Home
BeInvolved

Bleadon Acting

Together (BAT)

Brownfield
Current Applications
Development Table
Elsewhere
Environmental
Food Security
Fracking
General
Housing £
Incentives £
Infill Status
Issues
Mapping
Neighbourhood Plans
News Articles
Objections
Parish Plan
Planning Info
Representation
Rule 6 - Appeals
Support Services
Sustainability
Why BOB?


 Also like us on...

 Bleadon


and Twitter



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.

Filter:

Latest Posts

Annual Parish Meeting 2019

Posted on 3rd April, 2019

 

 

The APM, by law, is supposed to be a resident's meeting, not a Council meeting. For example a council's interpretation of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) guidance,

"An Annual Parish Meeting is an effective forum for parish councils to engage with the local electorate.  Even if the Parish Council disagrees with the issues raised, or related arguments, the council members’ attendance and involvement in the Annual Parish Meeting would demonstrate that the council is prepared to take account of local residents’ views, which they must hold strongly if they have gone to the trouble attend the Annual Parish Meeting in the first place." 

Last year BPC ran the APM as a council meeting with residents' questions remaining  unanswered, we hope that with new councillors that this will be corrected this year.  Questions that you may wish to raise at the meeting:

  • 2019 APM incorrect minutes re: resolution and outcome 
  • What is happening to the Settlement Boundary and BPC councillor`s 10% expansion suggestion?
  • Resident complaint to NSC re: Openness and Leadership upheld - will residents now have more open access to BPC decision making and expenditure?
  • How are Bleadon's brownfields and potential fracking in Bleadon being considered in BPC's Neighbourhood Development Plan, why the lack of public discussion over the last 21 months? NDP
  • How do BPC inform residents of any NSC and other public consultations that they may wish to respond to?
  • How will the agreed Bristol Airport expansion and Joint Spatial Plan consultations affect Bleadon e.g Joint Local Transport Plan March 2019 Min 320.10

 

Possible 1 Million Brownfield Homes

Posted on 3rd April, 2019

 

Do Bleadon's green field sites really need to be built on? How are NSC's Local Plan and BPC's proposed Neighbourhood Development Plan identifying and considering any brownfield sites in Bleadon? According to a CPRE 2019 report, which is based on analysis of council's brownfield registers ...

"- Every local planning authority now has a brownfield register recording brownfield land considered to be suitable for housing led development.

- Brownfield registers continue to show enough suitable brownfield land is available for more than 1 million homes across over 18,000 sites and over 26,000 hectares."

Also Inside Housing article states:

"England has enough derelict or vacant land to build more than one million new homes – two-thirds of which are ready to start immediately, new research has found"

More Brownfield and sustainability and dark sky information can be found on BOB

Wentwood Drive Proposed Pre-School

Posted on 3rd April, 2019

 

 

"Change of use of land from agricultural use to use as a woodland pre-school. Erection of pre-school storage building with sedum roof, compost toilets and associated car parking and access arrangements "

 

Comments deadline is 15 Apr 2019. Here is the link to the application 19/P/0525/FUL on North Somerset Council Planning website.

 

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

North Somerset Council

Development Management

Post Point 15

Town Hall

Weston-super-Mare

BS23 1UJ 

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

 

Resident Complaint Upheld by NSC

Posted on 11th March, 2019

 

 

UPDATE 11 MAR 2019: BPC were less than open when discussing this issue in their public meeting i.e. not mentioning that this complaint was upheld by NSC re: a breach of the Code of Conduct in respect of Openness and Leadership (Mar 19 Min 320.23)

 

---

As many of you are aware BOB has been scrutinising and campaigning for many years for residents to have full transparent access to information regarding our Parish Council’s decision making and public tax/precept expenditure. On 5 Feb 19 North Somerset's Standards Committee considered a complaint from a member of the public (not BOB):

The Sub-Committee considered the complaint, together with the response from the Councillor concerned and received the views of the Independent Lay Person and Independent Parish Councillor. In considering the key issues, the Sub-Committee concluded that the Councillor’s actions had breached Bleadon Parish Council’s Code of Conduct, in particular; Openness and Leadership.” (Min SSC 18 highlighted)

Councillors will be discussing this breach at the end of their next meeting on 11 Mar 19 (Min 320.23). Despite the lower priortiy in their agenda, item #23, we hope councillors will now more openly consult residents on major issues that may affect our community, and publish their ‘closed’ council and project group Terms of Reference, Agenda, Minutes, Reports, expentiture, etc. (especially as BPC is our Statutory Consultee!). BOB has also written to NSC in support of the resident including a reference document re: previous 2017/18 lack of openness and transparency.

 

Example 1: For over two years BOB has been making Bleadon Parish Council (BPC) aware of the potential of ‘fracking’ in our community, and surrounding neighbours, yet it has consistently refused to raise this issue in a public forum. Last year BOB again asked BPC to inform residents and ask their views, including asking BPC’s Neighbourhood Development Plan Working Group to add a question in their January Survey (BOB Blog and Feb 19 Min 319.11). Each time councillors, and working group, decided not to inform residents, why? 

 

At the last BPC public meeting, February, the Chairman of Frack Free North Somerset presented the outline `fracking` issues (Min 319.3i & ii). BPC listened but didn’t discuss the issue as it was not an agenda item. BPC has since decided not to add it to their current agenda, or to ask for a subsequent presentation as offered. This is despite some residents already receiving requests from an energy company to survey their land for potential development. Why isn’t BPC making information on this issue available so that residents can make informed decisions?

 

Even if councillors support fracking, in our, and surrounding neighbourhoods, surely residents and landowners have the right to be made aware of what the energy companies are planning to do? Surely residents have the right to make informed decisions about any future development that may occur and any potential health and safety hazards?

 

---- 

 

See Bleadon Fracking blog and BOB's fracking page.and newspaper articles

 

Also, link to We are not Alone blog re: Brent Knoll residents concern about how local councillors are respresenting and/or misrepresenting them.

Bleadon Fracking Update

Posted on 19th February, 2019

Link to Petroleum Exploration Development Licence map 

UPDATE 12 Mar 19: BPC didn't raise the issue of fracking at their 11 Mar meeting, why is BPC still avoiding informing residents of this issue, despite being made aware of it over 2 years ago?

 

---

Petroleum Exploration & Development (aka fracking) may be coming to Bleadon as minuted in Bleadon Parish Council's (BPC) 11 Feb 19 minutes (319.3i & 319.3ii)

"i). The Chairman of Frack Free North Somerset commented that landowners in Bleadon had been approached for exploration re fracking. He stated that fracking impacts greatly on traffic, health and most importantly on water quality. Drilling for fossil fuels in Bleadon would be foolish due to the number of aquifers in the fissured limestone of the Mendips. Plans to drill in Keynsham were halted when it was realised that it would taint the purity of the Roman Baths. He offered to bring a presentation to another meeting. A second member of the public supported these statements and asked whether the council had been approached. The Government is looking to take away the right for local councils to be consulted on mineral extractions. The company looking at Bleadon (South Western Energy) are going for oil production, not just exploration"

 

ii) Cllr Terry Porter referred to the fracking – NSC has been strongly against the change to permitted development rights regarding minerals, as have most other councils"

As always residents and landowners need quick, simple access to timely and accurate information to be able to make informed decisions. We can all learn from other communites e.g. in the UK (Lancashire) and America (Dryden). We all need to know what may happen to our environment, health, etc. both in short and long term e.g. who is responsible for any clean up should developers walk away, or decommission sites, etc.

 

We therefore assume Bleadon Parish Council will put this highly important issue on their next agenda to further public understanding and discussion, i.e. Monday 11th March 2019 at 7pm in the Coronation Hall.

 

See also Bleadon Fracking blog and BOB's fracking page.and newspaper articles

Plan to cut A38 speed limit to 40mph

Posted on 13th February, 2019

 

Speed limit sign

 

 

Plans to introduce a new 40mph speed limit along the A38 between the Edithmead roundabout and East Brent have been unveiled this week in a bid to make the busy route safer.

 

Somerset County Council has this week published a Speed Limit Order proposal to introduce a 40mph limit for the stretch of road highlighted in red on the above map. It includes Brent Knoll’s Fox and Goose junction, which is a well-known accident blackspot.

 

For more information see Burnham-on-Sea.com

Bleadon Fracking

Posted on 9th February, 2019

 

Link to PEDL licences in and around Bleadon

 

UPDATE 11 MAR 19: Resident complaint upheld by NSC

 

UPDATE: 12 FEB 19 email from Bleadon Parish Council's Clerk following Monday's public meeting, "Fracking – no discussion at council, not mentioned by any resident on any of the surveys I have seen (which is only about 100 of the 281).  You ask ‘why’ fracking was not on the survey – well, your email requesting it be put on the survey was noted but the issue was not considered relevant to this early stage survey.  The [Bleadon Neighbourhood Development Planning Working] Group decided the questions – you were not on the group.  No other resident requested any particular question."  

 

UPDATE: 11 Feb 19 (Mins 319.3 & 319.11) Frack Free North Somerset speak at BPC public meeting and BPC's response.

 

----

BOB has been informed that a landowner on Roman Road, Bleadon, has received a fracking related letter as seen on the Frack Free EQS facebook post (see copy below). It seems that Oil and Gas Exploration Survey letters are being sent to various North Somerset landowners.

 

On 8 Feb 19 Drill or Drop? wrote: "Frack Free North Somerset has established that at least two landowners in the parish of Bleadon had been contacted by the company. The group said both had declined the rental offer. A large, but unspecified rental fee had been mentioned, the group said. The issue is likely to be discussed next week at the meeting of Bleadon parish council (Monday 11 February 2019) and by Frack Free North Somerset at its planning meeting (Tuesday 12 February 2019) ..."

 

"... Richard Lawson from Frack Free North Somerset said, “The central thing that will, or should, kill this attempt to extract is that it is actually on the Mendip Hills, which are fissured limestone. So any drilling, particularly fracking, will inevitably contaminate the interconnected waterways that run through the limestone, importantly to Banwell, where Weston super Mare derives much of its water, and to the tourist areas of Cheddar, Wookey and Wells. A plan to frack in Keynsham, on the other end of the Mendips, was abandoned because it would contaminate the Roman Baths at Bath.”

 

More information can be found on the BOB Fracking page including information on North Somerset and Bleadon Parish Councillors' view on this topic.

 

BOB has been raising the fracking issue with Bleadon Parish Council (BPC) since 2016, e.g. Nov 18, and requested a question(s) in the recent Jan 2019 BPC Neighbourhood Development Plan survey, as reflected in a recent BOB NDP blog. So, hopefully BPC are prepared to answer any residents concerns.

 

The next Parish Council meeting is on Monday 11 Feb 2019, 7pm, at the Coronation Hall, but please note that this is not on the published agenda.

 

 

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

 

Frack Free EQS - Facebook Post 07 Feb 2019

 

Oil and Gas Exploration Survey letters sent to North Somerset landowners!

 

South Western Energy has finally shown their hand with exploration plans for Bleadon in North Somerset. Bleadon is just a few miles south of Weston-super-Mare and lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

 

If you are a farmer or landowner please thoroughly research this contentious issue before making any decisions on whether to allow access to your land, or to lease or sell land to the oil and gas industry. Your long-term health and livelihood may be at stake. Please let us know if you have been approached.

In the event that you might be opposed to the possibility of oil and gas production activities despoiling this area, and further contributing to the climate crisis, please note that the next meeting to be held by Bleadon Parish Council will take place on Monday 11th Feb at Coronation Hall, Bleadon, 7pm. Or write to the parish Clerk at parishclerk@bleadonparishcouncil.co.uk and ask that they put oil and gas exploration/development on their agenda and allow the public to participate at the meeting.

 

Let's support them and get the message out there that this area is potentially under threat from fracking.

Attached is a letter from Gerwyn Williams, CEO of South Western Energy, to a resident of Bleadon. We can confirm that the letter is genuine and that other landowners have been contacted to request access to their land for the purposes of undertaking pre-drilling application surveys. The image quality of the attached photo is poor so for your convenience this is what can be deciphered:

 

5th December 2018

(Name & partial address withheld)

Roman Road 

Bleadon

 

Dear Madam Re: HYDROCARBON EXPLORATION - Bleadon, Weston-super-Mare

Our company, South Western Energy Limited, holds Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence xxx (xxxxx) which was granted by the Oil and Gas Authority in the 14th Onshore Licensing Round and is exclusive in terms of hydrocarbon exploration. We would like to carry out exploration work for hydrocarbons on your land near Bleadon, Weston-Super-Mare. This limited exploration process(?) does not include any drilling or fracking but a walkover xxx using a small team that can carry equipment over the land, is a non-intrusive and would take around 3(?) hours to complete. Following the results of this test we would have a much clearer picture in terms of the presence of hydrocarbons or otherwise. This work does not need planning permission. There is xxxx from this xxx xxxxx xxxxx to agree the best location for the exploration work. Please see attached the following location plan: xxxxxx Location Plan [Ref: xxxxxxx] From our initial geological modelling the site shows good potential for the production of hydrocarbons. Initially we would like to gain a temporary licence from you to carry out a walkover test. If this test xxxx positive, we would like to reach an agreement with you to drill a well and negotiate a long term production related rent payable to you which will represent a long term, stable income for you if production is successful.

 

Signed by Gerwyn Williams

 

Previous Fracking Blog

Request for Devils Bridge Meeting Assistance

Posted on 6th February, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

We have been informed by a resident that "The relevant council committee are meeting on 13th Feb to consider the Devils Bridge planning application. The planning officer's recommendation is that it GOES AHEAD. Would ... anyone ... be willing to address the meeting on behalf of those who are opposed? Three minutes are allowed for this"

 

Previous application information and some resident feedback can be found at https://www.bleadon.org.uk/beinvolved.html?post_id=26136

 

If you can help please contact us or send an email to bob@bleadon.org.uk and we will pass your feedback onto the resident concerned.

 

CPRE Dark Skies Star Count

Posted on 30th January, 2019

 

 

"TAKE PART: 2 February - 23 February

 

Help us reclaim our dark skies

Dark, starry skies are one of the most magical sights the countryside can offer. But light pollution means many of us can’t see the stars. We want to reconnect people with the wonder of our glorious night skies.

 

You can take part in #StarCount2019 and help us find our darkest skies, to ensure more of us can experience this natural wonder.

 

Our Star Count will take place this February, with support from the British Astronomical Association, and we’ll be asking you to look up at the night sky and tell us how many you can see in Orion. You can do this from anywhere in England.

 

Your results will help us to create a map showing the best places to enjoy the stars. And it will also support our work to combat light pollution and reclaim our dark skies.

 

How to take part in Star Count 2019:

Try to pick a clear night for your count, with no haze or clouds, then wait until after 7pm so the sky is really dark. We’ll be accepting results taken from Saturday 2 February until Saturday 23 February, but the best time to do the count is from 2-9 February, when the moon is smallest, so the skies are darkest!"

 

More information on how to count the stars with the naked eye for the 2019 count survey and to submit your count.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Current CPRE Map for North Somerset Light Pollution

 

Other Information:

We are not alone

Posted on 29th January, 2019

 

 

Bleadon residents are not the only ones concerned with how local councillors are respresenting and/or misrepresenting them. Below is an open letter from a Sedgemoor resident who has  "... lodged a complaint about the Sedgemoor decision to allow that appalling application ...to build 18 houses so close to the A38."

 

OPEN LETTER TO JAMES HEAPPEY, MP

 

Dear James,

 

You are the MP for the residents of Brent Knoll, and we need your help.

 

We need you to ask the Secretary of State for Housing & Local Government to call in the application by Coln Residential to develop 18 houses at 2 Brent Street – a wholly inappropriate site for development of any kind.

 

We have demonstrated, at every one of the three attempts by Coln Residential to secure planning consent for this site, that we are united in our opposition to their plans to build houses at the junction of Brent Street and the A38.

 

We live here, so we know that this location (outside the approved development zone) is wholly inappropriate for house-building.

 

The access to this site is perilously close to the already dangerous junction between Brent Street and the hugely busy A38.  Indeed, the Parish Council supported an earlier application (having previously discounted this site for development) solely on the basis that the developer was offering a traffic-lights solution to that dangerous junction.

 

That application proved too costly, so the developer (Coln Residential) went back to the drawing board and came up with this P4 application, on the basis of delivering 7 “affordable homes”.  Our Parish Council was, for the third time, split down the middle, so sent a message to Sedgemoor District Council of “No Observations” – which belied the true picture.

 

On every one of the three occasions that Coln Residential submitted a planning application, the Parish Council was split in two.  The defining issue is that one councilor, who happens to be our District Councilor, our County Councilor, and the Chair of Sedgemoor’s Development Committee, chose to abandon his long-held policy of absenting himself from planning matters at the Parish Council.

 

[The counillor] chose, for some reason, to remain in those Parish Council meetings, to speak, and to vote, in favour of every one of Coln Residential’s applications.

 

This meant that we, the objectors, were limited to just one speaker and just three minutes when Sedgemoor’s Development Committee met to decide the matter last Tuesday.

 

[His] actions meant three things:

 

• He steered the Brent Knoll Parish Council to back this disastrous application, ignoring the overwhelming opposition of the residents;

• He engineered the “No observation” response from the Parish Council that the Sedgemoor Development Committee told us would be interpreted as acceptance of the application;

• He robbed us of our right to have our District and County councilor to speak for us:  he had to absent himself from the Sedgemoor meeting because he had taken part in the Parish Council discussions.

 

This is outrageous.

 

What is worse, the planning officers at Sedgemoor District Council chose to promote this application – in order to tick the box of having provided “affordable housing” in Brent Knoll – and twisted the rules in order to do so.

 

They were minded to have this application dealt with (and approved) under delegated powers, until your predecessor (Tessa Munt) introduced us to another County Councilor (Bill Revans), who insisted that it be brought before the Development Committee, having seen and agreed with our deep concerns.

 

Indeed, every one of the Development Committee members who spoke (we have an audio-record of that meeting) voiced many of the concerns that we have for that site.

 

They were batted aside by the two planning officers, who were not restricted to a three-minute time limit.  They spoke for ages!

 

When it came to the crucial issue of this being a P4 application, that must be community-led or supported, those planning officers decided to change the rules and say that they were treating this application under the yet-to-be approved T5 formula, that will (if approved) reduce community engagement from vital to “be encouraged”!

 

This application was opposed by more than 80 detailed objections submitted to Sedgemoor’s own planning consultation website, and more than 100 signatures on a petition.  Just six people supported the application.

 

We have now submitted a complaint to the Local Authority Ombudsman, and hope that you will recognise the need for you to ask the Secretary of State for Housing & Local Government to call in this application.

 

Very best wishes

 

David