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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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Latest Posts

Westhay Moor Nature Reserve

Posted on 16th August, 2019

 

Neighbouring Somerset Wildlife Trust has:

" ... a once in a lifetime chance to transform Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve by purchasing 11 acres of land next to the reserve, where peat extraction has just ended - and where we're currently losing precious water that keeps fragile habitats wet and secure for our wildlife.

 

Buy the land and we can raise the boundaries of the reserve, hold water on a wider scale and end the reliance on diesel pumps. BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP! We have £68,000 already but need to raise £60,000 by October to complete the purchase.

 

If you love Westhay, love wetlands, love wildlife .."

Please watch their video below and visit their website

 

Proposed 40 Houses Land at Bleadon Hill

Posted on 15th August, 2019

 

Bleadon BOB has been informed that residents in the Bleadon Hill area have received the following letter from Corylus for a 40 houses developmentdiagonally opposite Hillicote. (The letter is re-typed for clarity at the end of this blog.)

 

Bleadon Parish Council has received correspondence from "Corylus (planning consultancy) – request to discuss planning application in Weston but adjacent to Bleadon". (July 19 Min 324.24.9) BPC has stated that it will discuss this pre-application at their 20 August BPC meeting in a closed session where members of the public will be asked to leave the room, not sure why?

"Min 325.29 - To Discuss a confidential pre-application notification. Corylus (planning consultancy) are preparing a pre-app in Weston but adjacent to Bleadon."

Be aware that any concerns informally raised by residents at this stage may be mitigated by the developers before they submit their actual application to North Somerset for formal public consultation. 

 

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

 

5th August 2019

 

Dear Sir Madam,

 

Proposed Residential Development, Land at Bleadon Hill, Weston-super-Mare.

 

Corylus Planning and Environmental Limited have been instructed by Innova Consulting Services Limited to prepare and submit a planning application to North Somerset Council for a development of up to 40 houses at Bleadon Hill. We are writing to you as the application site adjoins the boundary of your property or is very close to it.

 

The application will be an outline planning application, which means that the layout and landscaping of the development, along wth the scale, desing and material of the proposed houses will be determined at a later stage should outline planning permission be granted. However, the access into the site will be considered as part of the outline planning application.

 

We have sought technical advice from transport, ecological and drainage consultant to inform the proposal. We have also studied the previous appeal decision and designed the development to overcome the concerns raised in relation to the landscape impact.

 

An indicative masterplan will accompany the planning application which will demonstrate to the Council that the site can adequately accommodate up 40 houses, along with internal roads, car parking and public open space. An extract of the masterplan is shown overleaf.

 

Two parameter plans will also accompany the planning application and they will fix the parameters for Green Infrastructure and building heights, providing a framework which will inform the subsequent detailed planning applications. The former parameter plan will ensure that the proposed public open space will be delivered. The latter parameter plan will fix maximum height limits for buildings across the site and will ensure that the developmetn will be predominately dormer (or "chalet") style bungalows.

 

There will also be affordable homes within the developement to meet a local need and the proportion will be agreed withthe Council during the consideration of the planning application.

 

--

Corylus Planning & Environmental Ltd. Registered in England ......

 

Link to the previous 79 Houses application and appeal involving this site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for Bleadon Fracking Area Maps

 

Below are various updates on Fracking:

UK National Survey of Public Attitudes Towards Shale Gas (July 2019) FFEQS ".. the most comprehensive and rigorous study to date on public attitudes to shale gas extraction in the UK was published. Opposition to fracking is stronger than ever."

 

Environment Agency public consultation - An indication of the types of licence that will be requested for a site like Bleadon if it were to go ahead can be seen by this (now closed) consultation. FFEQS response, concerns include ".. cold venting of methane, climate change targets and health risks due to benzene emissions" (05 Aug 19)

 

Boris Johnson on Fracking - "Glorious News, Stop pussy-footing around, Give Bristish peope their mineral rights, Leave no stone unturned" (23 July 19)

 

The Ecologist Article: Boris Johnson's cabinet. Re: local decision making - "Sajid Javid (Chancellor of the Exchequer) decided to use his power .. to overrule Lancashire County Council’s decision to block fracking"... Liz "Truss (International Trade Secretary) replaces Liam Fox (N Somerset MP) … A former Shell manager and vocal supporter of Heathrow expansion … also backs fracking." (05 Aug 19)

 

Guardian Article "How the world’s dirtiest industries have learned to pollute our politics" by George Monbiot. "The fossil-fuel lobby is threatened by public concern over the climate crisis. So it’s buying influence to get the results it wants" (07 Aug 19)

Previous blog Sedgemoor Frack Free Motion Amendment

 

BOB Fracking page

Help Sedgemoor go Frack Free

Posted on 29th July, 2019

 

UPDATE 31 JULY 19 FFEQS - "... I have been advised that amendments to the motion were proposed by the Conservative representatives and that this now needs to go back to the 'Scrutiny Committee' who will report back to the Full Council in the Autumn ..."

 

General Info against fracking: Scotland, Ireland and Wales and the United NationsTown and Parish councils including Bleadon; Local residents; NSC declare a climate emergency; earthquakes, potential water pollution.

 

General Info pro-fracking: English government re: National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) but a paragraph was removed following High Court ruling that it was 'unlawful'; planning 'permitted development'; New government leader up until his appointment - see quotes at end of this article.

------

 

As you may be aware properties and land in Bleadon and the surrounding areas, from Clevedon to Cossington and out to Exmoor National Park, are in 'fracking' licence zones.

 

On Wednesday 31 July 19, Sedgemoor District Council, whose licence is adjacent to Bleadon's, is being asked to declare its area 'frack-free'. Residents in the affected villages are being asked to email Conservative Sedgemoor councillors asking them to support the motion. See the Frack-free EQS post below that states:

You can find [a Conservative] councillor ... and their email contact detail here

Dear Cllr XXXX

I am a resident of XXXX and I am writing to you, as my District Councillor, to request that you support the motion being proposed at the Full Council Meeting on 31th July to Make Sedgemoor District a Frack Free Zone.

Yours sincerely,

(Your Name & Date)

If you have friends and family in Sedgemoor please forward this message onto them. If you want to protect your neighbouring community too you may also want to support the motion.

 

You can find related maps and further information on BOB's 'fracking' page.

 

 

 

---- Original Frack-free EQS Post

Frack Free EQS - Exmoor Quantocks Sedgemoor 23 July

Calling all Sedgemoor residents.

 

Do you believe in the value of local democracy and would like to make your voice heard on the issue of fracking in your community?

 

On Wednesday 31th July, Sedgemoor District Councillors will be voting on a motion to make Sedgemoor a Frack Free Zone.

 

Significant areas of Sedgemoor have been licensed by central government for onshore unconventional shale oil and shale gas development (PEDL 320, 321 and 344, OS Map grid squares ST24, ST25, ST34, ST35), which could include hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” for short. Main settlements affected: Combwich, Cannington, Nether Stowey, Fiddington, Wembdon, Chilton Trinity, Pawlett. Berrow, Brean, Burnham-on-Sea, Highbridge, Burtle, Edington, Puriton, Woolavington, Cossington, Chilton Polden, East Huntspill, West Huntspill, East Brent, Brent Knoll, Mark, Biddisham, Rooksbridge.

 

The success of this motion will depend wholly on gaining the support of a few Conservative Councillors. These Councillors do not need to tow their party line. They represent you. If you live in the Sedgemoor area please write to your District Councillors asking them to support the motion.

 

We don’t have much time. It will only take a couple of minutes to do this and it could make all the difference. Also, if you have friends or family that live in the Sedgemoor area please ask them to do the same.

 

You can find out who your councillor is and their email contact detail here

Dear Cllr XXXX

I am a resident of XXXX and I am writing to you, as my District Councillor, to request that you support the motion being proposed at the Full Council Meeting on 31th July to Make Sedgemoor District a Frack Free Zone.

Yours sincerely,

(Your Name & Date)

Devils Bridge up to 60 Dwellings Granted

Posted on 26th July, 2019

 

 

On 22 July 2019 North Somerset Council posted its Decision Notice to GRANT outline planning permission with S106 (M3) for 17/P/1138/O:

"Site: Land At The Junction Of Bleadon Hill And Bridgwater Road, Weston-SuperMare

 

Description: Outline application for the erection of up to 60 dwellings with associated public open space. All matters reserved for subsequent approval except highway and pedestrian access"

See original application information for 70 dwellings.

200 Houses Appeal Update

Posted on 17th July, 2019

See Appeal daily UPDATE on blog here

 

 

PDATE (25 July 19) Unfortunately this Appeal has been adjourned due to the illness of a key witness. It will be rescheduled as soon as possible but August/September doesn't look promising. However, the Inspector will facilitate reconvening the Appeal as soon as possible

 

UPDATE (22 July 19) Posted on Facebook by a resident, "Can you let people know that you don't have to attend this week's hearing for the whole time/whole day as some people apparently think. We can pop in at any time between 10am and 4pm on the six days, and stay for as long as convenient. I met a lovely mum today who is going to pop in with her child (for as long as the child can stand it) to prove that there are young people in the village, but they are mostly at work. PLEASE SHARE!"

 

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

Posted today (17 July 19) on Facebook by Bleadon Acting Together (BAT) re: Appeal representation and documentation posted on NSC website 08 MAY 19.

 

"As you know the Hearing starts at 10am in the Old Town Hall next Tuesday 23rd July. As it could run for 6 days it is important that as many people attend as possible over the course of the week to show community interest/concern. If you need help to get there please let us know.

 

If you feel passionate about something then it is important to speak. You don’t have to be an expert. Please go to the first day to register and be given a time slot. There will be speakers from BAT under the four main headings in the document attached – they are Ecology (Kirsten Hemingway will cover this with expert help), Landscape (Joanne Richardson or Pete Richardson will be speaking on this), Social Cohesion (this will be covered by Jim Baines) and Character of the village is where you come in and can speak about the character of Bleadon or a characteristic that you feel will suffer from the development.

 

The Parish Council have crafted an excellent statement and they will deliver that and be open to questioning. It is still important for others to speak and give an individual viewpoint if you feel you are going to repeat something that someone else has covered you can just make your turn develop the argument.

 

It has been suggested that all the people opposed to the development bring a piece of paper, A4 size with the word No on it in big letters.

 

Please continue to support this last push to protect Bleadon. It is well worth fighting. It is not a foregone conclusion! Your presence at the Hearing is vital to impress the Inspector with the passion of our community for the protection of our village."

 

----

RELATED INFORMATION

 

Third Party Representations submitted to the Appeal posted on NSC website 18 JUN 19

 

NSC Statement of Case posted on NSC website 30 DEC 18

 

Previous Sanders Appeal Dates Confirmed

 

Posted today on Facebook by Frack Free EQS - Exmoor Quantocks & Sedgemour

 

"Breaking news: Somerset West & Taunton District Council resolve to be Frack Free.

 

We have just left the Full Council Meeting of the newly merged District Council who have just voted to oppose fracking in the region.

 

We would like to thank Cllr Caroline Ellis (proposer) and Cllr Dixie Darch (seconder) for the tireless effort they put into the proposed motion, the councillor's briefing paper and their heartfelt and sincere speeches at the meeting this evening.

 

The following motion was resolved by an overwhelming majority. It was encouraging to see the sea of hands raised in support (see photo). There was only one councillor opposed and two abstentions. These were, unsurprisingly, Conservatives.

 

Here is the motion:

 

This Council therefore resolves-

1. To declare Somerset West and Taunton a Frack Free zone.

2. To oppose unconventional onshore oil and gas exploration and development activities on any land that we own or have an interest in.

3. Not to invest in any companies which are involved in fracking, including other methods of unconventional onshore oil and gas production.

4. To call on Somerset County Council and Exmoor National Park Authority to pass similar motions and to put planning policies in place to implement a presumption against all applications for unconventional oil and gas exploration and production in Somerset, including fracking, following the example of the ten borough councils in Greater Manchester and the new draft London Plan .

5. To write to our district’s MPs to convey the Council’s concerns about and opposition to fracking, to urge them to lobby Government to ban unconventional onshore oil and gas development permanently and to request that they write back indicating whether they are supporting the Council in this matter.

 

We felt this was an accumulation of three years of campaigning and raising awareness that led to this result. Without the clear message sent from local communities via their Parish and Town Council’s Frack Free resolutions, this is unlikely to have happened.

 

Not here, not in Somerset, not anywhere. In the words of Cllr Caroline Ellis “South Western Energy can frack off.” Next ….Somerset County Council: Presumption against onshore oil and gas development in the Minerals Plan. Let's make it happen."

 

--

What can people do now? The more that developers, shareholders and public representatives hear comments against fracking the less likely it will happen, so:

  • Encourage your Town or Parish Council to pass a motion to either be 'Frack Free' or 'Let Communities Decide'  (See Bleadon declared 'frack-free')
  • Write to your parish and district councillors and MP either directly or via "They Work for You/Write to Them" which will track responses. (John Penrose MP has indicated that he will represent the community's decision). E.g. North Somerset Council
  • Personally visit and speak to your elected representatives, let them hear your views on this local 'fracking' issue.
  • Let FFNS know if you, or your neighbours, receive a request to survey your land for 'fracking'
  • Contact FFNS and/or FFEQS if you're interested in being involved in a local Committee/Action Group to tackle this issue and/or would like another public meeting on this issue to be held.
  • Write to local newspapers

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

RELATED LINKS

 

Overview summary videos

 

Bleadon's Fracking Meeting (11 June 2019)

 

Previous United Nations - United Nations Recommends a Ban on Fracking - Effects of Fracking on Women and Girls

 

Further information can be found on BOB's Fracking page 

 

The chemicals involved in fracking affect the health and well-being of every man, woman, child and animal. Although the following United Nations report, and recommendation for a "comprehensive and complete ban on fracking" was written for the 'Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women', it applies to everyone. (See map of fracking areas.)

 

 

DATEARTICLE
26 Feb 19

UN urged to ban fracking to safeguard UK women 

"...argued that women’s rights were compromised because they said: There was evidence that fracking was linked to higher rates of cancer and nervous, immune and cardiovascular problems in women ...found that pregnant women living near active fracking operations ... had a 40% increased risk of giving birth prematurely and 30% had obstetrician-labelled ‘high-risk pregnancies. Fertility and menstrual problems in women could be caused from exposure to chemicals associated with fracking, including benzene, toluene and xylene (BTX chemicals). Miscarriages and still births could be caused by the heavy metals found in fracking waste water."

14 Mar 19

United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women ... the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 

para 53 "... concerned that women in rural areas in other territories of the State party are disproportionately affected by the harmful effects of fracking, including exposure to hazardous and toxic chemicals, environmental pollution and the effects of climate change."

para 54b "Review its policy on fracking and its impact on the rights of women and girls and consider introducing a comprehensive and complete ban on fracking;"

20 May 19

Is the UN finally turning against fracking?

"Four separate countries make up the UK. Of them, England is the only nation that still allows hydraulic fracturing; Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (along with a host of other countries worldwide) have banned the controversial process"

 

 

What can people do? The more that developers, shareholders and public representatives hear comments against fracking the less likely it will happen, so:

  • Encourage your Town or Parish Council to pass a motion to either be 'Frack Free' or 'Let Communities Decide'  (See Bleadon declared 'frack-free')
  • Write to your parish and district councillors and MP either directly or via "They Work for You/Write to Them" which will track responses. (John Penrose MP has indicated that he will represent the community's decision)
  • Personally visit and speak to your elected representatives, let them hear your views on this local 'fracking' issue.
  • Let FFNS know if you, or your neighbours, receive a request to survey your land for 'fracking'
  • Contact FFNS and/or FFEQS if you're interested in being involved in a local Committee/Action Group to tackle this issue and/or would like another public meeting on this issue to be held.
  • Write to local newspapers

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

RELATED LINKS

 

Overview summary videos 

 

Bleadon's Fracking Meeting (11 June 2019)

 

Previous  Bleadon declared 'frack-free' (09 July 2019)

 

Further information can be found on BOB's Fracking page  

Working Towards a Plastic-free Bleadon

Posted on 14th July, 2019

 

On Monday 08 June 2019 Bleadon Parish Council (BPC) "AGREED to declare Bleadon Parish Council to be "Working Towards a Plastic-free Bleadon". Cllrs Sharman and Hemmingway agreed to lead the project" (July 19 Min 324.11).

 

For those of you who would like the food industry to hear about their concern and frustation regarding plastic packaging you may want to take part in the #ourplasticfeedback initiative as promoted by the BBC (see video below - 2 mins).

 

Plastic is a derivative of fracking, which is an imminent issue for Bleadon and the surrounding area. At the meeting BPC also declared "Bleadon parish to be Frack-freeand "AGREED that the Clerk write to the Leader [of NSC] and copy it to ALCA and DEFRA"

 

 

 

 

RELATED LINKS

 

BOB's Fracking page

 

BOB's Plastics page

 

BOB's Environmental page

 

 

New Bleadon Quarry Planning Application

Posted on 11th July, 2019

 

 

 

UPDATE 01 AUG 19 Deadline for comments today. Why only 4 weeks public consultation time? How did this one site, the Quarry, grow from being suitable for 25 dwellings plus mixed use in 2013, to today's NSC Sites Allocations Plan stating 42 dwellings, and this associated application proposal with occupancy for up to 189 people plus five 2-storey buildings for employment use, possibly via a settlement boundary change? Why has BPC decided not to respond by the deadline? (See Proposal Site Map and Policy Background below)

 

UPDATE 19 JULY 19: Weston Mercury publish "Housing plans for stone quarry put forward again"

 

UPDATE post-08 JULY 19: Why was this application not on the BPC 08 July agenda (324.7) even though it was on the NSC weekly list? Why was this application subsequently noted on the minutes (Min 324.7) even though it wasn't discussed at the meeting at this point? Why and when did BPC decide to put this application for review on their next agenda, currently 09 September, over 5 weeks after the consultation deadline? Why did BPC not ask for an extension for their response as they have for other applications?

"(July 19 Min 324.7)19/P/0835/OUT – for information: earlier this year Marshalls advised BPC that they would be renewing their application for homes on their site although they did not have firm plans to cease operation any time soon. The outline application has now been lodged and will be on the next BPC agenda." 

UPDATE: Some residents have received a letter, dated 05 July 19, asking them for comments on this application by 26 July 2019.

 

NB: The original outline application Decision Notice, dated 08 Aug 2016 stated, "1. Application for approval of the reserved matters shall be made to the Local Planning Authority before the expiry of three years from the date of this permission." and "2. The development hereby permitted shall be begun either before the expiry of five years from the date of this permission, or before the expiry of two years from the date of approval of the last of the reserved matters to be approved, whichever is the later"

 

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

A new outline application at Bleadon Quarry, Bridge Road, Bleadon

"Outline application with details of access (matters of layout, scale, appearance and landscaping are reserved) for the demolition of all industrial buildings, plant and machinery, the erection of up to 42 dwellings and 500 sqm of flexible Use Class A2/B1/D1 floor space, open space, landscaping, new vehicle and pedestrian access, and associated works." 

Comments deadline is 01 Aug 2019. Here is the link to the application 19/P/0835/OUT on North Somerset Council Planning website. (Previous information here)

 

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.

 

---

 

It's surprising to note that this application was validated on last week's North Somerset Weekly List (w/c 01 July 2019) and went to press 08 July but didn't get a mention at Bleadon Parish Council's meeting on 08 July 2019. NB: BPC's next meeting is currently scheduled for 09 Sept 2019.

 

Previous Quarry 14/P/0687/O at NSC planning website and associated previous BOB Quarry Blog

 

POLICY BACKGROUND

 

How did this one site, the Quarry, grow from being suitable for 25 dwellings plus mixed use in 2013, to today's NSC Sites Allocation Policy stating 42 dwellings, and this associated application for occupancy of up to 189 people plus five 2-storey buildings for employment use, possibly via a settlement boundary change.

 

NSC's Replacement Local Plan Written Statement adopted 2007 stated:

"4.7 The primary function of the settlement boundary is to prevent sprawl and concentrate development appropriate to the scale and needs of that community. Settlement boundaries define the limit of development that is necessary to preserve and maintain the character and separate identity of many of the towns and villages in North Somerset, including the protection of important ‘rural gaps’ between settlements.

 

 

4.8 The settlement boundaries have been tightly drawn except where there are proposals for development that justify including currently undeveloped land. They were most recently confirmed in the adopted North Somerset Local Plan in June 2000. Given that only limited development is envisaged outside the towns it is considered that there is no justification for a general review of settlement boundaries. Exceptions have been made at ... Bleadon ..., where settlement boundaries have been extended to encompass recent development commitments ..."

NSC's Feb 2013 Site Allocation Plan Consultation Draft

"...Policy DM33: Settlement boundaries... Bleadon: An adjustment to the settlement boundary at Bleadon Quarry ... Policy BL1 Bleadon Quarry, Bleadon ... Policy Intentions: To deliver a positive reuse for the site which reflects local community objectives. To secure an appropriate balance of land uses including residential, employment and community uses on this existing site ...

 

Background: Bleadon is an infill village where Core Strategy Policy CS33 permits small scale residential redevelopment where the proposal is community led with clear community and environmental benefits. Bleadon Quarry is a former limestone quarry located within the settlement boundary, used for the production of concrete products since the late 1980s, but this use is coming to the end of its economic life. It is a brownfield site located within the village, but well enclosed and screened by quarry walls. Bleadon Parish Council supports the mixed use redevelopment of the site where this results in community benefits. The proposed allocation is for 25 dwellings but this figure is subject to further investigation and depends to a large extent on the precise balance of uses eventually proposed on the site, and factors such as the identification of areas of rock fall risk and the extent of shadowing from the quarry walls ...

 

Policy BL1: Bleadon Quarry, Bleadon. The development of land at the former quarry, Bleadon as shown on the Proposals Map for mixed use will be supported. Proposals must include: l residential development (25 dwellings); l employment use; l community use; l measures to identify the areas of rock fall risk and stabilise the quarry walls; and l protection of living conditions of existing residents and future occupants. Development proposals should meet relevant development management policies, including those relating to biodiversity, in respect of the adjoining Wildlife Site."

Sept 2013 Mercury article

"“We [Marshalls] confirm that we have worked closely with Bleadon Parish Council for a number of years now and that we shall continue to do so. “We have always made it clear that the sensitive redevelopment of the Marshalls site shall be our legacy to the village. In this way, we wish to ensure that our future proposals for the site are indeed community-led.”

 

The [NSC] council’s sites and policies document states that the area could be used for around 20 residential properties, but Marshalls believe this could be more. It is expected a planning application for the quarry could be submitted by the end of this year."

 NSC's 2018 Site Allocation Plan 

INFILL VILLAGES Bleadon Quarry, Bleadon* 14/P/0687/O Outline planning consent 42 New allocation for a mixed use scheme. 500 sq metres of employment floorspace at entrance of the site. Traffic calming measures on Bridge Road. Pedestrian link along Mulberry Lane. Higher standard of surface water attenuation required.