Highlights from Westbury Community Forum, 3 July 2018

The Meeting was attended by approximately 20 residents, plus our three local councillors – Geoff Gollop, Liz Radford and Steve Smith. The number of attendees was lower than usual – possibly due to the rival attraction of England playing Columbia in the World Cup!

Below is a brief résumé of the main points raised during the Meeting, including relevant external links:

  1. Police Update
    PCSO Toby Rideout presented the crime statistics for the six months ending 30 June and, when compared to the same period last year, showed a marked decrease in the number of recorded offences. In response to a question from Stoke Lane shopkeepers, Toby said that although incidents had reduced, the “on the ground” police presence was limited due to a lack of officers. Recruitment was on going in an effort to improve the situation and it was hoped to have a PCSO dedicated to Westbury and Henleaze by the late autumn. He also reminded car owners to ensure that their vehicles were securely locked when parked.
  2. Westbury Library
    Malcolm Neave reported the good news that the Mayor had performed a U-turn on his library closure programme and that ALL of Bristol’s libraries now will remain open until March 2020 – when there is a mayoral election! However, as always, the devil is in the detail and the Westbury Library Group will remain vigilant in supporting the continued existence of Westbury Library.
  3. Hillsdon Road Planters: The issue of the recently installed planters in Hillsdon Road was raised at the last Forum – particularly their legal status on the highway and their ownership.
    plantersLocal resident Malcolm Neave confirmed that Hillsdon Road was one of four locations in Bristol where local residents had made a successful bid into a scheme sponsored by TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) and run by Community Corners, in conjunction with the Council. The large planters (wooden boxes) containing a range of plants were positioned in the road to create a chicane-effect and encourage drivers to reduce their speed.
  4. Planning Applications
    Concerns were raised about the lack of public access to details for Buildings Regulations compliance, associated with any Planning Applications. On the face of it, near-neighbours of developments were denied access to such information when there could be potential detrimental effects to their own properties. Liz Radford agreed to seek clarification from the head of BCC’s planning function and report back.
    Additionally, concerns were raised about the apparent shortcomings in current planning regulations, particularly with the lack of provision for off-street parking and squeezing addition dwellings into the gardens of existing properties (“garden grabbing”). With respect to the current Application to add a second storey to the Westbury Gardens Nursing Home on Falcondale Road, Geoff Gollop advised that the Application was still currently open for comment and residents could raise concerns with any Planning application with BCC’s planning function.
  5. Empty Shops
    Disquiet was expressed by some residents at the number of empty shops in Westbury. Geoff commented that this would only become a planning issue if there were to be a proposed change of use – such as conversion into residential accommodation (as had recently been the case with 1-3 Stoke Lane, Connells) or “retail” to “office”.
  6. Parking of Caravans on The Downs
    A resident raised the issue of illegal parking on roads on The Downs, in particular in the area of Parry’s Lane/Saville Road. Geoff and Liz pointed out the legal “niceties” of such action and advised that the Council is currently consulting on the issue, in an effort to resolve the problem – citywide. The Consultation (Vehicle Dwelling Encampments) is open until 26 August.
  7. Other Consultations
    Two other Consultations are currently open for comment –  new parking restrictions in the roads around Blaise Castle car park (Consultation closes 30 July) and a Review of the current 20mph Speed Limits (Consultation closes 31 August).
  8. Trees
    In response to a question about felling a tree with a TPO, as part of the redevelopment recently granted for the “Decaux Site” in Canford Lane, Stephanie French (our local “Tree Champion”) reconfirmed that trees with a TPO could be felled if the tree no longer satisfied the conditions under which the TPO had been granted. In this particular case, the developer had to comply with Bristol’s Tree Replacement Standard and fund the provision of seven replacement trees. However, it should be noted that there were a limited number of locations for planting any replacement trees in the centre of the village.
  9. Traffic and Parking
    Geoff confirmed that implementation of the WoT Parking Proposals, following completion of the Public Consultation in 2015, was totally dependent on the limited availability of the Council’s legal resources for progressing the requisite “Statutory Consultation” prior to implementation. Such limited resources were being utilised for Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) associated with major traffic schemes such as MetroBus and Temple Circus.
    As regards any long-awaited improvements of any sort on Falcondale Road, Geoff confirmed that there could be no progress until BCC Highways’ issued their proposals for mitigating the effect increased traffic along the A4018, arising from all the South Glos developments, such as those proposed for Cribbs Causeway and Filton Airfield.
    Liz reported that the severe levels of obstructive parking by students in Parry’s Lane, Elmlea Avenue and Rylestone Grove was at last being addressed by the Council’s Enforcement Team. It was to be hoped that the University would be a willing party to any efforts to ameliorate the worsening situation.
  10. Allocation of Local CIL Funds
    David reconfirmed the basis on which CIL and S106 funds will be allocated within Area 1 (see slides 6 to 17 in the link to the slide show at the bottom of this page). David also advised that we had submitted three applications for individual projects totalling £41,630.00. However, certain elements of these projects are attracting resistance from BCC officers and we expect greater clarification following the forthcoming meeting scheduled for 25 July.
  11. Forum Committee Members
    Alan and David both made pleas for additional support from local residents to help organise the on-going activities of this Forum. On behalf of the councillors, Geoff confirmed that they found the Forums to be a very useful platform for engaging with local residents. Anybody interested in offering their support is requested to contact the current Chairmen at wotforum@gmail.com
  12. Date and Venue for Next Meeting
    Tuesday 16 October 2018 at Coombe Dingle Sports Complex (Old Pavilion), Coombe Lane, BS9 2BJ – commencing at 7.00pm.

The slide show displayed at the Forum can be seen here: Slide Show, July 2018

This entry was posted in NP3, W-o-T Notes, Westbury-on-Trym, Westbury-on-Trym & Henleaze. Bookmark the permalink.

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