The plan to rip up the city’s premier green corridor, the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, at Greenbank and build a tower block and houses on it takes a new turn courtesy of the relentless Bristol City Council – Square Peg Developments partnership mission to mislead.
Saturday saw the Bristol Parks Forum – an odd grouping of park users, busybodies and the odd member of the public run by Bristol City Council – discussing the matter under the watchful eye of Peter Wilkinson, Head of Parks at the city council.
Although judging by Wilkinson’s extraordinary performance the only thing he’s head of is the queue of well-remunerated city council officers happy to mislead the public for the benefit of local developers.
Here’s some of what he told the audience:
“I don’t think the planning application has gone in yet”.
Whoops! The planning permission was actually submitted one month ago and can be viewed on his organisation’s own website.
“No agreement has been made to sell the land [on the Railway Path owned by Bristol City Council and part of the development proposal]”.
Oh dear! The email from the Head of Planning, David Bishop, to the city council’s Property Services department instructing them to sell the land was published by the city council last week.
“It’s not certain the land is included in the Parks Strategy because it depends on whether it’s held by the Transport Department or the Parks Department”.
Doh! Wilkinson’s boss, Richard Mond wrote – over two weeks ago – in a partial response to a complaint from Vowles the Green about the land being sold off without applying the processes and principles for green space disposal set out in the Parks and Green Space Strategy, that “I confirm that the land you refer to is in the parks and green space land covered by the strategy.”
What an informative and helpful chap Mr Wilkinson is. He’s all heart and public interest isn’t he?
However, I’m told it’s very hard to tell whether he’s mendacious or just lazy and dim. Either way, is this really someone who can be relied upon to protect our interest in parks and green spaces?