EXCLUSIVE: £200m of Bristol park land is officially under threat

That attractive new look for our parks being proposed by Bristol City Council.

After a couple of weeks of pooh-poohing claims from the Bristol Parks Forum that the Labour administration tried to sneak through a hastily assembled report at their last cabinet meeting (pdf) to flog over £200m of land from Bristol’s Parks to developers, the council has been forced to reveal that, er … The Labour administration is trying to flog over £200m of land from Bristol’s Parks to developers!

Hidden away in the agenda for a Physical Environment Scrutiny Commission meeting on January 31 is a report – the Parks and Green Spaces Strategy – Financial Considerations (pdf).

And what’s this? Why it only says that the minimum cost of land that the council will be looking to sell off is £166m worth.

But the report also claims £25m in contributions will be made by the developers of this park land for funding improvements to our remaining parks. However the planning department says this contribution is only realistically likely to be £15m.

That’s a further £20m worth of land that might have to be sold off to make up this £10m deficit then. This is because under Labour’s hastily assembled funding formula half of all proceeds from these land sales have go to directly to the cabinet so they can fund their own pet projects with the money.

A further £11m towards future park improvements has been budgeted to come from “grants”; although at present none have been applied for – let alone agreed to. That’s another £22m of land that may need to be sold under Labour’s formula.

So the grand total of land at risk? £208m. Slightly over the Parks Forum estimate that’s been slated by politicians and council officers for the last two weeks.

Meanwhile details of the actual land that will be disposed off are still being blatantly withheld by Bristol City Council.

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13 Responses to EXCLUSIVE: £200m of Bristol park land is officially under threat

  1. You’ll be interested to know that the council’s website would not accept my e-petition (see below) with the the figures ‘200 acres’ and ‘poss 400 acres’ of land to be flogged. Neither would they allow me to use the phrase ‘flog green space on a mass scale’. They said these were factually incorrect and misleading, so I had to redraft slightly before gaining approval…


    Please sign up and spread the word to others to sign.

  2. Matt says:

    I wonder if they will be pouring tarmac on the Downs then?? Probably not…. 😉

    As I come from Nottingham originally it was one of the first things that appealed to me, all those open green spaces. Horfield common, St Andrews park and the Downs etc.

    Vowles the Green you get my vote!


  3. I have taken the liberty of copying this posting to my own blog about an inner-city park in Nottingham. Park lovers everywhere need to be alerted to what is happening.


  4. Woodsy says:

    I wonder if they will be pouring tarmac on the Downs then??

    I believe our old friends(?) the Merchant Venturers have something to do with the ownership of the Downs, so this is unlikely.

    The Downs are also bounded by all the posh bits of Bristol where the rich live and you’ll notice they didn’t build such disasters as the Outer Circuit Road, Spine Road and M32 through such districts either…

  5. thebristolblogger says:

    No plans to put a BRT route through there either is there?
    The next most popular route after the cyclepath is in another poorer area – up through the Malago Valley to Hartcliffe.

  6. Gary Hopkins says:

    The figures are there in the report because parks officers were given a straightforward request by myself and colleages to produce an A4 sheet which had
    1 What was consulted upon and what the parks forum were promised.
    2 What the cabinet would have passed on 10th Jan had they not been prevented by Lib Dem Cllr Tim Kent who spotted a probable illegality.
    Watch the Web cast.
    A number of meetings have taken place and I will not be suprised to see a Labour climbdown (no doubt accompanied by warm words about listening to the public.)in advance of Thursday,s environment scrutiny. I do not suppose they will want to hear me or colleages reminding the public about the broken promise or the sell off (out).
    We can all express outrage at this apalling administration, the important thing is being able to do something about them.

  7. Chris Hutt says:

    “No plans to put a BRT route through there either is there? The next most popular route after the cyclepath is in another poorer area – up through the Malago Valley to Hartcliffe.”

    Well yes, West of England Parasites are also planning a BRT route from Hartcliffe that runs along the very same corridor as the Malago Path. No mention of retaining any sort of path there.

    And W£P are planning another that runs along the corridor of the chocolate path (the Cut) and over the bridge used by cyclists and walkers to access the Ashton to Pill path. Again no mention of retaining any path.

    It’s looking like a wholesale assault on Bristol’s off-road cycle paths, to complement the way they’ve messed up on-road cycle routes with their showcase bus routes.

  8. As I don’t believe this Labour Administration is capable of doing anything other than trying to line their own pockets; how can we get rid of them?
    Is there any mechanism to save our City from these thieves?

  9. woodsy says:

    @driving instructor

    Unfortunately there are no council wards up for election this year, so there’s no chance of even a token protest through the ballot box.

    Angry mob on College Green anyone?

  10. Bluebaldee says:

    Angry mob on College Green it is then.

    How about burning down Queen Square? I’ve heard that that was quite popular once……

  11. thebristolblogger says:

    Better still is an angry mob in the public gallery of the council chamber when they’re having a meeting. Especially if those that can’t get in are spilling into the corridors and then out on to College Green …
    It tends to focus councillors’ gnat-like attention spans very well indeed.

    Oh and the next council meeting on 26 February is the budget meeting. Apparently if that’s disrupted and can’t be completed they can’t run the city … Ho, ho, ho!

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