Thursday, October 23, 2008

Developers drive policy on Bristol's green spaces

Developments relating to my complaint to Bristol City Council are keeping me very busy in between work and family at home today! Received this from Councillor Rosalie Walker, Cabinet Member for Culture and Healthy Communities (including parks and green spaces) shortly after sending in my reply to Bristol City Council's reaction to my complaint:

"Rosalie Walker" writes: I happen to agree with your concern re the P and G S Strategy. I am as keen as you are that green space is protected both inside the strategy and otherwise.I shall be making sure that my feelings are heard and that consultation is rigorous..Rosalie

My immediate reply to her was:

Many thanks for the prompt response Rosalie. Will you call for a delay in the planning processes dealing with the 'cycle house' development on/near the cycleway until an Area Green Space Plan is urgently put in place? Will you support modifications to part of the plan to move it away from the path and hedgerow at the eastern end??

I really do hope that she really is wearing her green hat and is fully onside. Will she say yes to my questions? Can she? Who/what is driving events in relation to green spaces, land sales and plans for developments? Seems to me that developers and their friends in parts of the council very much have the upper hand and that as long as these circumstances prevail parks/green spaces, local communities and democracy don't stand much of a chance. This explains why I was told in response to my complaint,

'it was always the case that there would be a small number of exceptions to this rule and that the Council would need to consider disposing of land where, for example, it might facilitate wider regeneration objectives to be achieved'

This is not menioned in the Parks and Green Spaces Strategy, which I've now double checked. I've fished around trying to find where there might be criteria written down for deciding on exceptions but have yet to find anything. Anyone who can find references and/or quotes to justify and explain this council assertion please contact me.


  1. "Developers drive policy on Bristol's green spaces"

    Not only the green spaces, Glenn, it's the brownfield sites as well. At the moment, the SWRDA have the job of working out the planning guidelines for the whole Temple Meads area. It should be the council's job, of course, especially here where there's a real 'public interest' factor.

    Instead the SWRDA have worked up the Area Development Framework. It's still not available to the public, it's already guiding the developers, and (would you believe it?) SWRDA just happens to be one of the landowners that stands to profit from it!

  2. I suspect Rosalie is 'holiday happy'

    She doesn't have a cat's chance in hell of retaining her seat next May, so is liberated from normal party loyalties.


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