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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

 

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Bleadon/Bridge Road Proposed School/Housing

 

Housing Development Open Day

 

NEW DEVELOPMENT PLANNED COME AND HAVE YOUR SAY We are proposing providing a primary school for the Village and a large scale residential scheme of up to 250 houses to facilitate it. OPEN DAY WEDNESDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER 2017 at Jubilee Hall, Bleadon 11am to 6pm We invite all members of the community to come along and find out more. There will be a feedback form available on the day, but if you are unable to attend and would like to know more, please contact us at admin@sutherlandpls.com

or use feedback form here (Word) (PDF)

 

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

 

Who are Sutherland Property and Legal Services and Urban Design Practice ?

 

Although not currently on their agenda, you may also wish to attend Bleadon Parish Council meeting on 11 September to make your views known. BPC is aware of BOB's initial comments. Other site information includes the Sanders Consultation (May 2011) in BVN89, and the Sites & Policies (SAP) Hearing (Apr 2017) and Supplementary Hearing (May 2017) documentation referring to this site as a school.

 

When making any feedback to the developer, please remember that these 'consultation' events are primarily an intelligence gathering exercise for the developer to see how well their proposal will be received and as a pre-cursor before making a final application to the planning authority. Information and views given by residents are often used to modify their application to make it more 'acceptable' to North Somerset, Bleadon Parish Council and/or residents. It is not unknown for comments to be selectively chosen and/or modified by developers to make residents feedback seem more positive, representative and supportive of the overall proposal which are then subsequently used in their final application submission (and even appeals after initial refusal). BOB has also been asked to circulate advice on commenting on consultations from someone who works in planning.

 

10 SEP 17  BOB asked BPC:

"... please can you publish/send a response to us as to what BPC understands will happen to the comments made by residents directly/indirectly to the developers? Will they subsequently be anonymously published to residents to discuss, like the last consultation; or are

comments for the developers 'eyes only' to support and improve their application to NSC?" No response received as yet.

Despite BPC's previous statements regarding the lack of a school being a concern for Bleadon residents (Dec 16 mins) and the current SAP designation we hope that BPC will listen to residents' views as indicated in the Parish Plan and other consultations.

 

BOB has asked the current developer's agent if they will be releasing a summary of all comments received during this public consultation (published anonymously), both positive and negative. The response from their representative to date:

 

07 SEP 17 The  agent responded:

"Following the open day we would usually allow a couple of weeks for feedback by forms or email to reach us and then draft a summary of the responses and any action we have taken to address them to accompany the application when submitted.If the feedback reveals the need for a significant rethink or amendments it may be that we then carry out a further consultation exercise on any revisions proposed. 

 

We hold all responses and acknowledge receipt and where possible will try to personally respond to each. However, as you will appreciate, where there are large numbers of similar comments it is not practical to respond to individuals.

 

I think there may be some confusion re publication. We would never publish private correspondence. Once an application is submitted, comments made to the council are all published as they are a statutory body but we are bound not to disclose without the consent of the consultee under data protection ( hence creating a summary)".

UPDATE 15 SEPT 17 The agent replied after the Open Day at the Village Hall:

"It was certainly an interesting day in terms of residents thoughts and comments.

 

Please find attached the site layout plan exhibited at the event and the feedback form for residents to use to contact us with comments.

 

I would stress that this is the initial consultation with the community and I recognise that there is objection to development in the village but we are seeking feedback that enables us to consider residents concerns and wherever possible address them in subsequent iterations of the proposed layout. Some members of the public mentioned that in previous developer consultation processes there had been a lack of clarity over the community consultation process and concerns were raised about transparency. For clarification, we intend to keep individual copies of all feedback received but will not be publishing those comments due to data protection. We will provide copies to the Parish Council of all of the feedback received and will present a summary of that feedback as well as an explanation of how we have considered feedback received and whether changes have been made to the scheme as a result.

 

This will be presented to the Parish Council at the relevant PC meeting where residents will be able to attend and comment.

 

Following submission of the scheme to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) for a determination of the outline application, the LPA will then carry out their statutory consultation providing a further opportunity for comment within the statutory process."

 

UPDATE 16 OCT 2017 from developer's agent to BPC copied to BOB:

"It is disappointing that the Parish Council do not wish to hear from us about the amendments made to our scheme following the first round of consultation but of course, that is their decision. As a statutory consultee, you need only hear from us once the scheme is referred to you for discussion and comment but we were surprised at your response given we had agreed how to proceed with community consultation being led by the PC as the community representative.

 

We had agreed an approach to community consultation that the PC have now determined they will not follow and it is always a concern when the representatives of the local community do not wish to engage. However, we have to respect your position. Once the application is submitted, we will attend the relevant meeting as interested parties.

 

In the meantime, we will have to refer the PC decision to the wider community through press and website engagement and trust that the community will still have the opportunity to make their comments. Copied to Bleadon Bob to ensure that his online community can spread the word."

 

More details on other applications here

 

Water Park

 

UPDATE 7 Oct 17 - Application changed to "Proposed change of use of land from camp site to the siting of 40 no. static and touring caravans" Deadline for comments changed to 9 Oct 17.

 

The Mercury has published an article on the £5 million Riverside Holiday Village/Purn Caravan Park expansion stating that "The park has a current capacity of up to 400 people, across the campsite and in static and touring caravans."  The site has "seen £7 million invested into its facilities in the past few years, including the construction of a new bar, restaurant and swimming pool complex.West Country Parks, who own 9 caravan parks in North Somerset area, are now looking to expand the 163 unit site at Bleadon by a further 90 units taking two years to complete. So, if 163 units represents 400 people what will the additional 90 units plus additional visitors to the site represent with regards to people, cars, traffic, noise and light pollution in Bleadon? This doesn't include potential issues relating to the additonal 57 units or the Wake Park approved next door to the site. Current views of the site, surrounding fields and developments can be seen on the main BOB Blog.

 

This is a multi-million pound development by a regional company affecting our community in many ways. Bleadon Parish Council (BPC) has submitted 'no objection' to this and various applications making up the all year round 300+ caravans and Wake Park proposed at this Accommodation Road/A370 location. They seem unconcerned that the green field sites are being covered with hardstanding and that public rights of way (PROW) and Sites of Nature & Conservation Interest (SNCI) are being destroyed, and wildlife disturbed, to make it happen. We feel that the Bleadon's adopted Parish Plan 2009-2029, representing the views of 60% of residents, has a different view of the future of Bleadon than the one submitted by councillors (For replies to the Parish Plan Questionnaire and associated statistics see http://www.bleadon.org.uk/parishplan). For example:

  • Question 14 'Should Tourism development/attractions be encouraged in and around Bleadon?' Out of 461 responses only 22% were in favour. [Strongly in favour 8.242% (38), In Favour 13.88% (64), No strong opinion 14.09% (65), Have Reservations 26.24% (121), Definitely Not 37.52% (173)]. We feel that this clearly shows a lack of public support for any expansion.  
  • Question 44:'How important is it to you that countryside is maintained between Weston and Bleadon? Out of 572 responses 97% thought it was highly significant to maintain the countryside (Very important 87.06% (498) Important 10.31% (59) Not important 1.048% (6) No opinion 1.573% (9)).  

From BOB feedback some residents are unaware of the extent of this application and the developers intention to promote it as a large tourist destination in WSM and the wider North Somerset area. As far as we know there has not been any local consultation on this significant application put out by BPC that shows whether the majority of residents now support this application, nor has there been a specific agenda item, Parish Newsletter information or other public awareness regarding BPC's 'vision' of Bleadon at the Accommodation Road/A370 area, or indeed anywhere else in Bleadon. So, how are councillors deciding the majority view of residents when submitting responses to these types of developments on our behalf?

 

What is BPC/NSC's plan for the other fields in the area, especially along the A370? Is Bleadon to become a countryside version of Brean as a busy tourist and leisure destination? The developers application support information can be seen here but below are some extracts:

  • (7.00) " Conclusion. The proposal to extend Purn Holiday Park to include a further 90 pitches with associated leisure facilities is a massive vote of confidence in the holiday industry in North Somerset. The development will be a huge investment for the applicant which will boost the local economy during construction and perpetuity. This assessment demonstrates that in flooding terms there is no better site for this development and  that the proposals will be safe from flooding both for visitors and property and will not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere". If there is 'no better site' other than the ones in the Accommodation Rd/A370 area what will happen to the adjacent fields in the future if this becomes a highly popular tourist destination?
  • (6.00) "The development includes a number of leisure facilities that will foster a stay on site holiday experience." How does this equate to "boosting the local economy"? What does 'local economy' mean Bleadon's, WSM's, North Somerset's, Sedgemoor's? (It has been stated that this development will potentially create short term construction jobs and 9 full time jobs subsequently).
  • (4.06 & 6.00) The applicant proposes the use of Bleadon Hill as a place of safety and a route of escape should flooding occur!! How would this physically happen?
  • (6.00) "Easy access to the A370 and M5. This will reduce travelling time to and from the site and associated congestion. it will also accommodate overnight visits from holiday makers travelling down the M5 to Devon and Cornwall."
  • (5.00) It suggests that the site can used as a base for tourist attractions in WSM, Burnham-on-Sea and Brean and is therefore ideal for tourism industry of this size, especially as the extended park will be close to the new water park. This would greatly change the character of our rural community.
  • (5.00) It states that the 'search area principle' being used in this application was accepted for the 57 caravans at Accomodation Road. Using this reasoning what will happen to the green fields next to Purn Holiday park in the future, how long before the next development?
  • (6.00) "The development incorporates significant landscape improvements that will improve views across the site as well as support wildlife". This is a green field site that seems to have destroyed the existing SNCI and will remove the PROW and cover the land in hardstanding and vehicles, how does this improve the views towards the Mendip Hills ANOB, Brent Knoll and across the Bleadon Levels?
  • (4.02) There will be Visitor Parking for additional cars and people to the site affecting traffic, pollution, etc.

As this application is outside the current Settlement Boundary/Village Fence and contrary to resident's feedback to the adopted Parish Plan, only 8 years into a 20 year plan, we feel that it should not be approved. The BPC Village Plan Meeting Leaftlet distributed to all residents stated "Your views are very important, please don't complain about the future direction the village takes if you couldn't be bothered to let people know how you feel about things that are important to you!60% of residents responded with their views subsequently incorporated into the 2009-2029 Bleadon Parish Plan. The leaflet also stated, "Everyone who lives or works in Bleadon will soon be asked how they want Bleadon to evolve in the future. This will form the Bleadon Village Plan, which will become a template for future Bleadon Parish Councils to refer to when making decisions. It will also provide guidance to North Somerset Council on how we would like to see the parish develop over the coming decades. This will be your chance to influence the decision-makers to let them know what you hold dear and the things yound like changed. We are lucky enough to live in one of the more beautiful parts of the country, with a community, which has proven itself to be very supportive to local causes. We need to protect and enhance that important village spirit."

 

Who are BPC, our elected/co-opted councillors, currently representing? BPC stated in December 2016, during the Bleadon Hill Inquiry, that they "... have been clearly told that national planning policies, driven by central government, insist that massive housing developments must be approved regardless of the wishes of any local plans that may be in place." In July 2017, for another application outside the Settlement Boundary, it was minuted "Both Cllr Porter and the Chairman informed parishioners to make individual representatives on the North Somerset Planning website and objections /comments to be based on planning reasons". It seems that it is up to residents to support our rural community status. Although the deadline for comments for the Purn Caravan Park Expansion was 7 August 2017 the NSC website states "The 'Consultation expiry date' may be extended. Relevant comments received after this date are considered and taken into account so long as they are received in good time before the final decision is made." So, if you want your views to be heard by NSC comment on their website here. Additional BOB information on this site can be found here including additional extracted statistics from the Parish Plan Questionnaire in the comments section. The deadline for comments has been extended to 9 October 2017.

 

BPC's Monday 14 August 2017 Agenda has related items reviewing and discussing where new building, large and small scale, will be permitted in Bleadon. (There is no indication as to whether these are public consultations or any associated feedback deadlines).

If residents' views in the adopted Parish Plan feedback are not taken into consideration during BPC decision making processes as confirmed by BPC this all raises the question as to whose main benefit (resident/business), and from what perspective (local/regional/national), will BPC be replying to NSC and hiring a Planning Consultant? BOB has asked BPC questions regarding items on their August Agenda.

 

For some background as to why developers continue to pressure NSC Planning please see the mapping on the Major Development page and associated table of information on BOB, including Green Belt mapping and policies/documentation. Also current developments in and around Bleadon.

 

 

BPC have published their 14 August 2017 Agenda. Below are the BOB comments made to BPC regarding their August agenda items.

  • Firstly, regarding July minute 297.4.ii  Bleadon's bus service.  It is our understanding that the 4a bus service is to be significantly reduced to only three buses a day as from September 2017 and by a different provider. Is this the update Cllr Porter gave regarding the local bus service? For the majority of residents unable to attend meetings, it would be helpful please that BPC minutes indicate more fully what was discussed.
  • 298.7 To review and discuss the correspondence regarding North Somerset Local Plan 2018-2036 - Bleadon Settlement Profile. Please can you send us a copy of this correspondence and make it available via BPC website? Also for those unable to attend, can the minutes please indicate what is discussed and agreed in relation to this correspondence? We assume any proposed change to our 'settlement boundary/profile' will surely be a public consultation. If this item does refer to a public consultation, please can you inform us/all residents how to review this 'profile' and whether there is any deadline for comments? Clearly this would appear relevant to the 'Vexatious Policy' implementation against us regarding the missing Parish Plan and our unanswered questions raised during the Public Inquiry, including the Settlement Boundary, last December 2016.
  • 298.8 To discuss the North Somerset Council Planning correspondence regarding the Site Allocations Plan: Further Assessment of Residential SitesPlease can you send us a copy of this correspondence and make it available via BPC website?  We presume this is BPC's/Bleadon's opportunity to feedback into NSC's plan for where future development will be permitted in and around Bleadon. For those residents unable to attend, can the minutes please detail what is discussed in relation to this correspondence? Is this a public consultation, if so, please can you inform us/all residents how to access/review the documentation, and any deadline for comments?
  • Please can BPC tell us/all residents how it came to submit 'no objection' to the multi-million pound expansion of Purn Caravan site application on behalf of its residents? Regardless of whether the adopted 2009-2029 Parish Plan has currently been physically 'misplaced' by BPC this decision seems contrary to the Parish Plan Questionnaire feedback seen at the bottom of this correspondence and at www.bleadon.org.uk/parishplan. The BPC Village Plan Meeting Leaftlet distributed to all residents stated "Your views are very important, please don't complain about the future direction the village takes if you couldn't be bothered to let people know how you feel about things that are important to you!" The leaflet also stated, "Everyone who lives or works in Bleadon will soon be asked how they want Bleadon to evolve in the future. This will form the Bleadon Village Plan, which will become a template for future Bleadon Parish Councils to refer to when making decisions. It will also provide guidance to North Somerset Council on how we would like to see the parish develop over the coming decades. This will be your chance to influence the decision-makers to let them know what you hold dear and the things yound like changed. We are lucky enough to live in one of the more beautiful parts of the country, with a community, which has proven itself to be very supportive to local causes. We need to protect and enhance that important village spirit."  Where is the current public debate on these applications that will irrevocably change Bleadon's character and landscape forever?
  • On the current BPC website, we completely agree with the statement by BPC Chairman Cllr Hartree who says "I believe that it is the duty of the Parish Council to protect and promote the aspirations of parishioners."; Also, Cllr Chinn says " I would like to see Bleadon preserve it’s village identity, part of which is to resist urban sprawl from Weston super Mare." and Cllr Dobson says "I believe that the Parish Council has a key role to play in working actively with all sections of the community and I am keen to get involved and make a difference.". BPC stated in December 2016, during the Bleadon Hill Inquiry, that they "... have been clearly told that national planning policies, driven by central government, insist that massive housing developments must be approved regardless of the wishes of any local plans that may be in place." May 2017 minutes state "The Chairman emphasised that although members of the public are always welcome to attend Parish Council meetings, it must be remembered that these are not public meetings, but are meetings which are held in public". In June 2017, at the being of the meeting, the "Chairman reminded members of the Public and Parishioners that this is the only opportunity during the meeting to speak regarding items on the agenda" i.e. no direct debate will be held on agenda itemsSo, on behalf of all residents we/BOB urgently ask again where are BPC councillors leading our rural Bleadon community? Please can BPC inform us/all residents what mechanism it is using to gain/listen to feedback from all residents to make their decisions on behalf of our community, and how they are protecting and preserving Bleadon's rural identity, especially if they are not using residents' Parish Plan feedback?
  • Considering the agenda discussion items 298.7 and 298.8, and the fact that BPC seems to have 'misplaced/lost' our adopted 2009-2029 Parish Plan, would it not also be appropriate to publicly discuss what BPC intend to do about the Plan, and the use of the public feedback that formed it in relation to their decision making? BPC have also yet to publish their 'vision' statement of the future of Bleadon as indicated in May 2017 minutes. (As councillors are aware all related documentation, including questionnaire responses and draft Parish Plan, is available on BOB if the plan needs to be redrafted and finalised again). To our knowledge Parish Plans can exist alongside any other plans such as a Neighbourhood Plan, and previously NSC (and CPRE) suggested that the Bleadon's Parish Plan could be submitted as a 'supplementary planning document' to the NSC Local Plan/Core Strategy, is this BPC's intention? Please can BPC's inform us/all residents what its vision of the future of Bleadon is, as it seems to have 'no objection' to turning a third of it into caravan parks or wake park for tourism purposes despite it's resident feedback through the plan process?
  • 298.9 Planning Consultancy. From recent statements and planning application responses BPC seem to be currently ignoring the Parish Plan and associated feedback that represents 60% of residents' views, so with openness and transparency in mind, please can you therefore tell us/all residents what BPC would be specifically discussing with a Planning Consultant, and on whose behalf (residents/businesses) and from what perspective (local/regional/national)? According to our understanding from CPALC BPC is a statutory planning application consultee who is elected/co-opted to represent residents and as such has the same rights as any member of the public, with no powers to approve or reject planning applications, they can only comment or not on applications. So like any resident, BPC has access to the public information easily and freely provided by our planning authority, NSC, who makes the actual decisions locally on these matters. Is BPC suggesting it uses our precept to pay for this planning consultancy or is this free expert/NSC advice? Is this consultancy for councillors' guidance and understanding of the planning process, specific applications and/or understanding the use of Parish and other Plans on behalf of residents? Will BPC subsequently publicly share this consultancy information with residents? From our understanding the whole purpose of the Parish Plan was to represent the community views in the NSC Local Plan/Core Strategy process. BPC would then subsequently use it to feed into/guide BPC's responses and free discussions with qualified and experienced NSC Planning and other Officers on behalf of residents e.g. on matters such as planning applications and wider issues. Please can BPC therefore inform us/all residents as to the purpose and cost of this 'planning consultancy'?
  • 298.11 Planning Decisions. Please can you tell us/all residents why BPC are granting, with no objection, development outside the settlement boundary in opposition to the Parish Plan feedback e.g. on South Hill Farm, Fern Court, Purn Caravan Park, Celtic Way (but not Purn Way)? Please can you inform us/all residents as to why BPC cannot represent residents' views as indicated in the Parish Plan feedback and just say 'NO' until this matter of how BPC represents residents, settlement boundary, Core Strategy, etc. is openly and appropriately discussed and concluded; leaving the legalities and finer points for NSC to debate and potentially address with their planning consultants at a higher level if in conflict with residents' views?
  • BPC have repeatedly ignored our request to publicly detail its duties, roles and responsibilities. As you may recall we last asked BPC to confirm its duties/role with regards public rights of way (PROW) in June 2017, which still remains unanswered. If BPC instructs its/Bleadon's Village Ranger to maintain these footpaths with Bleadon precept funding, please can you tell us/all residents why BPC made no comment to NSC regarding the PROWs affected by the caravan park and Celtic Way applications, and the apparent destruction of the SNCI on the caravan park land, especially as replies to the Parish Plan questionnaire indicate that residents highly value our green space environment and associated wildlife?
  • 298.10 Updating the asset register. We were informed by the previous clerk in November 2016 that the asset register was being updated and that we could have a copy when it was completed. We have also been previously told by BPC that it needs updating each year for insurance purposes and when employees leave. As we have not yet received anything please can you send us a copy of the current asset register, or is this action still outstanding?
Bleadon Parish Plan Questionnaire Statistical Feedback (available via http://www.bleadon.org.uk/parishplan.html)
------TOURISM------Residents' response to Bleadon's Parish Plan Questionnaire 
Question 14 'Should Tourism development/attractions be encouraged in and around Bleadon?' Out of 461 responses only 22%, 102 people, were in favour. [Strongly in favour 8.242% (38), In Favour 13.88% (64), No strong opinion 14.09% (65), Have Reservations 26.24% (121), Definitely Not 37.52% (173)]. We feel that this clearly shows a lack of public support for any tourist expansion whether caravan or leisure/wake park.

------ OUR ENVIRONMENT 

------ Q44:'How important is it to you that countryside is maintained between Weston and Bleadon? Out of 572 responses 97% thought it was highly significant to maintain the countryside (Very important 87.06% (498) Important 10.31% (59) Not important 1.048% (6) No opinion 1.573% (9)). 
 
------ Q45: Our local environment is under threat, with economic and development pressures possible accelerating future change, yet it is generally accepted that a high quality built and natural environment provides the foundation for a healthy local economy and a basis for a good quality of life. Some features of the built environment are protected by law, others rely on individuals accepting responsibility for the impact of their actions. How important are the following to you
'Impact of development on the visible landscape? Out of 476 replies residents stated that it was Very Important = 83.82% (399), Important = 14.49% (69) Not important = 1.680% (8); 
'A place of scenery and the natural world?' (484 replies) V Important 80.37% (389) Important 17.76% (86) Not important 1.859% (9); 
'Design, scale and 'fit' of new developments?' (461 replies) V Important 79.39% (366), Important 18.00% (83) Not important 2.603% (12); 
 
------ Q46: The parish is largely rural with most of the land in agricultural use. Changing agricultural policies and practices, illustrated by the trend away from pasture to arable farming and farm diversification initiatives, will affect the natural environment. How crucial are the following issues to you? 1-Most 5-Least, 6-No Opinion. 
'Conservation of the parish landscape character (514 replies) 1 = 85.60% (440) 2 = 9.533% (49) 3 = 3.307% (17) 4 = 0.389% (2) 5 = 0% (0) 6 = 1.167% (6); 
'Woodland retention & replanting?' (502 replies) 1 = 79.28% (398) 2 = 13.94% (70) 3 = 3.187% (16) 4 = 2.390% (12) 5 = 0% (0) 6 = 1.195% (6); 'Preservation of hedges and trees?' (504 replies) 1 = 80.95% (408) 2 = 12.10% (61) 3 = 4.563% (23) 4 = 1.190% (6) 5 = 0.595% (3) 6 = 0.595% (3); 'Wildlife conservation?' (488 replies) 1 = 84.63% (413) 2 = 9.221% (45) 3 = 2.868% (14) 4 = 1.434% (7) 5 = 1.229% (6) 6 = 0.614% (3); 

 

------ Q47 'How important is the quality of the countryside around Bleadon to you?' (550 replies) Very important = 87.81% (483) Important = 10.54% (58) Not very important = 0.909% (5) No opinion = 0.727% (4). 

 

 ------ Q48: 'Which elements of the countryside around Bleadon do you value?' 
Tranquility = 77.18% (494 replies) Openness = 67.5% (432) A place which provides my living = 10.93% (70) A place for walking or rambling = 55.46% (355) A place to ride or walk the dog = 39.68% (254) A place for fishing or shooting = 11.25% (72) A place of scenery and the natural world = 68.59% (439). 

 

------ Q49: What do you think could be done to improve the environment of Bleadon? 1-Very Important, 2-Worth Doing, 3-Not Necessary, 4-Dont Know. 
'Plant more trees?' (412) 1 = 26.21% (108) 2 = 47.57% (196) 3 = 22.33% (92) 4 = 3.883% (16); 
'Cut down some trees?' (367) 1 = 1.907% (7) 2 = 10.08% (37) 3 = 81.19% (298) 4 = 6.811% (25); 
'Look after woodlands (437) 1 = 55.14% (241) 2 = 41.87% (183) 3 = 0.228% (1) 4 = 2.745% (12); 
'Keep hedges short and tidy on footpaths (463) 1 = 48.38% (224) 2 = 39.95% 185) 3 = 9.935% (46) 4 = 1.727% (8); 
'Let hedges in fields grow naturally (394) 1 = 26.64% (105) 2 = 37.05% (146) 3 = 26.90% (106) 4 = 9.390% (37); 
Develop the river for leisure activities (421) 1 = 7.363% (31) 2 = 42.99% (181) 3 = 41.80% (176) 4 = 7.838% (33); 
'Develop the river and Levels as a wildlife sanctuary?' (453) 1 = 32.89% (149) 2 = 55.40% (251) 3 = 7.947% (36) 4 = 3.752% (17); 
'Develop the Coombe quarry as a wildlife sanctuary?' (465 replies) 1 = 21.07% (98) 2 = 57.20% (266) 3 = 14.62% (68) 4 = 7.096% (33). 

 

------ Q50: 'Does Bleadon suffer from any of the following types of disturbance?' Traffic noise = 31.25% (200) Farm animals in gardens/on roads = 3.593% (23) Noisy visitors / residents = 10% (64) Low-flying aircraft = 17.81% (114) Noise pollution = 8.281% (53) Light pollution = 7.656% (49); 'Street Lighting outside residential areas?' (384) 1 = 26.30% (101) 2 = 16.14% (62) 3 = 15.88% (61) 4 = 7.031% (27) 5 = 34.63% (133). 

 

------ Q: 57 Artificial lighting of premises and recreation facilities allows for increasing hours of use and improved night-time security, yet it contributes to 'light pollution'. How concerned are you about these lighting issues? Rate as 1 = most concerned to 5 = least concerned. 
'Street Lighting outside residential areas?' (384) 1 = 26.30% (101) 2 = 16.14% (62) 3 = 15.88% (61) 4 = 7.031% (27) 5 = 34.63% (133); 
'Urbanisation of rural areas?' (350) 1 = 53.14% (186) 2 = 16.57% (58) 3 = 16% (56) 4 = 4.285% (15) 5 = 10% (35); 
'Security lighting?' (361) 1 = 26.31% (95) 2 = 13.29% (48) 3 = 29.08% (105) 4 = 10.52% (38) 5 = 20.77%; 
'Light pollution (glare/flow)?' (358) 1 = 36.87% (132) 2 = 20.39% (73) 3 = 18.43% (66) 4 = 8.938% (32) 5 = 15.36% (55); 
'Night working under lights?' (328) 1 = 25.91% (85) 2 = 11.89% (39) 3 = 21.95% (72) 4 = 6.402% (21) 5 = 33.84% (111); 
'Illuminated signs?' (342) 1 = 24.85% (85) 2 = 16.66% (57) 3 = 28.36% (97) 4 = 7.017% (24) 5 = 23.09% (79); 
'Impacts on wildlife?' (365) 1 = 54.79% (200) 2 = 15.89% (58) 3 = 15.06% (55) 4 = 6.301% (23) 5 = 7.945% (29); 

 

------ SERVICES 
------ Q60 Parish residents are supported by a limited range of local services, increasing the need to look further afield for supplies, service and support. Are you satisfied with the accessibility of services?' (514 responses) Satisfied = 57.78% (297) No opinion = 31.51% (162) Dissatisfied = 10.70% (55).

 

For some background as to why developers continue to pressure NSC Planning please see the mapping on the Major Development page and associated table of information on BOB, including Green Belt mapping and policies/documentation. Also current developments in and around Bleadon.

West of England Rural Network

Posted on 31st July, 2017

West of England Rural NetworkWest of England Rural Network

 

Sue Badger is our WERN (West of England Rural Network) Village Agent for Bleadon.

She is able to offer advice and support to older people in our community regarding many aspects of life and I think may well be a helpful person for various people in our community. I have attached a copy of her leaflet.

 

Please feel free to circulate it and/or contact Sue.

 

With much hope,

Rev'd Tim Erridge

Parish Priest: Bleadon and Bournville

Tel: 01934 815 404

 

Celtic Way Stable to Dwelling Aerial Map

 

A new application for a the "Erection of a two storey dwelling and a single storey detached garage following the demolition of existing stable building", on another green field site outside of the Settlement Boundary!

 

Comments deadline is 27 July 2017. Here is the link to the application 17/P/1484/F on North Somerset Council Planning website at http://wam.n-somerset.gov.uk/MULTIWAM/showCaseFile.do;jsessionid=92EC0CEA50B6ADE1FCDB69FBCB0FA4BA?action=show&appType=Planning&appNumber=17/P/1484/F 

 

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.

 

Major Developments in and around Bleadon

Other Information

Link to Major Developments Map

 

Celtic Way Stable to Dwelling Map

 

 

  

View NowProposed
Celtic Way Field View NowCeltic Way Field View Proposed

 

 

Despite this application being outside the Settlement Boundary/Village Fence with a Public Right of Way through the middle of the site, following their Parish Council meeting Monday 10 July 17 our five parish council representatives submitted the following comment to NSC as follows:

North Somerset make the decision on this development application. If you want your individual voice heard you need to comment directly to NSC.

 

Why are BPC approving building on greenfield sites when surely they should first be identifying, building on and exhausting brownfield sites first?
  • On 2 Nov 16 The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) posted "More than a million homes possible on suitable brownfield land".
  • On 15 Dec 14 local MP Liam Fox spoke out in Parliament on behalf of North Somerset and the high extra housing development imposed by central government coming from the Bristol University court challenge wanting to build on Green Belt land. NSC was subsequently asked to increase indentified sites from 14,000 to 21,000 houses. Liam Fox MP said, ".. it must be made clear that greenfield development should come only as a last resort after all brownfield sites are exhausted".
  • On 10 May 2017 DCLG wrote "With effect from 16 April 2017, each local authority is required by law to create an easy-to-access Brownfield Register and publish it on its website by 31 December. However, only sites suitable for new homes are to be included".
  • How can any green field site be considered until this exercise has been completed? Any NSC policies that are currently in place to protect green fields and infill villages should be upheld, e.g. Core Strategy, Parish Plans, etc.
  • How will the Public Right of Way across this greenfield site be diverted, extinguished or created as requested by the applicant? Bleadon has already lost its circular walk on South Hill when that landowner made changes
  • This application is in a Bat Habitation zone,has had nesting birds and is near two separate Sites of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI). What other creatures will be affected? The applicant's own form indicates that "Although not within the ANOB it is considered that this site is important within the context of Policy DM11"
  • We therefore believe that this application should be refused.

Firstly and fundamentally, Bleadon is a NSC (CS33) designated Infill Village and this application site is outside of the long established Settlement Boundary, so surely this application must be rejected as otherwise what is the point of the designation and the Core Strategy Local Plan Policy which involved extensive consultation and costly production. Also the 20 year Bleadon Parish Plan that was previously adopted by BPC in 2009 states it will "Through the Planning process vigorously question all development outside the Village Settlement" and "Ensure that all new development is within the village Settlement Boundary". Also NSC Corporate Plan stating they need to "promote growth without compromising the things that we, and our millions of visitors, love about North Somerset: our beautiful countryside, stunning coast and distinctive towns and villages, each with their own unique character."

 
This application is on a greenfield site not a Brownfield Site, it has not been previously identified as suitable for development under the Site Allocations Plan consultation. This will not be affordable housing (CS17) in a sustainable location, being situated in a small but steep valley with obvious potential for flooding and landslip from above. The existing stable block has grown (possibly without permission) from a simple leanto shack to shelter ponies, into something more substantial and is on agricultural grazing land. This development will clearly change that purpose forever by creating a road over that land and thus also regular vehicular access on to/from Celtic Way (a steep narrow road) with very limited visibility. An accident (or more) waiting to happen from the existing field gate and also consideration to hedgerow regulations should be given.
 
There is a public right of way with pedestrian access via gate/stile/steps on Celtic Way over this field. The views and natural habitat for wildlife over the surrounding landscape from the adjacent footpath (which is part of the West Mendip Way) and surrounding roads (also viewed from A370) will clearly also be permanently affected during construction and when completed. What about access for water, electric, gas, communication services and foul waste disposal too?
 
The application support document states "Public transport passes the door, in both directions, hourly commencing at 08:40". The bus only goes up Celtic Way and thus will not be suitable to get to work or school before 9am. The application also states "If villages of this nature and character are not allowed to gradually grow ... they will stagnate", conversely the application already stated that Bleadon is an active, thriving community with WSM within easy reach, so why do the greenfields 'of beautiful countryside' that surround the village, that are key to Bleadon's 'unique character' need to be built on? Is the intention to 'gradually grow' Bleadon into a suburb of WSM with all greenfields being eventually built on and Bleadon village and surrounding greenfield parish destroyed?
 
This is just one of many current applications within the surrounding area and almost all are outside our long established Bleadon settlement boundary. The accumulated effect of all these applications on the rural Bleadon community and environmental landscape needs to be considered as a holistic whole and not individually. 
We believe NSC needs to take a firm stand against all of these speculative applications and protect its own well considered and consulted planning policies. Otherwise what is the point of their existence leaving the property development industry to build whenever, whererever and whatever they please with the Planning Inspectors permission with no accounting for the health and well-being of the existing community residents they will and currently do affect!
 

 

ASSOCIATED BOB BLOGS:

 

90 Static & Touring Caravans at Purn/Riverside Village on greenfield site outside Settlement Boundary.

16 Houses on Land Off Purn Way on greenfield site outside Settlement Boundary.

70 Dwellings at Devil's Bridge Bleadon Hill BOB Blog on greenfield site near Parish Boundary

 

Settlement Boundary Information

BPC Vexatious Policy Update

Posted on 23rd July, 2017

Bleadon Parish Council's restricted access to public information approach has been reflected in their current Vexatious Policy (adopted June 2017). 

  • BPC has removed the section in the policy indicating 'Rights of Public Access'  as can be seen in comparison to the previous Vexatious Policy
  • Once BPC have decided that a person's correspondence is vexatious "There is no route of appeal against the decision that a complaint or correspondence is vexatious". 
  • All BPC sub-committee meetings held to discuss correspondence are held in secret/closed to the public with no announcement, agenda or minutes
  • BPC will not discuss the issues or concerns leading up to their decision, nor will they correct inaccurate public announcements or supply supportive information to these comments.
  • "If they [sub-committee] decide that it [correspondence] raises no genuinely new and substantive issues, no response is required",  in BOB's experience that means not even an acknowledgement of correspondence.
  • In BOB's experience after BPC has decided to invoke their Vexatious Policy they will not tell you which questions they are 'unable' to answer as opposed to unwilling; nor will they confirm the reponse that they believe has definitively answered the question. E.g. BPCs duties, roles, responsibilities, Settlement Boundary, Parish Plan, correcting of inaccurate/misleading public information, etc. 

 What happened to the national/Good Councillor Guide/Nolan Principles adopted by BPC in their Code of Conduct with its 'Ethical Framework' and 'Seven Principles of Public Life'? For example:

  • "ACCOUNTABILITY Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office."
  • "OPENNESS Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands."
  • "LEADERSHIP Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example."

BPC have consistently refused to answer key questions in relation to the large scale developments in and around Bleadon and/or to state their view of the Future of Bleadon. They have recently responded to our request to understand their duties, roles and responsibilities, especially in relation to Public Rights of Way (PROW), stating "Bleadon Parish Council is currently taking advice with regard to the requests and issues raised in your emails and will, when such advice has been received, respond, or not, to the requests and issues raised". 

 

Considering BPC is approving applications that seem contrary to the adopted Parish Plan that represents the views of 60% of residents; that BPC are approving the building on green fields which also directly affect the public rights of way on the current three fields under proposed development; and that BPC have approved a caravan parks with units equal to 60% of Bleadon's residential dwellings BOB feels that it is important that BPC publicly inform residents of their 'plan/approach' to the future of Bleadon. This is especially important seeing as BPC declared in April 2017 that they have 'lost/can't find' the paperwork associated with currently adopted 20 year Parish Plan!

 

The fact that BPC appears to need to take advice to let residents know what their current duties are, and have a random approach to their decison making, is concerning. The fact that they may or may not let 'us/public' know what these responsibilities are when they find out is doubly concerning, especially during this period of rapid development in the parish, and as the precept, currently £39K, is funding their decisions.

16 Houses at Purn Way Update

Posted on 23rd July, 2017

Purn Way 16 Houses

 

The deadline for this application is 25 July 2017, you can submit an online comment to NSC via the BOB link here.

 

This application is outside the Settlement Boundary/Village Fence, and following their Parish Council meeting Monday 10 July they submitted their objection to NSC including the comment:

  • "... Bleadon is an Infill village and this development is outside the Settlement Boundary."

Conversely, BPC has made 'no objection' to the green field development of 90 units at the Purn/Riverside Caravan Park, which is outside the Settlement Boundary, nor the development at Celtic Way also outside the Village Fence on a green field.

 

There have been mixed messages from BPC and NSC Councillors regarding the Settlement Boundary, their treatment of it and their view of the future of Bleadon. BOB has received a Settlement Boundary update/reply from North Somerset and the Department of Communities and Local Government, but we have not received a response from BPC to our Dec 16 query. See associated Settlement Boundary Information.

 

North Somerset make the decision on this development application. If you want your individual voice heard you need to comment directly to NSC.

 

See 16 Houses Planned on Land Off Purn Way for more information

 

 

ASSOCIATED BOB BLOGS:

 

70 Dwellings at Devil's Bridge Bleadon Hill on greenfield site near Parish Boundary

90 Caravans at Purn/Riverside Park Update

Posted on 23rd July, 2017

Purn/Riverside Holiday Village Image

 

The deadline for this application has been extended to 9 October 2017 (previously 07 August 2017), you can submit an online comment to NSC via the BOB link here.

 

Despite this application being outside the Settlement Boundary/Village Fence, following their Parish Council meeting Monday 10 July 17 our five parish council representatives submitted the following comment to NSC as follows:

  • "Bleadon Parish Council has no objections to this application, however the Parish Council would like to request that the developer to be asked to contribute to the levy for the general improvement of traffic issues likely to be caused by the development particularly at the junction of the A370."

There is no mention of the many reasons that BOB/public feel support a refusal to this application. For example:

  • This application is outside the Settlement Boundary.
  • According to the Parish Plan Questionniare responses 64% of responding residents had 'reservations' or 'definitely' did not want tourism development/attractions.
  • That if this application was granted it would mean that a third of all dwellings in Bleadon would be on a caravan site.
  • That if granted the number of caravan units in the Accomodation Road junction area will have nearly doubled from 163 units last year/2016 to a potential 310 all year round units this year.
  • That 310 units is 60% the number of the existing 530 residential dwellings in Bleadon.
  • That the current site licence is for non-residential units, so what monitoring is in place to ensure that these units do not become full time residencies? (It is our understanding that these caravan units do not count as Bleadon's allocation of residential units, hence the pressure to build houses on our green field sites outside the settlement boundary).
  • That according to NSC data the site doesn't appear to officially be a camp site at present, so how can it be a change of use?

  • That according to NSC mapping there is a PROW right through the centre of the application (PROW responsibilites still not answered by BPC. Bleadon has already lost its circular walk on South Hill when that landower made changes).

  • That according to the site related application (17/P/1515F) to construct an equipment store the Site of Nature & Conservation Interest (SNCI) now appears to be a pond?! (This SNCI and associated landfill query is still not answered by BPCor NSC).

  • That it is outside the Settlement Boundary and it would irrevocably change the nature of the green landscape in which it is sited
  • That it would not accord with the adopted 20 year Parish Plan 2009, associated Action Plan and/or 103 Improvements to "Conserve the rural character - Retain the green space between Weston and
  • Bleadon" (Parish Plan paperwork was declared 'lost/not found' by BPC this year, with no local democratic consulted plan in place to protect our community or environment).

North Somerset make the decision on this development application. If you want your individual voice heard you need to comment directly to NSC.

 

See 90 Static & Touring Caravans at Purn/Riverside Village for more information.

 

 

ASSOCIATED BOB BLOGS:

 

Caravan Site Information

 

16 Houses on Land Off Purn Way on greenfield site outside Settlement Boundary.

Stables to dwelling on Celtic Way on greenfield site outside Settlement Boundary,

70 Dwellings Application at Devil's Bridge Bleadon Hill BOB Blog on green field site near Parish Bounary

 

Settlement Boundary Information

70 Dwellings at Devils Bridge Update

Posted on 23rd July, 2017

Devils Bridge 70 Dwellings Aerial Image

 

The deadline for this application was extended to 25 July 2017, you can submit an online comment to NSC via the BOB link here.

 

Following their meeting on Monday 10 July 17 Bleadon Parish Council submitted a comment to NSC as follows:

  • "Bleadon Parish Council objects to the planning application based on the same grounds as W-S-M Town Council."

For reference Weston Town Council submitted as follows:

  • "Raised concerns due to overdevelopment and highway access to main busy road.  Not in favour unless these issues can be resolved."

So little comment from our public representatives for such a major planning development. We know several residents will be disappointed in this response as they were hoping BPC would respond to these large developments and address the potential traffic and pollution issues that they will create for Bleadon.

 

North Somerset make the decision on this development application. If you want your individual voice heard you need to comment directly to NSC.

 

See 70 Dwellings at Devil's Bridge Bleadon Hill for more information on this greenfield site near our Parish Boundary

 

 

ASSOCIATED BOB BLOGS:

 

16 Houses Planned on Land Off Purn Way on greenfield site outside Settlement Boundary

90 Static & Touring Caravans at Purn/Riverside Village on greenfiled site outside Settlement Boundary

Stables to dwelling on Celtic Way on greenfield site outside Settlement Boundary,

Settlement Boundary Update

Posted on 23rd July, 2017

 

Parish Settlement BoundaryBleadon Settlement Boundary

 

There are only 13 Infill Villages with Settlement Boundaries identified in the whole of North Somerset as indicated in NSC Core Strategy (2017), CS33. Development in these villages, Bleadon included, "will be strictly controlled in order to protect the character of the rural area and prevent unsustainable development." 

 

The NSC Corporate Plan (2015-19) also states the "need to promote growth without compromising the things that we, and our millions of visitors, love about North Somerset: our beautiful countryside, stunning coast and distinctive towns and villages, each with their own unique character."

 

Although we have not received a response from Bleadon Parish Council (BPC) to our queries on this topic last year, Dec 2016,  their July 2017 minutes (Min 297.4i) state "..there is currently not a settlement boundary at this present time for Bleadon." Conversely, their comments to NSC regarding housing on Purn Way decided at the same meeting state "Bleadon is an Infill village and this development is outside the Settlement Boundary". So, what is BPC's approach to the Settlement Boundary? We have received responses from North Somerset implying the opposite and a response from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) regarding identifying Brownfield sites to use before green field sites. See Settlement Boundary Information

 

So what is BPC's approach to our Public Rights of Way which are affected by all three current applications in greenfield sites which are outside the Settlement Boundary?