Friday, 16 July 2010

New plans for Snuff Mills, Oldbury Court and Wickham Glen

The Council have just published their Area Greenspace Plan for the open spaces in our area. As well as including plans to sell of several open spaces for development, see post below, it includes lots of ideas for improving our parks and greenspaces.

For Snuff Mills and Quarry Field (by Ham Lane) they propose:
1) To repair the historic buildings and walls, improve access and provide facilties for the community as whole.
2) Reinforce the wildlife value.
3) Provide a new, enclosed childrens play area in natural materials adjacent to the car park.
4) Continue to improve paths
5) Continue to improve formal planting beds.
6) Improve appearance of car park.
7) Manage and maintain Ham Lane [Quarry Field] to keep it as it is and improve the footpath link between the two spaces.
They say that these are ideas and options and they cannot afford to do all of these suggestions.

For Oldbury Court they propose:
1) New visitors centre, staff accommodation, shared use pavilion and cafe.
2) Redesign main car park.
3) New entrance gates and signage. A large entrance feature is suggested.This could
be of a modern design or replicate what might have been there originally.
4) Open up of the entrance off Goffenton Drive
5) Creation of a secondary parking area
6) Creation of a new formal area with seating
7) Introduction of a wheels park or Multi-Use-Games-Area for young people
8) Restore the original landscape design. This would involve the removal of some trees planted since the Estate was originally laid out and may give rise to concerns regarding the loss of natural habitats.
9) Reinforce wildlife interest. Within the framework of trees it may be possible to carry out low level planting of native perennials to add to the wildlife
value of the Estate.
10) Repair of riverside path
11) Repair of walls and bridges
12) Signs from Fishponds Road
13) Review sporting use and the creation of a new cricket square
14) Signs and information throughout the estate.
Once again they say these are ideas and options and they cannot afford to do all of these suggestions.

Finally for Wickham Glen they propose to maintain the green route along
the valley and improve connections and to reinforce the wildlife
value by
1) Creating an attractive and improved path through the site
2) Appropriate scrub clearance to increase the range of natural habitats

These plans are now out for consultation. While Snuff Mills Action Group will be responding, and we support many of these proposals (but not all of them), you can have your say. Take part in the online consultation here:

View the plan for yourself here:


Martyn said...

I must say I rather like the area as it is, apart from some really essential improvements which SMAG have recommended. At the moment it feels like living in the countryside. It is precisely this type of natural environment which makes so many people want to settle in Bristol. I disagree with turning Snuff Mills into another park because such facilities are currently provided at Oldbury Court, which is a beautiful short walk from Snuff Mills. Developing play facilities opposite land which is known habitat for protected species is surely not a good idea.

andy-s said...

I agree - if there are play areas in the park at Oldbury Court I don't see the need for one in the car park area at Snuff Mills. Surely there is also a safety aspect to this if children are running about near cars, not to mention the extra noise that will disturb animals using the woods and the nest boxes SMAG have installed.

Mogz said...

A play area for Snuff Mills, ridiculous. The above comments are right on the button. Children have acres of woodland and park to play in - why the need for more plastic slides and rubber flooring?

Woodburner said...

I agree with all these comments. Play equipment isn't appropriate in this location. The focus of Snuff Mills, once you're through the now lovely gardens, is the riverside walk, which provides loads of interest for children. I haven't noticed kids wondering where the play equipment is over the last 20-odd years. The improved playground at Vassalls provides that kind of experience - and can be combined with a lovely riverside walk if desired!

andy-s said...

I would suggest everyone takes the survey and makes their feelings know about this. Apart from the fact that a play area is not needed (the money would be better spent on other more inmportant things) they also tend to attract 'undesirable elements' of an evening. Thsi would not be good for the locals who already have to put up with boy racers and moped riders tearing around in the car park and the woods after the park visitors have gone home for the day.

Frome Valley Wanderer said...

I have two worries about these plans.

I agree a play area is not needed in Snuff Mills car park. There is a more than adequate facility in Oldbury Court and it is not what Snuffers is all about. I really don;t understand why everywhere has to become the same as everywhere else.

I also do not think restoring the historic landscape at Oldbury Court is at all appropriate. That's long gone. The views across countryside will be views across housing estates and really nice features (such as the arboretum in Oldbury Court) would be lost in the vain attempt at turning the clock back. If we wanted to do that we'd need to remove the playing fields, children's play area.

We should build on what we've got and make the area better for people and wildlife - a landscape designed to benefit the needs of a rich landowner would not work (ditto Grove Wood, but that's another issue)!

Martyn said...

Look at what happened with the Oldbury Court play area. It cost £430,000 but hasn't delivered any real extra value to the public for that amount of money, but only people who know what it looked like before would know that. I bet the 'hard-hats' and consultants got most of that too!

Liv said...

I also agree with the comments. As a resident of River View I find the notion of a play area in the car park completely innappropiate for all the reasons already noted. Same goes for the relocation of the toilets. The traffic at weekends is bad enough for us residents as it is, plus as has been said already, this is NOT what Snuff Mills is about. Whilst the area can ne improved here and there, BCC must be careful about losing the very essence of what this area is known for.

Andrew Hill said...

I also think building a play area in the Snuff Mill car park area is asking for trouble. Apparently they want to extend the play area into the wooded area near the path that goes up to quarry field. Imagine the trouble it will attract in the evenings!

As for the toilets being moved further into the car park area I think it is a good idea. It's what people said they wanted to see happen when they filled in the SMAG questionaires a couple of years back. I do agree that they need to be kept away from the houses on River view and kept to the same side of the car park that they are already on.

It makes sense to have the toilets in a more visible place and to have them near to the Car Park. This works very well at Blaise, so I can't see why it would be a problem in Snuff Mills. May I add the toilets at Blaise do not smell so hopefully modern toilets will not cause a problem at Snuff Mills.

stevem said...

SMAG core group met this week and we looked at the possible location for the toilets. Three sites are proposed:

1) Next to the last house on River View opposide the cafe
2) Half way along the car park overlooking the river
3) In the car park on the edge of the green area

As a group we thought that 3) was the best option because it is away from houses and there is a direct line of sight from the cafe to the toilets which would hopefully stop 'goings on'.

The current location is not appropriate because of their isolation.

These new style toilets should not smell. They are also a moveable building that could be moved if it didn't work.

The Project Manager is intending to come to the Snuff Mill AGM in October to hear people's views and explain the plans. He is so confident that they will be a success that he wants to enter them for the public convenience of the year competition (I can't really believe such a competition exists, but it does!).

Toilets very similar to ones proposed for Snuff Mills are going up in Oldbury Court over the next fortnight, so next time you are out for a walk, why not spend a penny there and see what you think!

stevem said...

Oh, on the play area. Andrew and me spoke to one of the main youth play workers at the meeting in Begbrook School today and he explained the idea. He wants a play area made of natural materials extending behind the green in to the woods. He's advised that we look at these websites to get an idea of what is proposed:

He also said somethng very similar has been installed in Victoria Park, Bedminster to what would go in to Snuff Mills.

However, I personally would take a lot of convincing that this is a good idea - and he'll be coming to our AGM too to explain the proposal.

andy-s said...

Apparently a 3m wide cycle path is being planned for Wickham Glen. That's called a road isn't it?! What are BCC planners doing? Have they lost their marbles or haven't they been listening to us all this time? We want Stapleton to remain green and people friendly not get covered in new housing, tarmac and playgrounds. I suspect that they don't talk to each other in different departments of the council house or they would realise this by now.

Martyn said...

I completely object to the 3m wide cycle path through Wickham Glen, despite being a keen cyclist who recognises the need for better cycle infrastructure throughout Bristol. This should remain a gravel path in order to retain the character of the environment and in any case tarmac is not environmentally friendly. Besides, I really don't see any problems with the existing path aside from a couple of puddles that form in the rain. Furthermore, cyclists can use the lane between the old stone bridge and Blackberry Hill in order to continue their journey. Why spend money on this when it can be better spent elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

It is great local people are involved with decisions but what is the point of us employing city planners (via all our taxes) if we can't trust them to manage our environment?

stevem said...

Interesting comment above.

I think if everything was left to the planners anc council officials everywhere would end up the same!

That's why they are asking for feedback because they know themselves they don't understand how local communities work like local people do.