Friday, 16 July 2010

New developments proposed for the area

The Council have just published their site allocations for our area. This highlights land that they regard as suitable for development. Several of the proposals affect the areas that are of concern to Snuff Mills Action Group.

Laundry Field and Blackberry Hill Hospital are alloacted for housing and business uses, although there seem to be some concessions to preserve greenspace. We will be preparing a full and detailed response to this allocation of land to ensure that the assurances we have received from the owners of the land, the Homes and Communities Agency, are noted. Otherwise a developer could be rubbing their hands at all that greenfield land ripe for development with the possibility of no less than 470 dwellings there.

Also of concern are plans to develop Begbrook Drive open space next to Begbrook School. This area of land is proposed for either housing or a travellers' site. We would be concerned about the impact of any development here on the wildlife and amenity of the valley below it and will be sending some detailed feedback, whether it means they will build 24 homes or provide 12 gypsy pitches.

Also on the list is Glenside Campus, just above precious Grove Wood. Development here could provide 341 dwellings. The site is registered as a Historic Landscape as well as in a Conservation Area and a Wildlife Network Site. We would be concerned about the impact of development on Grove Wood and the wider area. Would there need to be new sewers in the woods that would result in lots of trees being chopped down that would basically destroy the woods, especially after we have fought so hard to save it?

As if all that wasn't enough, they also propose to build 85 dwelling on Snowdon Road open space off Small Lane. This is slightly outside our area of interest, but it adds to the greenspaces that make Stapleton so unique.

And we haven't even mentioned the plans for 213 dwellings on the St Matthias campus in Fishponds close to Oldbury Court.

If all of these plans happen, we could see the loss of three areas of greenspace and 1048 new dwellings in the area. Snuff Mills Action Group will only comment on these proposals with regard to their impact on the greenspaces of the area, but you can have your say because the proposals are now out for consultation. Have your say here:

You can view the full site allocations document here:


andy-s said...

It would be a disaster if they dug up Grove Woood to make a new sewerage system for the planned homes in Blackberry Hill Hosital grounds and/or Laundry Field. Admittedly the current drains do need work and they smell quite often, especially after rain, but I had hoped that the current drains could simply be improved without the need to fell trees or dig up large areas of woodland. If that's the plan then SMAG should fight to prevent it!

Anonymous said...

People could have their say by refusing to pay their council tax should any radical destruction of Grove Wood or other local green space go ahead. Of course the bigger picture is our over populated island and lack of foresight by local authorities to use existing brown field sites. When is this reduction of OUR green space going to stop? Do we want a society whereby we are forced to travel to visit a natural environment?

Anonymous said...

Well people can respond to rhe consultation, so withwdrawing Council Tax seems a bit extreme at the moment.

While not for SMAG to comment on, I'm worried about the cumulative impact of these development on congestion, schools and services as well as the quality of life for people in the area.

There has to be the right balance between housing and development and green space. Stapleton is one of the few areas in Bristol where the balance is right. If all these plans happen will the area start to feel like an overcrowded concrete jungle like so many other parts of the city?

sued said...

Quality of life is the phrase that comes to mind. Housing which costs local communities their much valued and appreciated green spaces comes at a very high price indeed. This isn't just nimbyism, it's crucial to make sure any new development enhances the area rather than just covering more of it with identikit speculative housing investment. This area has a greater proportion of green space than many other parts of Bristol, it's true, and this is all the more reason to be extremely careful with any housebuilding. Grove Wood must be protected from damaging infrastructure development. Wouldn't it be great if some visionary ecobuilder wanted to put in reedbed sewerage systems for low impact houses... but that, sadly is cloud cuckoo land. Seriously, though, it would be great if the Laundry field/Blackberry Hill hospital development could be a beacon of design and environmental excellence. It would be nice if we could feel excited by a development some of us might want to move to, rather than anticipating the ravages of greedy corporate housebuilders which is the usual outcome in these situations.

Neil said...

man alive - 12 Gypsy patches. next to a fence with a huge drop into woodland !

How many bags of rubbish do you think can be lost down there ?!

Mind you - they will add a certain je ne sais pas to the area..

Martyn said...

Good point Neil. There is already all manner of debris illegally dumped in the quarried parts of the woodland, including old televisions and bikes. It shouldn't be allowed to build up in the first place as it only invites others to do the same. Further up the valley, the sofa that I even pointed out to a BCC warden about three years ago is still rotting away, no doubt leaking chemicals into the river.

Andrew .H said...

We have a big enough fly tipping problem in Stapleton as it is.If these plans for a gypsy site go ahead people will start to fly tip and then blame the gypsies.This has happened near other gypsy sites.

Anonymous said...

According to the Evening Post there is an empty gypsy site in Avonmouth.

So why build another one?