Wednesday, March 25, 2009

'Cycle House' Plans Statement - Taking full account of all community views

1 comment:
Copy of email sent to Bristol City Council:

Please ensure that the planning committee meeting of 1 April dealing with the 'cycle house' plans (08/03862/F) has the statement below submitted to it (I'd be grateful for an email confirming submission). I hope to be there to present the statement in person.

Statement - Taking full account of all community views:

The Bristol to Bath Railway Path consultation has finally been published. It cost £12,000 according to an FoI request. It dealt with all issues relating to this proposed development, not just the land sale/lease issue (as you can see from the its conclusions - see bullet points below). In any case the development cannot proceed as it is without land sale/lease and so the matters are intimately entwined and inseparable.

We were lead to believe by Cllr Rosalie Walker, then Executive Member responsible for green spaces, that this consultation was the next best thing to an Area Green Space Plan (which the council could not get itself together to do in time to inform this committees decision). What was the pointof the consultation if you are not going to fully account for it??

The Executive Summary and the Conclusion of the report state what bloggers and campaigners have been saying all along!! Developers, who say their work on this is rooted in the philosophy of community participation, and this committee, should to see to it that the 'cycle house' plans are modified to match what local people want.

These bullet points are directly from the consultation report:

* That green, open space should be preserved.

* That the wildlife corridor, in particular the hedgerow, should be protected.

* That the regeneration of the former Elizabeth Shaw factory site should take place within the existing boundary and that the Bristol and Bath Railway Path should stay in the public domain.

* That the individual accesses to the cycle houses are flawed with concerns about safety risks; changing character of path; de facto private gardens; impact on existing natural environment; security risks.

* The importance of Bristol as a ‘Cycling City’ and the need to protect cycle routes.

* Concern that land sale would set a precedent.

In conclusion, although there is general support for the regeneration of the former Elizabeth Shaw factory site the majority of those participating in the consultation felt that the development should be contained within the original footprint of the factory site and the Bristol and Bath Railway Path should stay in the public domain. The majority of individuals and organisations felt that plot 1 should not be sold although there were some suggestions for a compromise solution with partial development. A greater majority felt that plot 2 should not be leased particularly for individual access points – many respondents felt that these were unnecessary to the development. There was, however, some agreement to provide an access across plot 2 to the square, cafĂ© and other facilities.

Do the facts show that a low meat diet is more ethical...?

Got involved in the online debate on the 'Bristol MP calls for cow flatulence debate' story in today's paper. My contribution drew quite a bit of response, including the one below from Grahame P. Thought it was worth posting on it here to invite responses on the ethics issue. To me it seems absurd to say that ethics is not part of this, and perhaps all, debates and wrong to say that you cant have a reasonable debate with someone who says that his moral position is backed by the facts - but what do readers think??

My post was addressed in reply to Glenn Vowles who said "....the facts show its healthier, more ethical and more ecological to freely choose to eat a lower meat diet..." Whilst I'd agree with his very first assertion, the argument that it's somehow more 'ethical' to eat less meat rankles because how can the facts show eating less meat is more ethical? Ethicality is a moral assertion, individually subjective, and therefore the 'facts' can't show anything of the sort!
(Grahame P, Central Bristol).

My reply:
Dont agree Grahame. The more people eat a low meat diet then - the more animals can be farmed in a non-intensive, healthier and higher animal welfare way; the fewer animals need to be farmed, leaving less forest cleared, which helps save species and save our climate; the more likely each person is to stay within a sustainable carbon budget, leaving nature less harmed for future generations. Isn't the result of all this that a low meat diet is more ethical??