenity grass areas, which are the areas which we are proposing rewilding. These locations are where we are proposing to plant trees or let the grass grow taller. The map also shows the Ward boundaries so you can identify where your neighbourhood is located.

 

We want to know your opinion about our proposals and would also like to know of any further locations you think may be suitable for rewilding. As part of this project we would like to get local communities involved, therefore we are looking for volunteers who would like to help out with rewilding projects including tasks such as tree planting and monitoring areas."

Climate Emergency Strategy

"We have declared a Climate Emergency

 

In early 2019 North Somerset Council declared a Climate Emergency. Since then a draft Climate Emergency Strategy and a live Action Plan have been prepared. These documents have been endorsed by full council and now form the basis for the council's response to the climate emergency.

 

As well as seven key principles that outline how we will address the causes and consequences of climate change, the strategy includes an aim for North Somerset to become a carbon neutral council and a carbon neutral area by 2030.

 

We're interested in your views on how North Somerset has responded to the climate emergency and your views on the draft strategy. There's also an opportunity to sign up for future workshops to help develop the action plan which can also be viewed ..."

 --

Information on Statutory Consultees.

 

Previous consultation blog: How Fracking Surveys and Consultations Affect Bleadon

 

There have been three more resignations in the last two months, making 5 councillors and 2 Clerks since June 19.

 

Around 10 January 20 Bleadon Parish Council (BPC) posted on its website that due to the recent resignations of Cllr Hemmingway, Cllr Richardson and Cllr Sharman, there are now vacancies in BPC.

"If by 30 January, 2020 ... a request for an election to fill said vacancy is made in writing to the Returning Officer at Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ by TEN electors for the said Parish ..., an election will be held to fill the said vacancy,

otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-option. If an election is called, it will take place not later than 2 April, 2020."

In May 2018 there were six councillor vacancies, filled with the co-option of five lead members of BAT (Bleadon Acting Together), four of whom have now resigned. Just over 18 months later BAT is asking residents to do the same again

 

If residents do choose to stand as councillors they should be mindful that they will be representing the whole 'parish' not just one part of the 'village', or only their own views. Also, that residents do not have to be councillors to influence the outcome of planning applications, as explained via How it Should Work ... blog.

 

Regardless of how the next councillors are elected, ideally Bleadon Parish Council should consider allocating responsibility for different areas of the parish to each councillor, a similar approach to Weston Town Council. This may hopefully stop the overwhelming 'village' vs 'parish' view and decision making, created through the co-option/'friends' process, and may make local democracy more inclusive for all residents.

 

--

NSC has not yet published the Electoral Notices

 

Previous November Resignations.

The last contested Parish Election was held May 2013.

 

How it Should Work ...

Posted on 15th January, 2020

 

Purn Way Housing Development

THIS IS NOT A NEW APPLICATION - see application & BOB comment

 

There appears to be much mis-communication and subsequent frustration on social media with regards this application. So to try and clarify a few things:

  • Bleadon Parish Council (BPC) DO NOT HAVE the power to decide(approve/reject) planning applications, but they are consulted by NSC
  • North Somerset Council decide planning applications according to their adopted policies E.g. Local Plan/Core Strategy & any approved NDP
  • RESIDENTS HAVE THE POWER TO INFLUENCE NSC DECISIONS by submitting positive/negative/neutral comments on the application independently

Residents do not have to be councillors to influence applications as NSC has the power to override/support BPC decisions based on policy.

  • Residents can be elected or co-opted to be BPC 'parish' councillors BUT they must follow:
  • documented and adopted laws, policies, procedures, protocols, legal obligations, etc.
  • "Be accountable to the public for decisions and actions" [including financial expenditure]
  • "Submit to scrutiny appropriate to the office"
  • "Be as open as possible about all decisions and actions."
  • "Give reasons for decisions; restrict information only when the wider public interest demands."
  • Declare "Disclosable Pecuniary Interests" and "Other Interests"

Note:

  • All four current councillors live towards the Purn Way end of the 'village', none from the wider 'parish'.
  • Four of the last five resigning councillors also lived towards Purn Way.
  • To be able to make decisions, i.e. be 'quorate', BPC only need 3 councillors that have not made an associated declaration of interest.
  • As far as BOB is aware, as a council BPC has been 'quorate' in the last few years and has been able to make decisions, except briefly for the one 200 Houses application.

Over the last few years BPC has not been attending to these basic obligations or responsibilities, which BOB believes has resulted in an increase in public frustration and complaint. Let's hope that any newly elected or co-opted resident is fully aware of the commitment required to be a councillor and will represent the 'parish' and not just the 'village'.

 

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

General Planning Process Overview

  • (The Applicant submits a planning application)
  • NSC make planning application and consultation decisions NOT BPC (e.g. some current and decided applications)
  • NSC set various application time deadlines, then
  • NSC asks various Statutory Consultees, including BPC, for their comments on the application, e.g. support, object, neutral
  • NSC asks the public for their comments on the application e.g. through the NSC website, via BPC agenda, minutes, public meetings, etc.
  • NSC makes the decision whether to Approve or Reject the application, based on documented and adopted laws, policies, etc. NOT BPC.

The Applicant can appeal against a NSC decision NOT a resident(?unless on a point of process)

  • The Planning Inspectorate will decide the type of appeal
  • NSC will choose how to defend an Appeal NOT BPC e.g. Mendip Motor
  • Residents can speak at an Appeal at the Inspector's discretion e.g. 200 Houses and/or become a Rule 6 Party e.g. Bleadon Hill
  • The individual Inspector (not a panel) then decides the outcome of the Appeal

General 'Parish' Councillor Roles, Responsibilities, obligations, etc.

  • Residents can be elected or co-opted (asked) to be a 'Parish' councillor
  • Councillors must then act on behalf of residents of the 'Parish' not just the 'Village'
  • They must follow documented and adopted laws, policies, procedures, protocols, etc.
  • E.g. BPC adopted National Code of Conduct, which is "based on the seven principles of public life"
  • to be open and accountable for decisions and actions and financial expenditure,
  • submit to public scrutiny, [including any resident complaint submitted/upheld by NSC]
  • declare pecuniary and other interests e.g. Appendix A & B

BPC's adopted Code of Conduct states: "Give reasons for decisions; restrict information only when the wider public interest demands."

  • To achieve better openness and transparency:
  • "The Freedom of Information Act requires every public authority to have a publication scheme, approved by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and to publish information covered by the scheme.
  • The scheme … [sets out BPC's] commitment to make certain classes of information routinely available, such as policies and procedures, minutes of meetings, annual reports and financial information."
  • "The legal commitment is to the model publication scheme, and public authorities should look to provide as much information as possible on a routine basis.

Neighbourhood Plan

  • The fundamental creation and adoption of a Neighbourhood Development Plan (unlike Bleadon's adopted Parish Plan) prescribes that Bleadon identify sites where housing will be permitted. As well as the ongoing maintenance obligation and cost to Bleadon, BOB has always argued that identification of sites by BPC would inevitably create conflict amongst residents... Purn Way would appear to be one of them, but other sites adjacent to boundary have also already been considered for the JSP and NSC Local Plan purposes, as well as BPC's NDP as indicated in its recent grant application submission.
  • BPC NDP Feb 19 Minutes - "The response to the survey had been magnificent – 281 questionnaires completed in total (130 online)."  and  "There are just under 500 houses in the village and just over 950 adults on the electoral roll ... nearly 30%.". (NB: The 200 House Appeal submission and BVN113 states " The responses equate to 56% of households in the parish")?
  • Reference should also be made to the BPC's responses to the JSP(Joint Spatial Plan) and NSC Local Plan 2036 consultations. E.g. Currently there is housing all along Bleadon's Settlement Boundary, except for the Quarry area.
  • On 10 Dec 18 BPC indicated that a flex of settlement boundary may be acceptable at some point? "The current [NSC] policy should be amended to ensure that the size of any housing development adjacent to the boundary is limited in number to no more than 10% of the existing homes in the parish (currently circa 500 homes)" (Min 317.12)? What sites adjacent to the boundary did BPC have in mind? However, most of the councillors who submitted this consultation comment have since resigned!

 

 

Calling all Knitters and Crocheters

Posted on 7th January, 2020

 

 

The following request is from Little Dandelion Australia via Amy in Brent Knoll: 

"Knitters of the World - Australia needs your help. Over 1 million hectares of land have been burning in 300 fires across NSW and Queensland … There has been a call out for knitted, crocheted Joey pouches and sewn pouch liners for our beloved kangaroos, and other natives such as possums and wombats, to help in the treatment of burns."

The items most needed, and associated patterns and sizes required, can be found on various sites including Animal Rescue Collective Craft and Little Dandelion Australia.

 

If you would like to contribute 8-ply natural wool or knitted/crotched items then Corinne is kindly offering to collect the items from you and take them to the lady in Brent Knoll, who's sister will take them to Australia on 5th February.

 

Please note you can send items to Australia yourself but if you would like to use the local method of someone taking your items to Australia personally then you will need to:

 

contact Corinne on 07979 532 960 before 3rd February deadline.

[UPDATE 09 JAN 2020] 

For more information and local updates also see Corinnes Facebook Page

 

E.g. "The first flyer flew out today [9 Jan] with first batch of items made" and "There are collection points around the country and these are growing all the time ... British airways are discussing about moving crates carrying 500kg of items. Tom Ball of the Times has done a report on this all and it should be out tomorrow [9 Jan]. You can look on fb.uk crafters Australian Animal Rescue Effort and find out lots of information from here inc patterns, collection points ,carriers etc."

November Resignations

Posted on 26th December, 2019

 

 

The 09 December 2019 Bleadon Parish Council Agenda (Min 329.8) stated another two resignations, Cllr Hemingway on 21 Nov 19, and the Clerk, Naomi, on 15 Nov 19.

 

The December minutes have not yet been published so reasons for their resignation may not be known until the next BPC Agenda is published, around 08 Jan 20.

 

The end of this year therefore sees the return of Bruce as interim Clerk, from 15 Nov 19. Since his leaving in 2015 BPC has seen the departure of 13 councillors and 7 clerks, including 2 locums, as seen below.

 

The interim Chair, Cllr Williams, has stated on her appointment that she will be Chair up until next Apr/May 2020, so it will be interesting to see what the New Year brings.

 

--

 

Previous resignation blog

 

13 Resigning Councillors since May 2015:

Gibson, C.Findlay, Clarke, Edwards, Gibbon, Gutsell, Strong, Chinn, Dobson, Blezard, Selway, Baines & Hemingway

 

7 Clerks (2 locums) since May 2015: 

Hazel, Sam, Tony, Maria, Kevin, Marian & Naomi

Sanders Fields Appeal Dismissed

Posted on 24th December, 2019

 

This appeal has been dismissed. The Inspector concluded in his report "There are therefore no material considerations that would lead me to a decision other than in accordance with the [North Somerset] development plan."

 

See previous blog for previous application and appeal information

Bleadon Hill Agriculture Change of Use

Posted on 22nd December, 2019

Click to enlarge image

 

UPDATE: 13 FEB 20 Application GRANTED. Decision NoticeDelegated Report and BPC submission (03 Feb 20).

--

A new full application at the "Field To The South Of The Hillcote Estate Bleadon Hill:

"Change from agricultural to mixed use and erection of a stable" - Site Plan & Planning Statement

Comments deadline is now Thursday 30 January 2020, was Christmas Eve, Tuesday 24 December 2019. Here is the link to the application 19/P/2777/FUL on North Somerset Council Planning website.

 

If you prefer to post your comments then the postal address is:

North Somerset Council Development Management

Post Point 15

Town Hall

Weston-super-Mare

BS23 1UJ

If you do make comments on this BOB blog (below), please also make sure that they are made to, and appear on, the North Somerset website link as above. As otherwise they will be ignored by NSC.

 

---

 

NB: Bleadon Parish Council's has not yet commented as Statutory Consultee, nor is there any reference to this application in any published agenda or minutes either. Also see BPC's previous Corporate Policy Planning Policy Statement (Para 9) not currently published on their website.

UPDATE 13 JAN 2020: (Min 330.7) "Resolved to recommend approval with Councillor Scarisbick voting against. 19/P/2777/FUL Field to the South of the Hilcote Estate Change from agricultural use to mixed use and erecion of a stable Bleadon Hill" 

This application is adjacent to the current 40 Houses outline development, see 19/P/2243/OUT

 

There was also a previous application related to this site in 2014 for 79 houses which was subsequently turned down on Appeal.

Doctors Express Concern over Airport Expansion

Posted on 14th December, 2019

 

UPDATE 10 FEB 20: Application REFUSED, with BBC News article stating North Somerset ``Councillors voted 18-7, with one abstention, to reject it.``

 

UPDATE: 07 FEB 20 Parish Councils Airport Association (PCAA) rebuttal, stating that, "The PCAA considers that Officers have given undue weight to perceived benefits and policy statements that support the case for approval and far too little weight to welldocumented objections and the obvious material consideration of climate emergency.``

 

UPDATE: 30 JAN 20 NSC Officers Report - ``It is recommended that subject to referral to the Secretary of State and the completion of a S106 legal agreement, this application be APPROVED subject to planning conditions``

 

--

In November 108 doctors from Culverhay Surgery, Wotton-under-Edge submitted an objection to the Bristol Airport Expansion application stating:

"Medact Bristol is a network of healthcare professionals living and working in the Bristol area. We are writing to express our opposition to the proposed expansion of Bristol Airport. We are deeply concerned that any expansion of the airport would constitute a significant threat to human health. We call on you to commit to preventing the expansion of Bristol Airport. We detail specific health concerns below.

  1. Air Quality
  2. Noise pollution
  3. Climate Change ...

In conclusion, we assert that pursuing airport expansion endangers the health and wellbeing of people in Bristol and North Somerset. We present evidence to show the threats to health caused by 3 mechanisms relating to the proposed expansion; worsening air quality, noise pollution and contributions to climate breakdown.

 

We also point out the significant economic costs of these health impacts. We therefore believe there is a moral obligation and duty of care to residents to act now and oppose airport expansion."

If you have something to say about this application you can can submit your comments online to North Somerset via planning application 18/P/5118/OUT

 

 

 

NB: In October Bristol Airport Ltd submitted additional information for its latest expansion application. In November North Somerset Council sent a letter to parish councils asking for their comments, with a deadline of 01 December 2019. As published last week, on 11 Nov 19 (Min 328.12) BPC resolved not to make an additional comment but to rely on their previous May 19 submission)

 

See previous Airport Expansion BOB blog 

 

Also BOB's Environmental page 

 

 

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BACKGROUND

 

 

Submission to North Somerset Council by "Culverhay Surgery Wotton Under Edge GL12 7LS (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Tue 12 Nov 2019

 

Dear Councillors,

Re: Bristol Airport, North Side Road, Felton, Wrington BS48 3DP

Planning application: 18/P/5118/OUT

 

Medact Bristol is a network of healthcare professionals living and working in the Bristol area. We are writing to express our opposition to the proposed expansion of Bristol Airport. We are deeply concerned that any expansion of the airport would constitute a significant threat to human health. We call on you to commit to preventing the expansion of Bristol Airport. We detail specific health concerns below.

 

1. Air Quality

[See Government Clean Air Strategy & Executive Summary also Clean Growth Strategy & Executive]

 

Increasing capacity at Bristol Airport will involve increased emissions from aeroplanes and increased emissions from vehicular transport to and from the airport. Together, these will worsen air quality in the Bristol area. We can expect that surface emissions will be increased by 9,500 additional vehicle movements per day. That is 13,000 - 28,000 private vehicle journeys per day to and from the airport.

 

Premature deaths, of which an estimated 16000 a year globally are attributable to aviation emissions, are mostly due to the PM and ozone released during take-off and landing (Yim et al 2013). For those populations who live within 20km of an airport an estimated 5000 people will suffer a premature death due to aviation emissions.

 

A recent study by Kings College London examining the Public Health Implications of air pollution from particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide found evidence of decreased life expectancy of children born and growing up in high levels of exposure (Dajnak et al 2019). In adults, exposure to these pollutants is linked to increased risk of heart and lung disease including lung cancer (Pope III 2002), obesity, stroke, asthma and diabetes (RCP & RCPCH 2019). Mental health is also at risk, with a recent meta-analysis concluding that an increase in ambient PM is strongly associated with increased depression risk in the general population (Gu et al 2019), as well as studies showing a link between poor air quality and dementia (Carey 2018).

 

It has been shown that exposure to air pollution in pregnancy can cause low birth weight, in particular fetal head size (Turner et al 2017). Low birth weight is associated with morbidity later in life such as coronary artery disease, type two diabetes and asthma. These health effects exert an economic toll for individuals, businesses and health services. In the UK, the costs due to poor air quality are estimated at more than £20 billion every year (RCP & RCPCH 2019).

 

2. Noise pollution

[See Government Airspace Change Consultation]

 

Under the planned expansion there would be a flight every three minutes, up to 4000 night flights and thousands of additional residents being 'flown over'.

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognise noise as an 'underestimated threat' that has significant Public Health effects. They advise decibel (dB) levels of less than 30db(A) in a bedroom for good quality sleep, and less than 35 db(A) in a classroom for effective learning. The average dB level of an aircraft taking off is in the order of 100dB.

 

Noise pollution is linked to sleep disturbance and heart disease. Furthermore it has been shown to have a greater effect on the very young; the WHO states there is "consistent evidence that noise exposure harms cognitive performance; consistent association with impaired well-being and motivation to a slightly more limited extent [and] moderate evidence of effects on blood pressure and catecholamine hormone secretion."

 

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) list stress, annoyance, sleep disruption, and poor performance at school and work as the recognised effects of noise pollution from airports.

 

It is therefore clear that the additional noise pollution generated by increased capacity at Bristol Airport would cause morbidity and premature death for the residents of North Somerset and Bristol.

 

 

3. Climate Change

[See NSC Climate Emergency Update]

 

The negative environmental impacts of the proposed expansion of Bristol Airport are far greater, both in terms of CO2 and non-COs gases, than is stated in the planning application (Gibbs 2019) and would therefore contribute significantly to the climate emergency. The advisory Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recently stated the UK's planned increase in aviation needs to be curbed. This expansion directly contravenes this advice.

 

Climate change is the 'biggest global health threat of the 21st century' (Lancet, 2009). The WHO predicts that between 2030 and 2050 there will be an additional 250,000 deaths from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and dehydration due to climate chaos. Climate change is also linked to more chaotic extremes of not only heat but also rain and therefore flooding. This will lead to more problems with contaminated water sources, diarrhoeal disease and vector-borne diseases such as malaria, as well as contributing to a situation where food is less abundant and more expensive.

 

The UN has also stated that climate change is putting 'the food security of billions of people at risk'. Furthermore, weather chaos will lead to damage and access difficulties to healthcare bases such as hospitals and GP surgeries, strangling the ability of healthcare workers to deliver efficient care and preventing good access for patients.

 

These wide ranging issues will have direct and tangible negative effects on local residents. Climate change threatens the health and wellbeing of people in our community on our planet and threatens the very existence of the next generation.

 

In conclusion, we assert that pursuing airport expansion endangers the health and wellbeing of people in Bristol and North Somerset. We present evidence to show the threats to health caused by 3 mechanisms relating to the proposed expansion; worsening air quality, noise pollution and contributions to climate breakdown. We also point out the significant economic costs of these health impacts. We therefore believe there is a moral obligation and duty of care to residents to act now and oppose airport expansion.

 

Many thanks for your consideration.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

1. Dr Grace Thompson 2. Dr. Fiona Headley 3. Dr. Alice Gardner 4. Dr. Rose Soame 5. Dr. Martin Hartog 6. Dr. Kate Highton 7. Dr. Chris Lamb 8. Dr. Catherine Stace 9. Dr. Hattie Nicholas 10. Dr. Jasmine Schulkind 11. Dr. Kathryn McGregor 12. Miss Jessica Hawkins 13. Dr. Katherine Savage 14. Dr. Martin Hartog 15. Dr. Elaine Lunts 16. Ms. Kate Paul 17. Dr. Thomas Watkivs 18. Dr. Catriona Mellor 19. Dr. James Watson 20. Ms. Lizzie O'Brien 21. Dr. Hannh Trewin 22. Dr. Lucy Pocock 23. Dr. Charles Holme 24. Mr. Jonathan Boyne 25. Dr. Diarmuid White 26. Dr. Seamus Harrington 27. Dr. Pippa Munro 28. Dr. Thomas Brookes 29. Dr. Sandra Fenn 30. Dr. Rajeka Lazarus 31. Dr. Olivia Burke 32. Dr. Harriet Burn 33. Dr. Jenny Harper Gow 34. Dr. Harriet Aughey 35. Dr. Nicholas Watts 36. Dr. Alexandra Tate 37. Dr. Helen Leveret 38. Dr. Zoe Richmond 39. Dr. Sophie Foster 40. Dr. Miranda Cole 41. Dr. Anna Ludvigsen 42. Dr. Sarah Briggs 43. Dr. Samuel Taylor-Smith 44. Dr. Joanne Girdler 45. Dr. Angela Wilson 46. Ms. Sue Kilroe 47. Ms. Peggy Woodward 48. Ms. Sarah Creagh-Osborne 49. Dr. Lesley Black 50. Dr. Diana Warner 51. Dr. Becca Hall 52. Dr. Jack Nicholson 53. Ms. Tracy Lyons 54. Mrs. Joanna Moulton 55. Dr. Faye Harvey 56. Dr. Victoria Bowler 57. Dr. James Pickard 58. Mrs. Lizzie Gibbs 59. Mrs. Zoe Coppin 60. Dr. Anya Gopfert 61. Dr. Rosa Roberts 62. Dr. Rosie Spooner 63. Dr. Joanna Waldock 64. Ms. Abbie Festa 65. Dr. Patrick Hart 66. Professor Trevor Thompson 67. Dr. Elizabeth Ormerod 68. Ms. Eimer Kilroe 69. Ms. Lucy Shapcott 70. Dr. Connie Smith 71. Dr. Katherine Dixon 72. Dr. Charles Dixon 73. Dr. Lucy Potter 74. Dr. Amy Ashford 75. Dr. Wiliam Stableforth 76. Dr. Helen Bowers 77. Dr. Lisa Revell 78. Dr. Annabel Headdon 79. Dr. Hyunkee Kim 80. Dr. Rebecca Vanmarle 81. Dr. Becca Hall 82. Dr. Sarah Goodall 83. Dr. Meg Dillon 84. Dr. Prianka Padmanathan 85. Dr. Trevor Aughey 86. Dr. Claire Ferraro 87. Dr. Jess Elliot 88. Dr. Luke McGeoch 89. Dr Aliesje Kuur 90. Dr Jessica Watson 91. Dr Stephane Paulus 92. DrGemma Matthewman 93. Dr Ceri Lumb 94. Dr Mike Prosser 95. Dr Sam Kuok 96. Dr Mungo Morris 97. Dr Joanna Smallman 98. Dr Charlotte Jones 99. Dr Paul Maries 100 .Dr Sophia Reynolds 101 .Dr Lavan Sivagnanam 102 Dr Rebekah Gabriel 103 Dr Kirsty Brownlie 104 Dr Louise Younie 105 Dr Will Duffin 106 Dr Victoria Medland 107 Dr Sam Kuok 108 Dr Felicity Fay