Tag Archive: council

Apr 26 2013

Core Strategy Event

Friday 3rd May 2013 – Temple Cloud Village Hall – 5pm to 8:30pm.

If you have missed the Council consultation event do not worry. There is an extra drop-in event planned by local councillors.

See attached.Chew Valley Core Strategy Event

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.stantonwickactiongroup.org/core-strategy-event/

Mar 09 2013

New Date

Please note that BaNES have extended the date that responses can be submitted by… AGAIN…..

Expiry Date for Consultation is now:   08/04/2013

Please note comments on the application are not invited after this date.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.stantonwickactiongroup.org/new-date/

Mar 02 2013

BBC Radio Interview

Good interview on BBC Radio Bristol.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014wfjd

fwd to 02:07:45 into programme

Permanent link to this article: http://www.stantonwickactiongroup.org/bbc-radio-interview/

Sep 14 2012

PRESS RELEASE – 14th September 2012

Residents and Action Groups celebrate removal of Stanton Wick, Keynsham and Radstock Sites from B&NES’ Gypsy and Traveller Plans



For immediate release
14/09/12

 

Local residents and Action Groups are celebrating B&NES’ permanent removal of controversial proposed sites at Stanton Wick, Radstock and Keynsham from a list of ‘Preferred’ Gypsy and Traveller sites.

At a B&NES Cabinet meeting on Wednesday night, Councillors finally reacted to months of pressure and judicial review litigation from Action Groups and local residents, officially removing all three sites from consideration (The Old Colliery in Stanton Wick, the former Infants’ School Canteen in Radstock, and land near to Ellsbridge House, Keynsham).

The LibDem Cabinet and B&NES’ Chief Executive Dr Jo Farrar, heard submissions from all three Action Groups and a number of Labour and Conservative Councillors, that yet again challenged the site selection process as being flawed both in concept and delivery, unlawful and deeply damaging to the communities affected.

Following these presentations, Cllr Tim Ball (Lib-Dem, Twerton), Cabinet Member for Homes and Planning, moved an amendment to officially remove all three sites at Keynsham, Radstock and Stanton Wick – from the list.

The long-overdue removal of the sites follows a Judicial Review application by claimants on behalf of the three Action Groups seeking to challenge the process of site selection in law. In July, solicitors Knight’s representing the claimants wrote to B&NES setting out the reasons why the site selection process undertaken by the Council has been “unreasonable, irrational, unlawful and procedurally irregular”.

Clarke Osborne, Chair of Stanton Wick Action Group said:

 

“At last, the B&NES Cabinet has finally seen sense and removed these three wholly unsuitable, unsustainable, and undeliverable sites from this list.

“I am in no doubt that this would not have happened if it wasn’t for the pending Judicial Review, and the very hard work of local residents and Action Groups who since May have presented overwhelming evidence of the unsuitability of the sites, as well as a flawed, disingenuous and predetermined process.

“On behalf of all three Action Groups, I would like to thank everyone associated with achieving this result: all those who have made their views known, attended meetings, made presentations, written letters and emails, and assisted with fundraising.

“Yet while this victory is very welcome and long overdue, it has come at a very real financial and emotional cost to many people. B&NES’ wilful disregard to their residents’ views, independent planning reports, and legal advice, mean fundraising efforts to recoup costs are still required.

“The truth is that the behaviour of B&NES’ LibDem Cabinet and their approach to this process has had a significantly damaging effect on many of their rural constituents’ lives. Not only in respect of their businesses and their savings, but also the extraordinary amount of time individuals have spent researching, writing letters, attending meetings, campaigning, and fundraising. To many this has meant taking time off work, cancelling holidays and spending any of their spare time battling a Cabinet which, far from ‘listening to residents’, has appeared disinterested, intransigent and arrogant.”

“Both settled and traveller communities have already been badly let down by B&NES; we can only hope that lessons have been learned and that similar errors can be avoided as this flawed, discredited and delayed process limps on.

“We applaud the determination of B&NES to work hard in meeting the Government targets for the provision of sites for both permanent and transit populations of Gypsies and Travellers and we have sympathy in the difficulties that this presents; but there can be no excuse for what we regard as incompetent, insensitive and arrogant behaviour.

“The communities have spoken, and I sincerely hope that they will maintain this voice and demand more from their Local Authority and take more control of the future planning of their local environment. It is called Localism”

ENDS

Permanent link to this article: http://www.stantonwickactiongroup.org/press-release-14th-september-2012/

Aug 21 2012

BaNES Press Release 21/08/12

BaNES have issued a press release prior to the cabinet meeting on 12th September.

Discussion of next steps for Gypsy and Traveller site plan…

The release has a quote from Councillor Tim Ball
“We are listening very closely to the views of local communities. In response to feedback, Bath & North East Somerset Council intends to revise the criteria by which any proposed sites are selected for our Gypsy and Traveller site plan.

 “As things stand and under these proposed new criteria, I believe it is almost certain that the three sites suggested at Stanton Wick, Ellsbridge House, and Radstock Infant School Canteen will not be included in our final plans.”

View BaNES Press Release

Permanent link to this article: http://www.stantonwickactiongroup.org/banes-press-release-210812/

Aug 20 2012

In The News…

Our legal challenge is reported in the Somerset Guardian and on the BBC website:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-19297391

and

http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/Legal-challenge-launched-travellers-site-plans/story-16720757-detail/story.html

Permanent link to this article: http://www.stantonwickactiongroup.org/in-the-news/

Aug 09 2012

Judicial Review – Press Release

Our latest Press Release:

Local residents begin Judicial Review process against B&NES, challenging flawed Gypsy and Traveller Site Selection Process

Five residents have taken a further step in starting Judicial Review proceedings against Bath & North East Somerset Council. The legal challenge is the latest development in B&NES’ controversial selection and consultation process for preferred gypsy and traveller sites.

The five claimants take B&NES to task on what they say is a fundamentally flawed process and oppose the selection of three of the six sites noted by B&NES as preferred options in B&NES’ Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD). The sites are The Old Colliery in Stanton Wick, the former Infants School Canteen, Bath Old Road, Radstock, and land near to Ellsbridge House, Keynsham.

Solicitors representing the claimants wrote to B&NES on 24 July 2012, laying out the reasons why the site selection process undertaken by the Council has been “unreasonable, irrational, unlawful and procedurally irregular”. The response from B&NES, received on the very last of the 14 days permitted under the pre-action protocol was wholly unsatisfactory.

Two of the claimants, Philip Townshend and Elizabeth Richardson, are also members of the Stanton Wick Action Group and oppose the selection of The Old Colliery site in Stanton Wick as a preferred option.

Mr Townshend said:

“B&NES’ own assessment of The Old Colliery site at Stanton Wick ranked it as being particularly unsuitable placing it in 17th position out of the 23 sites considered.  There was no logical reason for it to even be on the long-list, let alone being identified as a ‘preferred option’ on the Council’s shortlist.

“There has been overwhelming feedback from local residents about why the Stanton Wick site is inappropriate at every point of this deeply-flawed process; we have attended every meeting available with B&NES, given evidence whenever possible, and presented them with multiple opportunities to reconsider. We have urged them to run a transparent, well-publicised process that is based on objective site suitability scoring, an up-to-date needs assessment, local communities’ views, long-term site sustainability and deliverability, and the needs of the traveller communities themselves.

“B&NES have ignored all of our considerable efforts to resolve this. We are left no choice but to start proceedings that will challenge this deeply flawed process in law.”

 

The claim lists the numerous attempts made to resolve the issues without litigation, including:

  • Formal detailed and comprehensive representation at the 9 May 2012 Cabinet meeting; the 15 May 2012 Planning Transport and Environment Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee meeting, the 13 June 2012 Cabinet meeting and the 18 June 2012 Special Council Meeting
  • Legal representation and advice to the 18 June 2012 Special Council meeting
  • Detailed and comprehensive advice given at two of B&NES’ roadshows
  • The submission of independent professional Planning Reports

Despite these efforts and a huge response from the local communities (including more than 1,000 signatures on both written and e-petitions), the claimants say that B&NES has

“failed to remedy the errors made in relation to a number of sites; or provide answers which can explain the seeming irregularity of [their] actions in terms of reasonableness, lawfulness and procedural propriety.”

Les Robson, Co-Chair of Bath Old Road Action Group which opposes the selection of the former Infants School site in Bath Old Road, Radstock, said:

“We are disappointed that despite numerous opportunities for B&NES to withdraw these wholly inappropriate and unsustainable sites from the Preferred Options list, our requests have essentially been ignored despite the overwhelming evidence presented.

“Bath Old Road Action Group believes that the sites selected are undeliverable. The process undertaken has unreasonably raised the expectation of the travelling community as well as putting the lives of local residents on hold whilst a decision is being made  This hasn’t done anyone any favours.

“With B&NES stating that caravans or mobile homes would be viewed as ‘alien’ and ‘unacceptable’, Bath Old Road Action Group are bemused that the Council continues to believe that placing a traveller site in the middle of a residential street is a good idea”.

Rosemary Collard, who runs The Snapdragons Nursery which is next to the land at Ellsbridge House, Keynsham, said:

“There are many problems with this site, many of which have been admitted by the Council, yet despite this they have chosen to ignore their own information, our detailed information and just carry on with this damaging process, seemingly oblivious to the fact that it is, in my opinion, impossible to develop this site as proposed. The major problems include; the very busy road, the unsuitability of a shared access with and location next to a Childrens’ Nursery, the loss of woodland, the impact on a listed building (the Nursery) and the unsuitability of the site for residential accommodation when it is between a busy main road and a recycling plant.”

Clarke Osborne, Chairman of the Stanton Wick Action Group said

“We believe that the Council are in breach of their responsibilities to ensure a proper, fair and open selection process for sites before any detailed consultation is undertaken with the public, and before any commitment is made to the possibility that any site can be developed for this purpose. We have listed no less than 16 areas where we consider the Council have failed. We, together with our colleagues in Keynsham and Radstock have gone to great lengths and considerable expense to show the Council the errors of this process but at each juncture we have been met with meaningless platitudes and left with many unanswered questions. It is highly regrettable that we have felt the need to resort to this legal challenge but the three groups consider that there is no alternative if we are to ensure that what appears to be a hurried and bungled process is fully exposed and stopped.

“We are very concerned that such a sensitive and important planning matter that will have a lasting effect on both settled and travelling communities should be dealt with in this cavalier way. With seemingly little or no regard for the required process and criteria set down by the Government, and as importantly, seemingly no regard for the views of some of their own Senior Planning Officers. It surely cannot be right that our Council should seemingly seek political gain from such conduct and seek to justify and defend these errors and wasted money.”

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.stantonwickactiongroup.org/latest-news-the-judicial-review-process-begins/

Aug 01 2012

September Cabinet Meeting

WEDS 12th SEPT – 6.30pm

Do please come and support if you can.

The results of the Gypsy and Traveller DPD site selection will be announced at the cabinet meeting on 12th September 2012, 6.30pm.

Venue: Broadlands School, St Francis Road, Keynsham BS31 2DY

Map

SWAG will be there and have booked several 3minute slots to speak.

Please let us know if you need help with transport. Thank You.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.stantonwickactiongroup.org/september-cabinet-meeting/

Jul 19 2012

Press Release – Technical Problems at BaNES

Technical Problems Cause Turmoil on Deadline Day for BANES’ Gypsy and Traveller Consultation Process
  
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
18/07/12

The final deadline for public responses to BANES’ Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople Site Allocations Development Plan Document, was thrown into turmoil today when email submissions made to the official email address were rejected.

Just hours before the 5pm deadline of the Public Consultation Process, many people sending their feedback to the email address (planning_policy@bathnes.gov.uk) received ‘bounceback’ messages which said: “Delivery has failed to these recipients or distribution lists… The recipient’s mailbox is full and can’t accept messages now. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please try resending this message later, or contact the recipient directly.”
At 3:40pm today a BANES email was finally sent to people on their mailing list to explain the bouncebacks were due to “the Planning Policy Team mailbox reaching capacity on Tuesday 17th July 2012, resulting in emails sent after this time failing to reach the mailbox”. It went on to instruct people to “resend your email as soon as possible“, but also decided to extend the time limit for email representations only until 5pm on Friday 20th July.
Clarke Osborne of the Stanton Wick Action Group says: “This is not the first time BANES’ email service has caused problems with this consultation process, but for it to happen on the day of deadline when it was obvious that scores of people would be sending their representations by email, is shocking.”
“Many people may not check their email now, or realise it has not been received. It’s further evidence, if any were needed, of a process that’s been completely flawed from the start and poorly-executed throughout; it’s appalling that the catalogue of errors now includes BANES’ inability to even effectively receive email submissions on the deadline day of a crucial consultation process.”
“I would urge anyone who had made email submissions today to resend them again, rather than assume that they had been received.”
As a result of mass opposition to many of the sites selected by BANES, and on inspection of the background, B&NES Planning, Transport and Environment Scrutiny Panel asked the Cabinet to call a halt to its plans, arguing that the site selection process was flawed and highlighting that the majority of the sites do not accord with Government guidelines. The Cabinet chose to ignore this request.
Mr Osborne continues: “The Cabinet has already demonstrated that it is not willing to listen to or take any notice of, local views, and have no respect for Coalition government guidelines on suitability of sites.”
“They are ignoring the public and their government, have selected many wholly unsuitable locations through a disingenuous scoring exercise, and are attaching no weight to the genuine planning and policy-based arguments from both local residents and politicians. Today’s error is yet another example of how this process has been shambolically conducted.”

Permanent link to this article: http://www.stantonwickactiongroup.org/press-release-technical-problems-cause-turmoil/

Jul 17 2012

Less than 24 hours to close of Submission

There is less than 24 hours to go before response forms must reach BaNES
(5pm Wednesday 18th July).
You still have time to respond by email if you have not yet done so.

You can find response forms here:
Response Forms

Completed forms can be emailed to:
planning_policy@bathnes.gov.uk

There is more information on why this site fails to comply with planning guidelines here: Our Objections

ALSO
Our ePetition will also close on 18th July
Every adult member of your household with their own email address can fill in the ePetition, again, please take time if you can, the link is here:
http://www.stantonwickactiongroup.org/epetition/

Permanent link to this article: http://www.stantonwickactiongroup.org/less-than-24-hours-to-close-of-submission/

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