Gag time

Q. When is a bit of park land not a bit of park land?

A. When it belongs to Bristol City Council and they want to sell it of course!

News now reaches The Blogger that the piece of land on the Bristol and Bath Railway path that the city council is preparing to flog to local developers, Square Peg, is not subject to the council’s new Parks and Open Spaces Strategy because someone at the council has randomly decided that the land is not ‘designated’, whatever that means, as “Public Open Space”, whatever that means.

That’s right. Land on the edge of park land is not park land according to our council. This is despite the fact it looks like park land, feels like park land and is even registered to the city council’s Parks Department on their own ‘Pin Point Map’ of local authority owned land.

Convenient isn’t it? Especially if you consider that the Labour Cabinet initially wanted to sell off £200m worth of our parks and open spaces last year but was prevented by public opposition and had to settle for £100m worth instead.

And now we find officers openly ignoring their own strategy and glibly selling off park land without discussion or consultation with the public or local councillors because it is not designated by them as ‘Public Open Space’.

Where will it end? With £100m of extra park land sold off perhaps?

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4 Responses to Gag time

  1. SteveL says:

    -and possibly even maintained by parks and services, though that is something we’d have to check.,

  2. Archie says:

    nothing amazes me when it concerns BCC, arrogance of the first degree…. something tells me I am having a bit of “Blogger comment deja vu”

  3. Spectator says:

    One of the things that really rankles is the way in which Squarepeg (the name Square Peg Investments have decided to adopt in Greenbank) have managed to present themselves as “benign developers”. This is a brilliant stunt that they have used to co-opt many of the “activists” in the area. Acanthus Ferguson Mann, the company behind the Canon’s Marsh and @ Bristol Square developments have reinvented themselves as a small local environmentally friendly company… it’s ok to build a bloody great tower right next to the cycle path – as long as it’s called an “eco-tower”. It’s fine to build houses along the path as long as they’re called “cycle houses”.

    Interestingly, the planned houses are to be built within a few metres of some mature willows and poplars which grow on council owned land – experts from the insurance industry reckon that a mature willow tree needs to have a clearance of 40 metres to avoid its roots causing damage… no mention has been made of this so far, and I suspect that once the construction begins, one of the first things to happen will be the felling of the willow trees.

  4. The more you look at this issue, and the more you question, the worse the picture gets!

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