The Red Trousergate saga continues …
David Bishop’s dodgy deal with George Ferguson last year to sell off protected public park land on the Bristol and Bath Railway Path still rumbles on.
These are some questions and answers from tonight’s Cabinet meeting:
Q1. Can you confirm that Bristol City Council has sold to the developers a plot of land on/adjacent to the Bristol to Bath Railway Path that includes the 150 metre (approx) hedgerow referred to and that the Liberal Democrat administration authorised this sale?
No land has yet been sold. The Cabinet believe that, on balance, the redevelopment of the derelict Chocolate Factory site will bring substantial benefits. This will inevitably have consequences for the land adjacent to the Railway Path. However, we are not persuaded that the design solution currently proposed represents the best balance between regeneration, environment and use of the Railway Path, and we are therefore seeking the public’s views as to the respective merits of shared or individual access from the ‘cycle houses’ to the path.
This administration is also concerned that there remain aspirations for Bus Rapid Transit along the Railway Path. We are therefore also reviewing the terms of the access arrangements between the Railway Path and the Chocolate Factory development to protect the Path.
Q2. Did the Bristol Liberal Democratic Party at any time in the last year appeal to the developers to modify their cycle house plans so that hedgerow loss was avoided?
Yes. Liberal Democrats (and others) have raised concerns about the placing of the cycle houses so close to the Railway Path and the consequent loss of hedgerow. These concerns were raised as part of the planning process and in earlier consultation.
So back to CONsultation it all goes again, despite the last expensive CONsultation courtesy of the private sector overhwelmingly rejecting removal of the hedgerow and sale of land to Ferguson and developer Square Peg.