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Decision day (take three) for McDonald’s and Starbucks planning application

Posted on Monday 18th March 2019 at 12:07 am by SH (Editor)

Elevations of proposed Starbucks and McDonald's restaurants.

Councillors on South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) Spatial Planning Committee (SPC) will meet in Bradley Stoke on Tuesday afternoon (19th March) to “re-evaluate” a controversial planning application for new development at the town’s Willow Brook shopping centre.

The proposed scheme, which includes two new drive-through food units expected to be occupied by McDonald’s and Starbucks, had been recommended for approval by the council’s planning officers but was turned down by its Development Management Committee (DMC) at a meeting on 21st February. The DMC had previously met in January to consider the application, but deferred a decision to allow a site inspection visit to take place.

Residents of properties in Wheatfield Drive and Dewfalls Drive object to the scheme, saying that the drive-through units should be built closer to the existing main buildings at the centre, in keeping with its original design ethos. The closest property in Wheatfield Drive would be 22m distant from the single-storey Starbucks unit and 50m from the two-storey McDonald’s building

The DMC’s reasons for refusal were minuted as:

“That the proposed development, if permitted, would result in a harmful concentration of food and drink uses resulting in a prejudicial impact on residential amenity due to noise, general disturbance, fumes, smells, and late night activity.”

In view of the DMC’s decision to overturn the officer recommendation, the application has automatically been referred to the SPC, which is a larger committee of 26 members, from which the nine members of the DMC are drawn.

The SPC must deal with the application de novo, i.e. it is not a review of the DMC decision, but a full determination.

More: Only nine members will take part in the SPC meeting on Tuesday »

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Local schoolgirl speaks at United Nations

Posted on Saturday 16th March 2019 at 6:17 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of Khushi in the chamber of the Trusteeship Council.

Bradley Stoke resident Khushi Ashwin has recently achieved her dream of speaking at a special conference on global sustainable development which was held at the United Nations in New York at the end of January. After working towards her dream for many months, fourteen-year-old Khushi, who attends Abbeywood Community School, was given the opportunity to speak at the conference about her campaign for gender equality and reducing violence against women.

Khushi arrived in New York on Wednesday 30th January and enjoyed a guided tour of the UN Headquarters building as well as a tour of New York City in the middle of a snow storm with temperatures varying from -2 to -16 degrees Celsius! Describing her first experience of the UN, Khushi said

“We got to see four out of five major organs of the United Nations. The most memorable building was the ECOSOC as we were told that the unfinished ceiling at one end of the room symbolises the constant developments and changes the world will continue to have.”

As part of the 1 Million for 1 Billion (1M1B) Activate Impact Summit, Khushi had to compete against 50 students in the Future Leaders finals by pitching her project to the experts and senior delegates. After a long day of PowerPoint presentations and many rounds of competitions, Khushi qualified with 11 others for the finals, which gave her “a sense of satisfaction and pride”.

Friday 1st February saw the final event arrive as Khushi prepared herself to speak at the 1M1B Activate Impact Summit. The summit was headed by the Canadian ambassador Louise Blaze, who shared her valuable insights with those in attendance. Khushi had an audience of about 150 people, including eminent speakers, judges, guests, mentors and students. Speaking of her experience, Khushi said:

“Speaking at the UN was a different experience altogether: a tinge of nervousness mixed with a jolt of excitement and something I will never forget. To begin with, presenting in front of so many people gave me shivers, however, the smiles which arose from the audience gave me confidence and kept me going. The reaction and the look of joy on the faces of all the panellists at my presentation will be imprinted in my mind forever.”

More: Khushi meets local MP and home secretary Sajid Javid »

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Liberal Democrats select prospective candidate for Filton and Bradley Stoke

Posted on Saturday 16th March 2019 at 6:05 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of prospective parliamentary candidates (l-r): Louise Harris, Claire Young and Dine Romero.

Liberal Democrat members in South Gloucestershire have selected their prospective candidates for the Filton and Bradley Stoke (FaBS) and Kingswood parliamentary constituencies, after re-selecting Claire Young in January to fight Thornbury and Yate.

Louise Harris, councillor for the South Gloucestershire ward of Dodington, was selected for Filton and Bradley Stoke, whilst Dine Romero, Lib Dem group leader on Bath and North East Somerset Council, will contest Kingswood.

Louise said: “It’s a great honour to become the candidate for Filton and Bradley Stoke. I’m looking forward to speaking about Lib Dem priorities and values in the area. We know that South Gloucestershire and the country have been let down by the Conservatives on education, the NHS, local services and Brexit, and I’m eager to listen to residents about their concerns.”

Dine said: “The Kingswood constituency is an area with two stories. There are areas of new development here with a commuting population who will be feeling very nervous about their jobs as we approach Brexit day, and there is another group living with deprivation in their community who want answers to Conservative austerity. The Lib Dems demand better than Brexit, which will only make that struggle worse.”

Claire Young added: “I’m delighted to stand alongside a team of talented women for the Lib Dems for the second election in a row. Voting Lib Dem here is a positive choice against the usual disappointing palate of bland politicos that will fill the Conservative and Labour tickets. Across our area, people are starting to demand better from Westminster, and I know Louise and Dine can provide it.”

Related link: South Glos Liberal Democrats

This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 31). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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South Glos council tax to rise by 2.99 percent

Posted on Thursday 14th March 2019 at 9:22 pm by SH (Editor)

South Gloucestershire Council.

South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) element of the council tax levied on local households is to increase by 2.99 percent from April.

The latest rise follows inflation-busting uplifts of 5.99 percent in 2018/19 and 4.99 percent in 2017/18, both of which included a ring-fenced levy of 3 percent to support adult social care.

The social care levy could not be increased further for 2018/19 as the council has already reached the government-imposed cap of a 6 percent cumulative rise over three years.

The increase means that the South Gloucestershire Council element of council tax for a Band D property for 2019/20 will rise to £1,484.

Meeting on 13th February, councillors agreed to set a revenue budget of almost £221 million. The spending plans also include a further £208 million that will be distributed to schools.

The Budget papers show that while the council’s finances are projected to remain in balance for the coming two years, this is only by using reserves set aside for this purpose, delivering additional savings and generating extra income. The council concedes that challenges remain in the medium term, caused by falling government grants and increased costs and demand for services.

Public consultation carried out by the council prior to the budget-setting process showed that 37 percent of respondents expressed a preference for a lower council tax rise for 2019/20 of 1.99 percent, while 36 percent opted for the finally chosen value of 2.99 percent.

The council’s Conservative administration says its budget includes £78 million of investment in local schools and £35m for road and highways (both over four years).

There will also be £3.2m of additional funding for social care, with further increases set aside for extra support to deal with the spike in demand for adult social care seen over the winter months.

More: Police precept increased by a massive 12.38 percent »

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