Members of Bradley Stoke Town Council’s (BSTC’s) Planning Committee have voted to object to a planning application for a new helicopter base on land near the M4/M5 Almondsbury Interchange, following petitioning by local residents.
South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) chose to quash its original decision to grant permission for the new emergency services helibase after an Almondsbury resident asked for the decision to be judicially reviewed.
SGC subsequently reopened the consultation process on the planning application and its Development Control (West) Committee will be asked to “re-determine” it once a new officer report has been prepared.
Extracts from the draft minutes of recent BSTC meetings at which local residents spoke against the application are shown below.
Full Council, 9th March 2016
Mr Griffiths, Foxfield Avenue, raised concerns about the impact on Bradley Stoke residents relating to planning application PT15/1438/F (construction of the new operations base for emergency helicopters). He explained that there is more information available for councillors to consider and urged the Town Council to review their stance on this application. The Chair, Cllr Roger Avenin thanked Mr Griffiths for his comments and asked for the matter to be added to the Planning & Environment Committee meeting agenda on 23rd March 2016.
Planning & Environment Committee, 23rd March 2016
The Town Clerk informed the meeting that Council originally considered the application last May and when it came up again in January 2016, no decisions were actually made, councillors were just advised that SGC had advised that all original comments from May 2015 were still relevant.
Therefore if councillors did decide they wanted to submit more comments that would be possible without having to invoke the Standing Order relating to no reconsideration within six months. However, it is worth noting that councillors’ original comments did reflect the impact of noise on Bradley Stoke residents.
The Chair, Cllr Andy Ward, invited the residents to speak in relation to this agenda item. Mr Griffiths, Foxfield Avenue, has circulated information to councillors raising concerns about the proposals and the significant impact that the proposed helicopter base will have on the lives of residents of Bradley Stoke.
Jean Manning and Karen Baker, The Park, raised concerns that, if emergency helicopter bases are being closed down across the country, the use from the base at Almondsbury will only increase. There is a need to fight this proposal now, otherwise, if it is granted, there will be nothing anyone can do. Once the base is in situ, it will set a precedent for other things. The residents felt that BSTC have not kept them informed of the developments.
The Chair, Cllr Andy Ward, commented that the Town Council were aware of the strength of feeling when they considered the application in May 2015.
Following discussion, Cllr Paul Hardwick proposed that Bradley Stoke Town Council now OBJECTS to this planning application on grounds of unclear results from the original ARUP Noise and Vibration Assessment and asks for the other 30 possible sites for the siting of the emergency helicopter base be revisited, seconded by Cllr Andy Ward, carried unanimously. The Chair thanked the residents for attending the meeting.
More information and related links:
- Planning application PT15/1438/F
- BSTC Full Council draft minutes, 9/3/16 [MS Word]
- BSTC Planning Committee draft minutes, 23/3/16 [MS Word]
- New helicopter base near the M4/M5 Almondsbury Interchange (BSJ website)
This article originally appeared in the April 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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