Decision imminent on Manor Farm Crescent overnight gating plan

Manor Farm Crescent access point

Following on from a planning application to fit a gate to the pedestrian access point between Manor Farm Crescent and the Willow Brook Centre, a site inspection is to be carried out on Friday 1st April at 10:50am by the South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) Development Control (West) Committee. This will then inform the full Planning Meeting to be held on Thursday 14th April when a decision is expected to be taken.

The purpose of the proposed development is to restrict the use of the access point by introducing a gate which would be locked shut between 8pm and 7am in order to prevent occurrences of anti-social behaviour in the locality.

Despite a recommendation from the SGC planning officer to proceed with a twelve-month trial for a gate, the application has been referred to the Planning Committee by Cllrs Brian Hopkinson and Jon Williams in the above manner to allow Planning Committee members to “consider the benefits of the proposal for the local community as a whole”.

The planning application states:

“It has been acknowledged that there have been occurrences of anti-social behaviour in the locality which is giving local residents grounds for concern and distress. It is also acknowledged that the development could act to discourage the congregation of youths at this location and very close by. However, there is no tangible evidence that the proposed development would act to resolve the anti-social behaviour issue.”

“The pedestrian access is not only for the benefit of access to the Town Centre and it also gives access to the Public Right of Way Network and acts as a route for commuting cyclists and pedestrians wishing to commute on the public transport services. The closure of this access would force its users to take an alternative route.”

“In order to monitor the effectiveness of the proposed solution a 12 month temporary consent is suggested. Further, in order to limit the impact to the general community in respect of the use of the pedestrian access during this 12 month period, and given the general opening/operating times of shops and other services, it is suggested that the opening times of the gate are extended from 07:00hrs to 22:00hrs.”

“It is also necessary to agree a suitable management plan to ensure that the gate is maintained and operated in accordance with the above opening and closing times.”

Bradley Stoke Town Council raised no objection to the application at its Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday 23rd February.

The planning application states that 15 separate comments have been received and these are made up of seven objections and seven supporting, with one comment being made as a general observation.

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  1. It is entirely clear that anybody tempted to engage in antisocial behaviour at this point will, if confronted by a locked gate, instantly decide that in fact the best thing they could do would be to have a nice cup of tea back at home, or perhaps to start doing some fundraising for disabled children. There is simply no possibility whatsoever that said people will simply move to somewhere else in the very near vicinity to engage in their antisocial behaviour.

    Clearly the council has money to burn if wasting money on something as ill-considered and inane as this. And I have lived very near this walkway since it first opened. There is no antisocial behaviour there. Maybe one of these esteemed councillors – if any actually live in the area – could take a look for themselves. I’m sure there have been isolated incidents from time to time, just as there are (sadly) anywhere in the UK within walking distance of a 24-hour supermarket.

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