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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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Bleadon Parish News Update

Posted on 8th October, 2018

For their next newsletter Bleadon Parish Council are inviting article contributions for publication from residents and local groups and also the potential for advertising from local businesses. If you are interested please contact Bleadon Parish Council Clerk.

 

As always, you can also Contact BOB to advertise too.

NSC Refuses 200 Houses in Bleadon

Posted on 17th September, 2018

 

 

 

NSC has supported its Local Plan policies and refused outline permission for 200 houses in Bleadon (see previous blog). The developer may yet take this to appeal at which point all those that commented should be informed by NSC in due course and their comments sent to the Planning Inspector.

 

Things to consider if an appeal goes ahead:

  • NSC's reasons for refusal as stated in the Decison Notice (PDFcopy), and the Officer's Report (PDFcopy).
  • Research previous appeals and Planning Inspector outcome reports, e.g. as seen on this BOB page.
  • Refer to the revised NPPF and stakeholder views as indicated in the July NPPF Blog.
  • Be aware of, and respond to, NSC's current Local Plan Consultation, which went out for consultation 3 Sept-10 Dec 2018. Athough this was not put on BPC's Sept Agenda, hopefully it will be raised and responded to in the near future.

As far as BOB is aware if this goes to appeal NSC should/will defend their policies at their cost, It may all come down to NSC housing build numbers for government quota targets and Bleadon's sustainability and environmental impact, but ultimately the Planning Inspector will then decide final outcome. 

 

 

North Somerset Council are inviting your views on their Local Plan 2036 – Issues and Options Document. The 3 month consultation will end at midday on 10 December 2018.

 

To respond to the consultation please visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/localplan2036

 

The North Somerset Local Plan is a planning policy document which identifies where new housing, jobs, and infrastructure such as roads, schools, parks and health services will be built over the next 20 years. About 25,000 new homes are needed by 2036. Just under 14,000 are already earmarked, so just over 11,000 still need to be allocated. Two new villages north of Banwell and Langford and extensions to Nailsea and Backwell are proposed. Brownfield land, especially in Weston, will be used for new houses and apartments. Sites for a further 1,000 houses will also need to be found elsewhere in North Somerset.

 

This is an early stage in the plan-making process. The purpose of the Issues and Options document is to identify the issues which need to be addressed and to receive initial feedback on a range of proposed alternatives. It is not a draft plan and does not contain detailed policies or site allocations. Detailed draft policies will be consulted upon at a later date, taking into account the results of this consultation.

There will also be discussion forums on different topics throughout the consultation period which can be accessed from our website.
You can make comments via the online version of the document. This is the most effective way to view the document and comment.
Alternatively you can; Email your comments to: planning.policy@n-somerset.gov.uk or 

Post your comments to: Planning Policy Team, Post Point 15, Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-Super-Mare, BS23 1UJ.

 

You can also look at a paper copy of the document at your local library, at the Town Hall, Weston-Super-Mare or at Castlewood, Clevedon by asking at reception.

 

Today an Agricultural Barn but perhaps Tomorrow?

 

A revised planning Application for a Big Storage Barn and new access road on Bleadon Hill near Purn Hill Nature reserve off Purn Lane / Purn Road has been submitted to NSC.

 

Deadline for comments is Wednesday 19 Sept 2018. North Somerset Council Reference is: 18/P/4105/FUL 

 

BPC have raised this on their agenda for next week Monday 10th Sept 2018. If you want to speak about this at the meeting then: "In order for the Parish Council to provide a full response where appropriate a Member of the Public may only speak if prior notification has been given to the Clerk by noon on Friday, 7 September 2018"

 

BOB has been informed that although the original application is referenced to the new one previous comments and objections will not be considered with regards to the new application! This is because it is a new application and has to be considered on its own merits! NSC will still consult the relevant parties, as before, but letters have again only gone out to a few households affected. Therefore if you want your previous comments to be taken into consideration then you will need to resubmit your comments ASAP.

 

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.

  

Previous applications and information can be seen here.

A370 Consultation

Posted on 9th August, 2018

 

 

UPDATE FOLLOWING BAT & BPC MEETINGS 13 AUG 18

  • Residents voted to reject the current proposals and asked for more considered options and costs. Hopefully the new proposals will include the whole Bleadon road and junction network e.g.  Accomodatation Rd, Bridge Rd, Bleadon Mill, Devil's Bridge, Celtic Way, Shiplate Road, etc. as issues at one junction have a knock-on effect on all others.
  • BPC's following extra-ordinary meeting agreed with resident outcome and decide not to commit any Bleadon Reserve fund at this time (Aug 18 Min 312.7 & 312.8) No indication of what this £46K Reserve was collected for, or what projects may be affected if it was used for the A370 project.
  • The resident meeting was chaired by BAT.
  • These proposals for a traffic island and speed reduction were put forward by District Cllr App-Rees in consultation with BPC & a group of residents - not by NSC although they have costed the project.
  • It was stated by Cllr App-Rees that "NSC would not be funding any of these options as the officers were not in support of the scheme" (Aug 18 Min 312.7). Costs stated varied from £10K for speed reduction to £200K for traffic lights?
  • BPC are investigating a loan option from the Public Works Loan Board (Aug 18 Min 312.7)
  • There has been no information published by BPC on any potential S106 funding for Bleadon (May 18 Min 309.19).
  • BPC's following extra-ordinary meeting acknowledged that attending residents had put forward some interesting alternative ideas -  to be typed up, shared and considered by councillors in a sub-commitee. to come back with costed options, fund raising ideas, etc. (Aug Min 312.7 - shared with residents?). Will all residents get asked by BPC to input their ideas, as discussed by councillors in May? 
  • [Note: BPC A370 project decisions/actions May Min 309.19 including payment for leaflet (Aug Min 312.12 - £85), hall and newsletter article?]

---------------

 

Bleadon Parish Council (BPC) has convened a resident consultation meeting for Monday 13 August 2018 at 7pm to discuss A370 road safety improvements. Some of you may have received a green leaflet inviting you to attend and discuss parishioners’ proposals. NB This green leaflet was not on BPC headed paper, nor was it posted with an agenda on the parish notice boards, nor was information posted on the BPC website or in their parish newsletter 

 

No one wants to see any more road accidents or deaths, as we have sadly experienced, but this project needs to have input from ALL residents in relation to all projects and aspirations in the parish. Things to consider for this project include:

  1. Why do residents need to pay up to £32K for a NSC statutory duty?
  2. What happened to any Section 106 and CIL funding from existing developments (Riverside Caravans, Old Boot Sale Site, Wake Park, Quarry)?
  3. Would any proposed developments pay for this project if applications went ahead (e.g. Sanders Fields, Devil’s Bridge)?
  4. Why the lack of prior access to project information, reports and resident inclusion?
  5. Why the urgency of an immediate BPC full council decision following limited consultation?
  6. Will the use of Bleadon’s Reserve funds affect other projects that this money was perhaps saved for?
  7. Some accident statistics June 18 Min 310.9

    • 13 accidents with 27 injuries (1 fatal) at Accommodation Road and
    • 4 accidents with 8 injuries (1 fatal) at Bridge Road.
  8. The new A370 project costs are as follows (Aug Agenda item 312.8):
  • 40mph Speed Limit Only -                             £10,515.97
  • Crossing Point by Bridge Rd Junction Only   £28,015.07
  • Both -                                                              £31,582.16 [£7K discount??]

It is good to see that some items raised in the adopted 2009 Parish Plan process are being considered by new councillors but, as BOB has frequently said, surely this should involve a more open, transparent and inclusive approach involving ALL residents not just a select few that are informed or able to physically attend BPC meetings? 

 

For more information see May Min 309.19,  Jun Min 310.09,  July Min 311.18, see also 1972 LG Act and parish polls e.g. Yatton, and notes below.

 

--

 

NOTES:

 

1. NSC Duty: The green leaflet and BPC website indicated that North Somerset Council (NSC) has drawn up a plan for improving road safety that may require residents to fund up to £32K. If NSC has a statutory duty for highways, and this is a NSC plan, why are residents being asked to fund this potential £32K project? Why no access to reports before now e.g. Feb 18 Min 305.12?

 

2. S106/CIL: There have been several major planning and development projects in Bleadon in the last few years but none of these has addressed the speed limit or crossing issues to date, why? What has happened to S106 and CIL funding in Bleadon, did BPC receive S106 information from NSC in May, if so why hasn't any information been published yet? (May 18 Min 309.19)

 

3. New Developments: It should be noted that if the Sanders Fields development is approved it may be conditioned to pay for road improvements through Section106/CIL thus negating NSC/BPC to pay at all. Precept reserves could then be kept for other parish projects. So could we wait for that decision?

 

4. Access to Information: Consequently residents will now only be given 2 hours access to this A370 project information, costs and safety statistics. Attending residents (not all parishioners) who have been informed will then be asked their views, suggestions and any other options BPC could consider. Why hasn’t this information been released to all residents prior to this BPC convened meeting? (May 18 Min 309.19.2) Surely ALL the parish households should be consulted, perhaps by a referendum of multi choice like a mini 2005-9 plan questionnaire? After all BPC has twice managed to get green leaflets out to some residents, they could also have included information and a return slip of ideas.

 

5. Urgent Meeting?: Immediately after this consultation meeting BPC is holding a full council extraordinary meeting, at 9pm, to decide whether to spend resident’s money on this project and if so how much. Residents may only speak at the full council meeting if prior notification has been given to the Clerk by noon on Friday, 10 August 2018, yet residents will not have access to the project information until 2 hours prior to the council meeting on 13th August 2018? (Aug 18 Agenda). Why the urgency of the A370 project without inclusive consultation and full information? What is NSC’s deadline for BPC’s decision and why?

 

6. Affected Projects?: At the Aug 18  meeting BPC are "To Consider the use of Parish council reserves [both?] for A370 road safety improvements (Agenda Item 312.8).

  • General Reserve  £25,000.00
  • Special Reserve*  £21,000.00 *this is a restricted reserve specifically for improvements in the parish."

What is the difference between BPC's General Reserve and its Special Reserve, what are they reserved for? Especially in relation to the guidance?

 

The Good Councillor's Guide to Finance and Transparency on Reserves states, "A council should typically hold between 3 and 12 months expenditure as a general reserve. If the general reserve is too low then it may not be enough to cover unexpected expenditure or emergencies, whilst if the general reserve is too high then local electors have paid a tax which is not being used for the benefit of the local community.

 

Local councils have no legal powers to hold revenue reserves other than for reasonable working capital or for specifically earmarked purposes, therefore the year-end general reserve should not be significantly higher than the annual precept."

 

So what projects were the reserves being held for, and what will happen to those projects now? How will this affect the precept next year?

 

7. Accident Statistics: The original 2009 Parish Action Plan planned to resolve pedestrian safety, traffic management at junctions and reduce speeds throughout the village, involving Accommodation Road, Bridge Road and the A370 but many other areas were also identified. June 18 Min 310.9 Accident Statistics: "Clerk has received the accident statistics for the two junctions from 2008 to March 2018 showing:

  • 13 accidents with 27 injuries (1 fatal) at Accommodation Road and
  • 4 accidents with 8 injuries (1 fatal) at Bridge Road."

8. Project Costs/Payment: There is a lack of clarity with regards to Bleadon’s financial reserves, and the costs and funding approach to projects to date but BPC appear to be currently holding a total of £56,600 of resident money in reserve (July 18 Min 311.11 vs 311.9 vs May 18 309.19). Councillors  appear to be considering using either or both the General (£25K) and Special (£21K) allocations of the reserve for the A370 project (Aug 18 Agenda item 312.7) but it is not clear whether this is paying the full cost of the project or 50% as indicated in Feb 18 Min 305.12, nor is it clear what residents may have agreed to at the April APM (Resolution 1). The new A370 project costs are as follows (Aug Agenda item 312.8): 

  • 40mph Speed Limit Only - £10,515.97
  • Crossing Point Only -        £28,015.07
  • Both -                                 £31,582.16 [£7K discount??]

NB There is  indicating that it is good practice to only hold 3–12 months of the £44K precept. BPC appear to have protected the current reserves by increasing this year's precept demand from residents by £13.44% (Nov 17 Min F&P Min 52.5). So what projects were the reserves being held for, and what will happen to those projects now? How will this affect the precept next year?

 

09 July 18 Min 311.11 To Approve the allocation of Reserves. RESERVES 
  • Staff contingency       £ 3,500.00
  • Staff gratuity/pension £ 1,000.00
  • Election expenses      £ 3,100.00
  • Special reserve*         £21,000.00 restricted specifically for improvements in the parish.
  • General reserve         £25,000.00
  • Church Grounds         £ 3,000.00  
  • TOTAL                       £56,600.00

9. OTHER: A Parish Poll is a (seldom used) democratic tool which allows for a ballot of local government electors in the parish to be called on any question arising at a parish meeting. Although non-binding, meaning that the results of the poll do not have to be followed by BPC/NSC, the poll will provide an indication of support, which should guide the Council(s). See also 'Ask Your Council' website.

Revised Planning Policy July 2018

Posted on 27th July, 2018


House Building Image

 

The government has released its revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF 24 July 2018) with mixed reaction as seen below:

  • Local Government: "Whitehall has ‘not listened’ to the concerns of local authorities when it comes to national housing targets... introduces a Housing Delivery Test, which will come into force in November this year. This measures the number of homes delivered rather than just planned for … this test would punish councils when private developers fail to build." 
  • Property: "'Fundamental to building the homes our country needs is ensuring that our planning system is fit for the future. This revised planning framework sets out our vision of a planning system that delivers the homes we need,' said Secretary of State for Housing
  • Legal: "The old paragraph 14 presumption in favour of sustainable development is now replaced with a new and revised paragraph 11 presumption which includes reference to a new "housing delivery test. This will cause concern to local planning authorities that have underperformed on housing delivery as it places greater responsibility on them to deliver target housing numbers and includes sanctions for failing to meet housebuilding targets in local plans. This will effectively render its adopted local plan policies as out-of-date"
  • Wildlife Trusts: "The good news is that Local Wildlife Sites have been reinstated in the document released today ... local councils will need to identify, map and safeguard components of the local ecological networks … The bad news is that the wording doesn’t go quite as far as we would like – we would have preferred an explicit recommendation against development of these sites." 
  • Construction: "Builders' representatives said the new document was a missed opportunity but the quarrying sector welcomed it ... The Mineral Products Association (MPA) ... has welcomed the new document
  • Environmental: "By requiring planning authorities to plan positively for shale extraction, the approach gives the go-ahead for fracking and will make it virtually impossible for councils to refuse schemes they and their communities do not want or consider right for their area". See also BOB's Fracking page.
  • Politics: "The government has made changes to national planning policy on onshore oil and gas even though most of the people who took part in a consultation disagreed with them.

It is indicated that Neighbourhood Development Plans will need to comply with this revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), see Policy Heirarchy diagram on BOB.

Fracking Concerns

Posted on 26th July, 2018


Update ImageUPDATE 26 JULY 2018: Friends of the Earth state, "The National Planning Policy Framework, which was released on the very last day of parliament (24 July), promotes fracking ... Friends of the Earth is concerned that ... By requiring planning authorities to plan positively for shale extraction, the approach gives the go-ahead for fracking and will make it virtually impossible for councils to refuse schemes they and their communities do not want or consider right for their area"

 

UPDATE 24 JULY 2018: Sum of Us create a petition stating, "Secretary Greg Clarke has just announced plans to fast track planning applications for fracking developments ... they'd not need planning permission at all. Local councils would also lose any right to have their say in the matter."

 

Reference: Revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 24 July 2018 e.g. Section 17 Facilitating the sustainable use of minerals, page 58 (mineral extraction) and Section 14. Meeting the challenge of climate change, flooding and coastal change. Also, see BOB Revised Planning Policy blog.

 

NB: It is indicated that all Neighbourhood Development Plans will need to comply with the NPPF (directly or indirectly), see policy heirarchy diagram.

 

For more information on how this may affect Bleadon see BOB's Fracking page.

 

 

Public Consultations July 2018

Posted on 3rd July, 2018

 

 

BPC are residents' Statutory Consultee and so are automatically informed of any consultations that may affect our community. Since April 2016, BPC decided to remove the Correspondence section from their published Agenda, so residents can no longer see who is requesting information and/or consultation from BPC on our/residents' behalf.

 

The following public consultations will be finishing soon: 

  • Bristol Airport Expansion consultation Stage 2 deadline is 06 July 2018. BOB can find no reference to this consultation in BPC published information, so is unsure whether BPC was requested to comment on our behalf. Previous Stage 1 consultation ended Jan 2018
  • Celtic Way Appeal has been lodge for the conversion of a stable to a dwelling. Deadline for additional comments is Friday 13 July 18. 

BPC's next public meeting is Monday Monday 9th July. NB. Members of the public may request to speak and ask questions in the Public Participation section of the meeting. Presubmission of your query to the BPC Clerk is advised.

Celtic Way Appeal

Posted on 3rd July, 2018

 

Link to Celtic Way Stables Image

 

 

The Applicant of the Celtic Way application for conversion of a stable to a dwelling is taking the NSC decision to refuse this application to appeal. Appeal Reference: APP/D0121/W/18/3200632 on the Planning Inspectorate website states the details including contact details of the Case Officer and phone number. Deadline for additional comments is Friday 13 July 18. 

 

As BOB understands the process all the original comments will be seen by the Planning Inspector. It is unfortunate (to say the least) that Bleadon Parish Council did not object (although NSC did), despite this site being outside the Settlement Boundary. Yet conversely BPC did object to the Rivermead application, also outside boundary, but NSC approved it! Both the NSC Local Plan and BPC adopted Parish Plan state that development in Bleadon should be constrained within the Settlement Boundary. The applicant has cited these anomalies in their Appeal Statement as reasons for overturning NSC decision. 

 

We do not know whether BPC is reconsidering their previous decision or whether they will now be urgently writing to the inspector, as it does not appear to be on their agenda for the BPC meeting on Monday 9th July. (NB. Members of the public may request to speak and ask questions in the public participation section of the meeting.)

 

STOP PRESS: 6 July 2018 - BPC have convened a planning meeting for 12th July 2018 (day before deadline for additional comment to Planning Inspector) where they will discuss this Agenda here

 

2 Aug 2018 - NSC Appeal Statement and Appelant Response as per 13 July deadline to Planning Inspectorate. NB:  In their meeting of 12 July (P69.6), BPC changed their mind and resolved to write to Inspector with objections, but this is not shown on NSC or PI websites.

Another Serious A370 Traffic Accident

Posted on 4th June, 2018

 

 

Sadly there has been yet another serious road traffic accident on the A370 Bleadon. 

 

Although very little has been published on BPC's Bridge Road/A370 Project to date, in May BPC stated they will be sending out some information, requesting residents' suggestions and holding a meeting in August re: Road Safety Proposals:

 

FYI, BOB has summarised some background information from large scale developments in Bleadon since 2014 including some S106 information from:

 

 Also some BPC minutes:

  • May 2018 (Min 309.19) - re: Bridge Rd Junction " It would be possible to include it later on in this financial year if fully funded from non-NSC budgets.  Otherwise it will be put on the programming list for 2019/2020." Also comment on Traffic Lights, one-way system, S106
  • Feb 2018 (Min 305.12) -  "The Chairman read a report from Councillor Dobson ... The early estimate of cost is over £21,000.  Mr Bailey explained that NSC funds are restricted and a contribution form Bleadon PC and Marshalls would help to raise the priority of the scheme  ...  An overall 50% contribution would give the scheme a good chance."
  • Oct 2016 (Min 288.4) - re: A370, Traffic Lights Speed Limit, Bridge Rd Junction

It seems that although road improvements have been agreed with the Wake Park and Quarry developments these will not happen until they start to be built. Conversely, the £12 million Caravan Park development that has gone ahead has not been required to contribute to any road traffic improvements? Does this mean that Bleadon residents will be expected to pay the tens of thousands of pounds to create them instead? If so, will there be any ongoing repair and maintenance costs for Bleadon residents? When those developments do happen will their Section 106 obligation be spent elsewhere in North Somerset?

 

Whatever improvements NSC may or may not take we can only hope that drivers take much more care when driving, and police enforce traffic laws.