Barratt Homes win Woodlands Farm appeal

Claire with Woodlands Farm Protestors

Barratt Homes have won their appeal against South Gloucestershire Council’s refusal of planning permission for up to 215 homes to be built on land at Woodlands Farm, Coalpit Heath. The development, called Blackberry Park by the developers, was their latest attempt to get planning permission on the site, after a previous application for up to 380 homes was refused in 2013.

Councillor Claire Young (Lib Dem, Westerleigh ward) said:

“This is very sad news for everyone who has been battling to protect this much-loved piece of countryside from development. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard campaigning on this over the years, who I know are feeling very disappointed.

“This was only an outline planning application, more details will come in another application. We must now make sure that Barratt Homes keep their promises to leave large areas of public open space and, most importantly, provide the agreed number of affordable homes.”

Councillor Pat Hockey said, “I came into local politics many years ago to protect our village communities, so obviously I’m very unhappy about this decision to swallow up more of our local countryside with urban development. There’s not going to be much of it left if the proposals for thousands of new homes at Coalpit Heath and Iron Acton also go ahead.”

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Tributes to Councillor Gloria Stephen

We pay tribute to Dodington ward Councillor Gloria Stephen, who died on Saturday after a long illness.

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Lib Dems warn “it is actions that count, not words” on rural broadband

Lib Dem councillors and local residents of Bibstone have met with South Gloucestershire Council’s Executive Member for Resources to demand that he do something about those left out of the Council’s superfast broadband roll-out. The Executive Member has now said that the Council will now look into options for broadband access at Bibstone, but has refused to make any firm promises.

Cllr John O’Neill, whose ward includes Bibstone, said: “I’m grateful that the Executive Member for Resources accepted my request to meet with residents and hear for himself what they have to put up with in terms of their slow internet speeds. Residents have previously been told that they will not be included in Phase 3 of the Council’s superfast broadband scheme and would have to pay BT Openreach an eye-watering £98,000 to be connected. I’m pleased that he has said he will now look into finding a solution for Bibstone residents. But ultimately it’s actions that count, not words. We will continue to lobby the Conservative administration on behalf of local residents to make sure they get the service they deserve.”

Lib Dem group leader Cllr Claire Young said: “It’s good news that the Conservative administration are now looking at finding a solution to Bibstone’s lack of broadband access after local residents and Lib Dem councillors put pressure on them to act. But Bibstone is not the only area affected by slow connection speeds and we need a solution for all parts of South Gloucestershire. Rural residents pay their council tax, the same as everyone else, and it is simply not acceptable that in 2018 they are still being forced to endure third-rate connection speeds. We will continue to hold the administration to account until they have a solution for all of South Gloucestershire’s communities.”

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Thornbury: Over 100 support us in bid to stop developer

Thornbury-based Liberal Democrat Councillors Maggie Tyrrell and Jayne Stansfield have been joined by over a hundred local people in sending a letter to the director of a development company requesting that plans to develop a housing site in a field surrounded by rural lanes be dropped, as Thornbury Town Council considered the formal planning application for the first time. 

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Lib Dems welcome rapid First Bus u-turn

Lib Dem Campaigners who have been fighting to keep buses running through North Yate are celebrating victory on some of the key roads.

Cllr Ian Blair (Lib Dem, Yate North) said:
"I was delighted to be told that First Bus had listened to the concerns Yate councillors raised when we met them on Tuesday and changed their plans. The new Y3 will now serve people living in the Cranleigh Court and North Road areas, who were left high and dry by the previous proposals.

He added, "The fight goes on to help those living in the Halifax Road and Wellington Road area."

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Thornbury and Yate Claire Young said:
"We've won round one because your councillors got in quickly, put the case with the evidence and made them recalculate.  Their previous proposals would have left bus users in many parts of North Yate without a bus service to Bristol. We'll keep talking to them to try to find a solution for the other roads affected."

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