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Town council to discuss Willow Brook Centre expansion plans

Posted on Tuesday 24th April 2018 at 10:19 pm by SH (Editor)

Starbucks and McDonald's are set to come to the Willow Brook Centre.

Bradley Stoke Town Council’s (BSTC’s) Planning & Environment Committee is set discuss expansion plans submitted by the town’s Willow Brook shopping centre at a meeting this Wednesday (25th April).

The meeting takes place at the Jubilee Centre in Savages Wood Road [BS32 8HL], commencing at 7pm. Members of the public will be permitted to speak, either at the start of the meeting or, at the discretion of the chair, immediately prior to the discussion of the planning application.

The proposed scheme includes two drive-through food and drink units (foreseen to be occupied by McDonald’s and Starbucks) and two additional (non-food) retail units within the existing boundaries of the site.

The two drive-throughs (which will also include dine-in facilities) would be erected to the north-east of the site, on land which currently comprises car parking – part of which is currently occupied by the Waves hand car wash facility.

The two (non-food) retail units would be added to the end of the existing retail terrace, beyond the Poundstretcher store, also on land that is currently used for car parking.

A pre-application submission was made to South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) and the planning authority is said to have confirmed its “in principle support” for the proposed development subject to a number of “transport issues” being resolved.

Further details revealed in the formal planning application, submitted on 26th March, show that the proposed McDonald’s restaurant will be a two-storey building of 542qm floor space, while the Starbucks unit will be single-storey of 167sqm.

The plans are being strongly opposed by many residents in Wheatfield Drive and Dewfalls Drive, the two roads closest to the northern boundary of the Willow Brook Centre site. Around 25 of them attended a previous meeting of the BSTC committee in February, where they voiced their concerns over plans that had been disclosed in a pre-application consultation exercise.

More: Permission for 24/7 opening sought for McDonald’s & Starbucks »

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Jack Lopresti MP: News round-up (March)

Posted on Monday 23rd April 2018 at 10:30 pm by SH (Editor)

Jack Lopresti at Farnborough.

In January, I signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment. By doing so, I pledged my commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust. Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations are held annually on 27th January to remember those who died in the Holocaust and to mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

I would encourage as many schools, faith groups and community organisations to engage with Holocaust Memorial Day to ensure that the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides are never forgotten. It is essential that future generations are taught about historical atrocities to make sure that they are never repeated.

The Organ Donation Bill has great potential to save lives, and tackle serious medical conditions affecting some of the most vulnerable in society. While organ donors have increased by 75 percent in the last decade, more needs to be done. Today there are approximately 6,500 people awaiting an organ transplant. By presuming consent, more organs will be available for the extremely ill people who need them so urgently.

Of course, I recognise that this is a hugely sensitive and personal issue – the right to opt out must be absolutely preserved, and families must be consulted. I am therefore pleased that the bill has now proceeded to committee where these safeguards will be reviewed.

After several years of disruption due to various road improvements, Aztec roundabout and all approaches continue to be a headache for local residents – particularly at peak times. It appears that the main problem is the phasing of the traffic lights on the roundabout with those controlling traffic at J16 of the M5.

The solution, however, is not as simple as some have suggested. The traffic signals on Aztec are the responsibility of South Gloucestershire Council, whereas those on the motorway junction are controlled by Highways England. I am actively involved in the negotiations to have the two organisations devise a practical solution and have also asked the Mayor for the West of England Combined Authority, Tim Bowles, to expedite this. I will also be meeting with Ministers in the Department for Transport to discuss longer term solutions.

If you’d like my help on any issue, please call my office on 01454 617783 or email me at

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Grant could see new homes built near Tesco

Posted on Sunday 22nd April 2018 at 9:51 pm by SH (Editor)

Vacant land at Savages Wood Road, Bradley Stoke.

More than a dozen new homes could be built on a vacant plot of land bordering Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook Centre after South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) received a £200,000 grant from the government’s Land Release Fund (LRF).

The 0.357 hectares (0.88 acres) plot, opposite the Tesco petrol filling station and bordering properties in Hornbeam Close, was previously allocated in SGC’s Local Plan to accommodate a health centre, but the authorities later decided that there was no longer a requirement for this purpose, in view of the planned expansion of existing doctors’ surgeries in the area.

In November 2006, the council made a decision to dispose of the site and it was subsequently placed on the market, albeit still as a “health care opportunity”.

Later, in July 2013, local ward councillor Brian Hopkinson put forward the idea of using the land for a self-build scheme, saying that if it wasn’t needed for health purposes, “It should be used to benefit our town in other ways.”

The adoption of the SGC’s Policies, Sites and Places Plan in November 2017 finally saw the ‘healthcare’ allocation removed, paving the way for alternative uses to be seriously considered.

Speaking about the successful bid for central government money, Cllr Colin Hunt, SGC Cabinet member for planning, transportation and the strategic environment, commented:

“LRF funding is designed to help bring housing projects forward to make new use of council-owned land. The funding could, for example, be used to help bring infrastructure and services to the site, but we are looking at a range of options. We are particularly keen to provide space for self-build housing projects, and this may involve us working with a registered provider of affordable housing.”

More: Council estimates that "around 13 homes" could be built »

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Concern over “oil spill” in Stoke Brook

Posted on Saturday 21st April 2018 at 11:44 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo showing a rainbow sheen on the surface of the water at one of the weirs on Stoke Brook.

Rob Williams of Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group writes:

As the snow disappeared  at the beginning of March and everybody breathed a sigh of relief that they could go back to work and school on the Monday, the melt-water was bringing an unwelcome delivery for our local nature reserves. Somewhere upstream of Forty Acres in Stoke Gifford, an oily substance had found its way into the Stoke Brook and was flowing downstream through the area.

The Environment Agency were contacted, as they are responsible for investigating pollution events in the water courses. South Gloucestershire Council and the town council were also informed and there were many messages and comments on the TBNCG Facebook page. The concern and interest from the public has been enormous.

The Environment Agency, along with Wessex Water, have spent many hours out searching for the source of the pollution. It may sound like a simple job to walk back up the brook until the culprit is found, but the brook is culverted under the railway and splits in several places. The oily substance is a light hydrocarbon and easily mixes with water, only showing on the surface where the water flow is slow. This means that booms or sponges in the brook won’t retain or absorb the oil and therefore haven’t been deployed.

The extent of the leak appears to be diminishing at the time of writing [mid-March] and there have been no visible effects on the local wildlife, yet. With events like this, it is very important that the public help by reporting direct to the Environment Agency. Investigations can then be conducted straight away.

If you spot a worsening of this spill, please phone 0800 807060 and quote incident reference number 1594021. Please also report any future spills on the same number.

Photo: A rainbow sheen on the surface of the water at one of the weirs on Stoke Brook is a tell-tale indicator of a pollution incident upstream in Stoke Gifford  or Filton

This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 11). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,200 homes in Bradley Stoke and Little Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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