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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

Bleadon Needs a Broom

Posted on 5th December, 2018

 

Bleadon Parish seems to be suffering from a litter epidemic, just look at the A370 and surrounding rhynes. Our community is not alone as Defra joins forces with Keep Britain Tidy to launch the ‘Keep it, Bin it’ campaign. 

  • "Shocking images are at the centre of a new campaign unveiled today (30 November) to crack down on littering in England ... supported by some of the biggest names in retail, travel and entertainment, the campaign features poignant images of wildlife eating and getting tangled in litter, contrasted against typical excuses for people give for dropping litter" 

DEFRA's Summary of Targets in their 25 year environment plan states,

  • "We want to improve the UK’s air and water quality and protect our many threatened plants, trees and wildlife species. Our environment plan sets out our goals for improving the environment within a generation and leaving it in a better state than we found it. It details how we in government will work with communities and businesses to do this."

Environmentalist Mario Du Preez wrote this week in the Western Daily Press,

  • "Plastic pollution has now spread to our guts ...This puts a different spin on the plastic pollution question. Now, we no longer ask questions about how plastic pollution affects our oceans, our wildlife and our skies, but how it affects our own health."

North Somerset advertises its South West in Bloom Award on the edge of Bleadon/Uphill on the polluted A370. How can the initial enthusiasm and community effort put into projects such as these be sustained to protect our environment after any award incentive? Let's hope the Bleadon in Bloom project by BPC (£2.4K resident precept Min 317.17), its Neighbourhood Plan (£2.5K resident precept + Grants F&P min 54.7), and its Parish Ranger can help tackle this problem for the whole parish not just the village!

 

How does BPC's Park/Play Area plans fit into this (£2.5K resident precept)? i.e. "Suggestions for Play Area included rubberised surfacing for the whole area (reducing costs from grass cutting and bark management) which would facilitate all uses" (Dec 18 F&P Min 54.7). How do BPC's projects and related decisions fit with their Environmental Policy, which is not currently published on their website? (Sept 18 Min 313.19)

 

The A370 is the key footpath from/to WSM, where nature and litter currently compete to cover this path again, which can only get worse with additional housing and traffic! NSC needs to make its contractors perform better and take some accountability (e.g. street sweeping, recycling, refuse, highway maintenance, etc.)

Settlement Boundary Review

Posted on 5th December, 2018

 

The map above was taken from the NSC SHLAA 2018 Interactive Map.

 

The North Somerset 'Local Plan 2036 Issues and Options' consultation is due to close at noon, Monday 10 Dec 2018.

 

This NSC consultation is considering a range of issues that will directly affect development in Bleadon, e.g. Bleadon's Settlement Boundary contained within its Parish Boundary,

"Which settlements will have their boundaries reviewed?​ A review of the settlement boundaries will assess all settlements which have an​ existing boundary identified through the Core Strategy and Site Allocations Plan … Table 1 shows which settlements will be part of the settlement boundary review​ and their current status in the existing settlement hierarchy.​ Table 1: Settlements to be assessed through a settlement boundary review … Infill village Bleadon … Q9. What are your views on the options for revised settlement boundaries?" (Section 3.2 Settlement Boundaries, pg 24-27)

BOB has approached BPC expressing our concern at the lack of BPC public consultation and information on this issue over the last 3 months. The change or loss of this Settlement Boundary could potentially make Bleadon a Service Village, i.e. the same as Backwell, Banwell, Churchill, Congresbury, Easton-in-Gordano/Pill, Long Ashton, Winscombe, Wrington and Yatton, potentially opening Bleadon up to the same level of development.   BOB has also reminded councillors that Bleadon's adopted Parish Plan, documenting resident's views, states,

"Through the Planning process vigorously question all development outside the Village Settlement …  Ensure that all new development remains within the Village Settlement Boundary"

BPC has chosen not to raise and discuss this issue over the last 3 months, in its previous 4 publicly held meetings, but instead has decided to add it to their 10 Dec Agenda (Min 317.12), i.e. after the public deadline for comments.  

 

The NSC Issues and Options document:

"... does not propose specific sites for new development at this stage. An indication of the potential opportunities which may be available is undertaken through the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)... You can see which sites have already been submitted for our consideration in the SHLAA which can be viewed on our Local Plan 2036 Evidence Base webpage." Also, visit the NSC interactive map. "... The next stage of the Local Plan will identify potential sites using the SHLAA and other evidence, taking account of the wider issues relating to settlement policy and the location of development to deliver a sustainable future pattern of development."

Government guidance on Neighbourhood Development Plans states:

"National planning policy states that it should support the strategic development needs set out in the Local Plan, plan positively to support local development and should not promote less development than set out in the Local Plan or undermine its strategic policies ... Nor should it be used to constrain the delivery of a strategic site allocated for development in the Local Plan."

If you want to protect this boundary please make your comments directly to NSC.

 

I'm afraid they have made it complex but there are a series of topics with questions on all the aspects of the new plan, that can be seen and answered online in full or part by registering with NSC, also comments can be made by email.

 

In particular see 'Local Housing Growth' section and sub questions on: http://consult-ldf.n-somerset.gov.uk/consult.ti/issuesandoptions/viewCompoundDoc?docid=10335732&sessionid=&voteid=&partId=10335924

 

Hope that helps...

 

Alternatively you can: Email: planning.policy@n-somerset.gov.uk  or Post: Planning Policy Team, Post point 15, Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ


UPDATE 23 Nov 2018 - BAT has obtained Rule 6 status (ExMins 23 Nov 18) ----- Bleadon Parish Council (BPC) has called an extra-ordinary meeting Friday 23 Nov 18 at 7pm to consider using the Parish Reserves for the Appeal for 200 houses on Bridge Road:

  • (Min 316.5) To Consider how to respond to the Planning Appeal regarding the proposed development of 200 homes on land between Bleadon Road and the A370. Comments to date will be taken into account by the Inquiry Inspector, who will also ask those present if they wish to speak. However, the Parish Council could request Rule 6 Status, putting it on the same footing as the Appellant and the Planning Authority. For Rule 6 it is recommended that a planning expert be briefed as cross-examination by the Appellant will take place.
  • (Min 316.6) To Consider using Parish Council reserves to appoint a planning expert for Rule 6 StatusGeneral Reserve £25,000.00, Special Reserve* £16,585.00 *this is a restricted reserve specifically for improvements in the parish.

The first reason North Somerset Council (NSC) gave for the refusal of the 200 houses in its Decision Notice was: 

  • This unallocated rural site is in an unsustainable location outside the settlement boundaries of Bleadon and fails to have regard to the requirement that residential development needs, at least, to be within the boundary of the village …

On 03 Sept 18 NSC opened a 3 month consultation, Local Plan 2036 Issues and Options, which is due to close at noon on 10 Dec 18.  It is considering:

  • "Which settlements will have their boundaries reviewed?​ A review of the settlement boundaries will assess all settlements which have an​ existing boundary identified through the Core Strategy and Site Allocations Plan … Table 1 shows which settlements will be part of the settlement boundary review​ and their current status in the existing settlement hierarchy.​ Table 1: Settlements to be assessed through a settlement boundary review … Infill village Bleadon … Q9. What are your views on the options for revised settlement boundaries?" (Section 3.2 Settlement Boundaries)

By the end last week, 18 Nov 18, BPC had still not raised or discussed this consultation in an open forum, in any of their three BPC meetings (10 Sept, 08 Oct, 12 Nov), so:

  • BOB asked BPC to "... add the North Somerset 'Local Plan 2036 Issues and Options' consultation to the next BPC agenda". 
  • Today, after the ExM had been called on 20 Nov 18, BPC responded stating, "The agenda for the ordinary Parish Council meeting of 10th December is in preparation and NSC’s Local Plan 2036 consultation is already an item.  They will accept the Parish Council’s comments on 11th December.", but will residents be allowed to submit their comments late too?
  • What is the role of our Statutory Consultee if not to make residents of aware of issues or requests for public comments on highly influential consultations such as this, and give residents time to review the information and respond to BPC and/or NSC, before the deadline? Is it fair that BPC has been given 3 months and an extension to read and discuss a 96 page document, whereas some residents may only be aware of the consultation after the deadline? 

 

On Tuesday, 20 Nov 18, BPC posted notice of this extra-ordinary meeting for Friday 23 Nov 18. Bleadon's Infill status and Settlement Boundary could potentially be removed in the future, with Bleadon reclassified as a Service Village the same as Backwell, Banwell, Churchill, Congresbury, Easton-in-Gordano/Pill, Long Ashton, Winscombe, Wrington and Yatton. This will potentially affect the three fields at Bridge Road, whether the appeal is won or lost. Looking to the future of these fields we felt that the NSC consultation was relevant to this extra-ordinary meeting, i.e. to confirm that BPC would respond to it, and to give residents the opportunity to hear councillors views before responding too. BOB has therefore asked BPC to give a full response to the following at tomorrow's public meeting:

  • "Please can you tell me/residents why BPC has chosen to call an emergency meeting to protect three fields in Bleadon but have chosen for the fourth time not to publicly discuss the current NSC Local Plan 2036 consultation, which may potentially be used to protect all fields in Bleadon, not just these three, against large scale development and fracking; and
  • why BPC has chosen not to make residents aware of the importance of this consultation, through its agenda, minutes and recent newsletter, e.g. informing them of the potential review of Bleadon's Settlement Boundary and their right to respond before the deadline on midday on the 10 Dec 2018, regardless of BPC's decision to discuss or respond, [itself]?"

 

 

Mercury article, 15 Nov 2018, "Cllr Tom Leimdorfer proposed a motion at a North Somerset Council meeting on Tuesday stating shale gas development of any type should not be classed as a permitted development.

 

Central Government has been carrying out consultation on whether to make non-hydraulic fracking, which is the exploratory drilling process, a permitted development and therefore not subject to the normal planning process.

 

[NSC] Councillors overwhelmingly agreed to oppose any proposal for shale exploration to be allowed to bypass the authority’s planning system through permitted development.

 

Cllr Leimdorfer said: “This is not about the pros and cons 
of fracking, it is about how decisions are made in a democratic society" ... "

 

"... Frack Free North Somerset carried out a survey in Hutton, which could be affected as company Infinity Energy holds PEDLs across the Somerset coast.

 

Of the 181 people who responded, 87 per cent were opposed to fracking in the parish, nine per cent were undecided while only four per cent were in favour.

 

The group’s chairman Richard Lawson said: “Our survey shows clearly there is no social licence whatsoever to frack in the parish of Hutton.", i.e. the same Petroleum Exploration & Development Licence (PEDL) as Bleadon, see map.

 

BOB Fracking page and previous BOB fracking blogs 

NSC Decision on Sanders Fields Housing Appealed

Posted on 14th November, 2018

Sanders Fields Development

 

As anticipated, on instruction by C Sanders, Sutherland PLC (the agent) has appealed against NSC decision to refuse outline permission for 200 houses and additional facilities. Citing the reason of 'non-determination' by NSC within the prescribed decision making time from the original application. This opens the door to the application to be determined by NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) criteria not just NSC Local Plan policies.

 

For your information and action please see key documents below obtained from the application webpage on NSC website:

  • Appeal Application Form (PDF copy)
  • Planning Inspectorate 'start' letter to NSC (PDF copy
  • Appelants Statement of Case (PDF copy)

The decision will now be made by a planning inspector following a public inquiry, date held yet to be determined but probably early in 2019. So as per letter above, any further comments should be made to the inspector by the deadline stated of 20 December 2018. Planning Inspectorate webpage link to appeal reference here  APP/D0121/W/18/3211789

 

See BAT (Bleadon Acting Together) page for links to futher information on the appeal process.

 

Also, previous blog posts below for more background information:

 

John Penrose - Views on house building

Posted on 5th November, 2018

House Building Image

 

One of our local two MP's, John Penrose, has written a new policy paper, where he shares his views on house-building in our communities. An extract can be seen in the New Statesman article, 09 Oct 2018, e.g.

  • "... we’d stop big developers from building where the local plans say they shouldn’t, by including the newly-created sites in the local five-year housing supply."
  • "... it would be greener, reducing both commuting (because people can live closer to their jobs) and urban sprawl by cutting the pressure from builders to concrete over green fields and green belts at the edge of towns and cities across the country."
  • "Cheaper homes are one of the most important ways of raising living standards for everyone and improving economic productivity. Building up, not out can go a long way to achieving it."

The full policy paper can be seen here.

Fracking Concerns Continue

Posted on 24th October, 2018

 

 

UPDATE: 02 Nov 2018 - Independent, "Conservatives line up to criticise government's ‘downright bonkers’ fracking plans ... The government recently closed its consultation on whether new shale exploration sites should be treated as permitted developments ... There are reportedly up to 20 Conservative MPs ready to rebel over the government’s plan, which critics say would effectively strip local people of the ability to block fracking applications"

 

Fracking concerns continue for Bleadon's 2016 Petroleum Exploration & Development Licence as drilling restarts in Blackpool and earthquakes in the UK increase.

 

22 Oct 2018 - Mirror, "Blackpool hit by FIVE earthquake in three days after fracking started again in the area. The British Geological Society says there has been an upturn in seismic activity after the energy firm Cuardrilla recommenced operations last Monday"

 

20 Oct 2018 - Daily Mail, "Blackpool suffers FOUR earthquakes in just two days after fracking restarts in the area despite protests

  • Fracking for shale gas was banned in UK in 2011 after it caused two earthquakes 
  • Process restarted last week at Lancashire site despite court battles and protests
  • David Smythe, professor of geophysics at University of Glasgow, warned more quakes were to come if work continues"

02 Nov 2011 - Telegraph, "Cuadrilla admits drilling caused Blackpool earthquakes. Private company Cuadrilla Resources has admitted that its activities probably caused two "siemic events" that occured in Blackpool earlier this year".

 

See also: NPPF Review in relation to fracking July 2018.

Bleadon Parish News Update

Posted on 8th October, 2018

 

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

 

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

NSC Refuses 200 Houses in Bleadon

Posted on 17th September, 2018

 

 

 

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

 

Things to consider if an appeal goes ahead:

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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