Willow Brook neighbours call meeting to discuss anti-social behaviour on pedestrian access routes

Willow Brook FootpathResidents along pedestrian access routes into Bradley Stoke’s soon-to-open Willow Brook Centre have called a meeting to discuss the increased amount of anti-social behaviour that has been experienced since new access points into the site were opened earlier in the year.

The move follows an article that appeared on 27th August in the Bristol Evening Post, in which a resident of Shepherds Walk described a catalogue of incidents that had occurred in the neighbourhood since the new access points were introduced.

The meeting, advertised on flyers delivered over the weekend to homes in streets bordering the Willow Brook centre, takes place this Tuesday, 23rd September, at 8pm. Further details (including the venue, which we have been asked not to publish) may be obtained by email from: meeting.080923@bradleystokejournal.co.uk or via The Journal’s ‘Contact Us‘ form (please include your name, address and telephone number in your message).

The flyer describes the purpose of the meeting as being “to gather as much information as possible and [form] a consensus of opinion.”

Asked to comment on the residents’ concerns, Willow Brook manager Scott Lahive told The Journal that the centre would be “fully secured and manned, with full CCTV coverage”. He added that he had advised the residents to call a meeting with local Councillors and the police, which he would happily attend.

The Journal has learned that the residents intend to raise their concerns at a meeting of the Bradley Stoke Safer & Stronger Community Group that takes place on Tuesday 30th September at Bradley Stoke Community School (7pm start), where Mr Lahive is already scheduled to take part in discussions.

Many residents expect the Town Square of the new centre, which features a fast food restaurant and a coffee bar, to act as a magnet for local young people and they fear that the increased pedestrian traffic will lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour and littering in the neighbouring area.

Two new pedestrian access routes will become available once the centre opens next month – an entrance into the shopping mall from Bradley Stoke Way and a footpath into the Town Square from the pelican crossing on Savages Wood Road (via the car park of the Three Brooks public house). The latter will form a convenient link into Snowberry Close and onwards into Diana Gardens.

Pedestrian RoutesThe Journal has put together a detailed plan showing all the pedestrian routes into the new town centre, which suggests that the following streets are likely to see an increase in pedestrian traffic once the new town centre opens: Manor Farm Crescent, Shepherds Walk, The Hedgerows, Dewfalls Road, Wheatfield Drive, Ellicks Close, Fiddlers Wood Lane, Champs sur Marne, Snowberry Close, Diana Gardens, Three Brooks Lane, Crystal Way, Hawkins Crescent and Savages Wood Road.

Documents seen by The Journal reveal that one resident’s concerns about the increase in anti-social behaviour attributed to the opening of the new access points were raised with Bradley Stoke Town Council in early June, when the Town Clerk promised that the matter would be discussed at the planning committee meeting on 23rd June. However, minutes for that meeting, available at Bradley Stoke Library, show no record of it being discussed.

The matter was on the agenda for the two subsequent meetings of the planning committee in July and August, but The Journal has discovered that both of these meetings were inquorate, with just two Councillors turning up to the August meeting.

It is hoped that the matter will finally be discussed at the planning committee meeting on Wednesday 24th September – more than three months after the concerned resident first contacted the Council.

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