Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook Centre (WBC) has submitted a planning application to install a lockable gate on the pedestrian access route from Manor Farm Crescent in an effort to stem late night anti-social behaviour (ASB) in neighbouring streets.
The move comes seven months after Bradley Stoke Mayor Ben Walker called a multi-agency meeting to discuss ways of tackling the rise in ASB that began when the new town centre was opened in 2008.
There was an approximate delay of eight weeks in the planning application being submitted due to uncertainty with the process and what could best be described as good-willed political interference. But the submission appeared on the South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) website last week and following the consultation period, which will last until Tuesday 8th March, SGC is expected to make a decision by the beginning of April.
A survey of the views of local residents was conducted at the end of last year and produced interesting results. Cllr Jon Williams (Lib Dem) has reported that out of 120 survey forms issued, there were only 22 returns but all of those that did respond indicated that they wanted action of some form to be taken.
There are currently no plans to restrict movement at the other WBC pedestrian access point that leads towards Dewfalls Drive, with Cllr Brian Hopkinson (Conservative) saying:
“To do so will be far more difficult as it is a Public Right of Way and planners have indicated that they will not support it.”
The planning application states that the gate will be locked from 8pm to 7am and it is understood that it will be locked and unlocked manually by WBC guard staff.
Centre Manager Scott Lahive told The Journal:
“The application was always going to be for just one gate. We were concerned that the problem could move, however the local residents and Councillors dismissed this idea.”
“In honesty, we are not very keen to gate any of the entrances and have reacted to local feeling as opposed to our own judgment. We are merely carrying out the work local people are asking for.”
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