Archive for the ‘Bradley Stoke Town Council’ Category

Light pollution issue leads council to restrict opening hours of new car park

Posted on Tuesday 4th February 2020 at 9:07 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the new car park extension at Brook Way Activity Centre (looking north).

A newly opened £37,000 extension to the car park at Bradley Stoke Town Council’s Brook Way Activity Centre site is having to be closed off by 4pm each day because of a dispute over light pollution.

The new parking zone has been constructed on part of the former hard court sports area at the site (pictured below), which had lain unused for many years.

In order to access the 18 new parking bays, vehicles need to negotiate a short incline, because the surface of the extension intentionally sits higher than that of the existing car park.

As previously reported, the split-level design was necessary to comply with a planning constraint which forbade deep excavation of the former hard court area for fear of damaging tree roots.

Following the opening of the extension in November, residents of neighbouring properties in The Common, which runs along the southern boundary of the site, have complained of light pollution caused by the headlamps of vehicles ascending the incline to reach the new parking bays.

In a letter sent to the town council, the chair of Stoke Lodge and The Common Parish Council says the headlamp issue is affecting up to four properties in The Common. Residents say the beams of light are traversing up and down the front of their properties, reaching as high as the roof ridge and passing windows at all levels.

The residents claim the car park “contravenes the planning permission and is breach of environmental law” and insist that it should not be used until remedial measures have been put in place by the town council.

A condition on the planning permission granted for the car park extension required the town council to submit a landscaping plan which “should expressly demonstrate how it mitigates against the impact of headlights from cars using the parking area” and the subsequently submitted plan was approved by South Gloucestershire Council. However, the residents claim that the approved scheme provides no cover in winter and some additional screening formed of wind-break fabric is ineffective against light pollution.

More: Extension closed after 4pm AND when activity centre unstaffed »

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Work set to start soon on Brook Way car park

Posted on Sunday 6th October 2019 at 8:21 pm by SH (Editor)

Image showing outline location of new parking bays on the hard court area (indicative only).

Work to create 20 new parking spaces at Bradley Stoke Town Council’s Brook Way Activity Centre site could finally get under way in October, more than six years after redevelopment proposals were first put forward.

The future of the dilapidated hard court area at the centre has been the subject of much controversy, not least when, in September 2013, the then mayor Cllr Brian Hopkinson proposed the construction of two new buildings on the site, one for a charity and the other for youth provision.

A subsequent public consultation showed that 59 percent of respondents wanted to see additional parking facilities provided at the site, with just 20 percent supporting the need for a “new building” of some form.

A working group formed to consider the results of the consultation failed to produce any formal reports over a period of more than two years and, in the words of Cllr Elaine Hardwick, was deemed to have “died a death” by July 2016.

In that month, the town council agreed to use earmarked reserves to extend the car park at the Brook Way site, remove the hard court and create a grassed ‘village green’.

A planning application for the proposed scheme was subsequently submitted, in April 2017, to South Gloucestershire Council (SGC). However, it was later withdrawn after SGC officers had expressed concerns about the loss of trees and the potential for excavation works to damage the roots of some retained trees.

A planning application for a revised scheme was submitted in January 2018 and consent was granted in May 2018.

In the approved scheme, 20 additional parking bays will be created within the footprint of the hard court. In contrast to the previous scheme, no deep excavations of the hard court surface will be carried out. Consequently, there will be a “graduated incline” between the existing car park area and the new parking bays.

More: Contractor’s quote of £37,650 accepted »

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Petty party politics return to town council at AGM

Posted on Tuesday 25th June 2019 at 6:46 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the three new Conservative members (l-r): Michael Hill, Nikki Hallur and Ed Rose.

Following the recent local elections, Bradley Stoke Town Council welcomed four new members at the new administration’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday 15th May.

Photo of Cllr Fabrizio Fazzino (Labour).

But the presence of one new Labour member and two independents seemed to have rattled the majority Conservative group, which had enjoyed the luxury of holding all 15 seats on the council during the previous eight years.

Signs that everything was not going to be plain sailing emerged even before the meeting had started, with one of the new Conservatives suggesting that it wouldn’t be appropriate for party colleagues to appear alongside the sole Labour member in a ‘new faces’ photo for the Journal.

The theme continued once the meeting got under way, with veteran Conservative councillor Roger Avenin calling for proportional representation along party lines to be observed in the allocation of members to each of the council’s three committees. The request was ruled inadmissible by the town clerk who pointed out that there is no such requirement within the council’s standing orders (rule book). This cleared the way for the three non-Conservative members to each volunteer to sit on all three committees.

Later in the meeting, the persistent Cllr Avenin raised the matter of proportionality again, suggesting that standing orders should be amended to incorporate this, as well as fixing the size of each committee. When the town clerk remarked that “most parish council aren’t operated along party lines and that’s how it should be,” she received a swift rebuke from another councillor, John Ashe (Conservative), who said it wasn’t her place to express opinions.

Officers were asked to report back to the next meeting with regard to the points raised.

Photo: 1 The three new Conservative members (l-r) – Michael Hill, Nikki Hallur and Ed Rose. 2 New Labour member Fabrizio Fazzino.

More: Proposed amendment to standing orders »

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Meet the new mayor: Councillor Tom Aditya

Posted on Sunday 16th June 2019 at 8:54 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Cllr Tom Aditya (left) being congratulated by the previous office holder, Cllr Ben Randles.

Councillor Tom Aditya has been elected as the new mayor of Bradley Stoke. He was formally handed the chain of office on Wednesday 15th May at Bradley Stoke Town Council’s annual general meeting, held at the Jubilee Centre.

Tom, who represents the Bradley Stoke South ward, has been a councillor since 2011. He has served on various committees of the council and has chaired the Planning, Transport and Environment Committee and served as deputy mayor. Cllr Aditya takes on his new role, not only as the first Asian mayor in Bradley Stoke, but also in South Gloucestershire. He is also understood to be the first person of Indian origin to be elected to such a role in South West England.

Tom, a management consultant and financial adviser, is originally from Kerala, South India. He has studied at various places including the USA. He moved to the UK in 2002 and settled in Bradley Stoke. His wife works for the NHS (Renal Transplant) and his children attend local primary and secondary schools.

Tom is a passionate community campaigner and his interest in advocating social harmony stretches beyond the boundaries of Bradley Stoke. Since 2007, Tom has been involved with South Gloucestershire Council’s Equalities Forum, which enabled him to reach out to various communities in the region. He was also a trustee of the Southern Brooks Community Partnership. Currently, Tom serves as vice-chairman of the Police Strategic Advisory Group, the Community Engagement Forum and as a member of the Avon and Somerset Police Scrutiny Panel. Tom is also the chairman of the Bristol Multi-Faith Forum. He told the Journal that he sincerely hopes his time in office as mayor will allow him to promote more community cohesion and he is keen to involve a wider sense of inclusion for all residents.

More: Wants to see more residents actively involved in the community »

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