RED TROUSERGATE: land still not sold, another bloody CONsultation in the offing …

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?

Q1 Reply:
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?

Q2 Reply:
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.

This entry was posted in Bristol, Bristol and Bath Railway Path, Bristol East, CONsultants, Developments, Easton, Environment, Lib Dems, Local government, Merchant Venturers, Planning, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to RED TROUSERGATE: land still not sold, another bloody CONsultation in the offing …

  1. Martyn Whitelock says:

    Along with others, I have tried to get the hedgerow protected with a TPO but nobody at the Council seems interested. Now there has been a change of administration I suggest others make similar attempts as the LibDems are clearly greener than Labour.

    Since the online PDF for the relevant public statements is corrupt, and therefore unavailable, I will post my statement here:

    08/03862/F – Land At Former Elizabeth Shaw Factory Greenbank Road Easton Bristol BS5 6EL
    Development Control (South and East) Committee
    1st April 2009, 2pm

    Dear Councillors and Committee members,

    Whilst I do not object to the redevelopment of the Chocolate Factory site, I strongly object to any alteration of the green space which aligns the country’s primary example of a greenway and sustainable transport route – Bristol-Bath Railway Path.

    Any re-landscaping of the land adjacent to the site will impact upon well established vegetation and wildlife, particularly an aged hedgerow. This hawthorn hedgerow is as important to the city’s iconic Railway Path as an oak is to a village green.

    The existing trees and woods should be protected as their removal would: 1. Have a significant impact on the environment and its enjoyment by the public; 2. Destroy the character of the greenway set aside for public use, according to council planning.

    I formally request Bristol City Council place an immediate Tree Preservation Order upon this Hedgerow as it is clearly at threat from planning application 08/03862/F. This should not affect any building development if the planning application were successful. My request is in accordance with the statutory duty of local authorities with respect to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This is crucial in order to fully protect green space of considerable amenity and wildlife value, as recognised by the Council and the public. It is noted my previous request for a TPO has been ignored by this authority.

    Yours sincerely, Martyn Whitelock
    Citizen of East Bristol (12 years)

    This followed my independent work of last year which documented the major sites of trees and green space immediately adjoining the Railway Path:

    I hope people find this useful as it is not always easy to get out, but if you do get out from behind your office desk and visit the path you will understand precisely why people want to protect it.

    ps. Perhaps the person responsible for publishing these documents can fix the problem on the following link:

  2. Martyn Whitelock says:

    ps. More indepth information about the hedge here:

  3. Pingback: Give us a C! Give us an O! Give us an N! Give us a dodgy ginger minger planning boss! « The Bristol Blogger

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