Residents of properties neighbouring Bradley Stoke Town Council’s Brook Way Activity Centre have voiced concerns that a working group set up to examine ideas gathered in a public consultation on the future of the site is giving too much weight to responses that suggested the construction of a new building.
The working group was set up in April, following publication of the consultation results, which showed that 59 per cent of respondents wanted to see improved car parking at the site, with just 20 per cent suggesting a “new building” of some sort.
Holding its first (private) meeting in April, the working group reported back to the Youth Committee in June, saying it “had agreed that whatever happens on the site, parking consideration must be a priority”. Councillors then directed that a meeting/series of meetings should be arranged to give residents who had suggested a new building on the site the opportunity to express their views in person.
Town Clerk Sharon Petela later explained:
“Emails were sent to the 56 people who responded to the public consultation suggesting a new building on the site, asking if they would be willing to meet with the working group to discuss their ideas in more detail. Only 12 responses were received. The 12 people who responded were then invited to a [private] meeting at Brook Way Activity Centre on Thursday 14th August.”
Residents of properties adjoining the Brook Way site were also invited to attend the meeting.
The Journal has learned that just two organisations, the 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group and Incredible Kids, sent representatives to the meeting, which was also attended by five residents from The Common.
According to minutes seen by The Journal, the Scout group is “keen to see a new building on the site” and believes it might be feasible to “demolish the current building and erect a purpose-built building on the site which would fit in a number of locations”.
Incredible Kids, a charity which provides play and support services to families with a child with a disability or additional needs, said their ultimate goal is to have their own building, so that they can offer all-day sessions.
Another idea raised, believed to originate from councillors who are also members of Bradley Stoke Radio (BSR), was for “a cinema/media centre to be incorporated into any new building”.
The minutes conclude:
“There would be a need to consult with all interested parties and stakeholders as to requirements for any new building that might be considered. This would also need to involve the other community groups who currently use the Brook Way Activity Centre. In due course there will also be a need to formulate a comprehensive business plan.”
Karen Butler, a resident of The Common who attended the meeting, commented:
“Beyond question, an extra building will necessitate further parking and only madden the ongoing parking problems that local residents and businesses of the surrounding areas currently experience and complain about; the existing centre continues to fall short from running at full capacity.”
“Why not work with the building already there, i.e. re-develop? It appears that the consultation process was a costly waste of time as certain councillors continue to railroad through their own plans with no regard for the community.”
This article originally appeared in the September 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,450 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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