Monday, 29 February 2016

Bus stop Pennard Green

We have asked for the timetable to be replaced at the Bus stop at Pennard Green. We have also asked that the cover that has been removed is replaced as soon as possible.

This is a heavily used bus stop and we are disturbed at vandalism that is taking place to many bus stops in the area.

We have also requested the timetable for the bus stop outside 37 Kelston View to be put in.  The post and sign were put in last year following the actions of a local young resident, however, we are still waiting for the actual timetable to be displayed.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Planning Refused - The Hollow

Following a great campaign led by a group of residents, who were against the proposed building of 20 homes on the land between Bath City Farm and Cotswold View on The Hollow, we are pleased to see that the application has been refused for the following reasons:

Address to which the proposal relates: Field Between City Farm And Cotswold View The Hollow Southdown Bath

Description of Proposal: Erection of 20no. dwellings and associated works.

Application submitted by: Juniper Homes (South West)Ltd

The above development is REFUSED in accordance with the application, plans and drawings submitted by you for the reason(s) set out below:

1 The proposed development will adversely affect the contribution that this important hillside location makes towards the character and landscape setting of Bath resulting in harm towards the Outstanding Universal Values of the Bath World Heritage Site and the setting of this part of the Bath Conservation Area. The public benefits of the scheme do not outweigh the identified harm to these heritage assets. The proposal is therefore considered to be contrary to policies NE.1, NE.3 and BH.6 of the Bath and North East Somerset Local Plan, policies B4 and CP6 of the Bath and North East Somerset Core Strategy and the National Planning Policy Framework.

2 The proposed development, due to the scale, massing, form and materials, fails to respond to the local context and is considered to be harmful to the character and appearance of the area contrary to policies D.2 and D.4 of the Bath and North East Somerset Local Plan, policy CP6 of the Bath and North East Somerset Core Strategy and the National Planning Policy Framework.

3 The proposed development is not able to provide the appropriate recommended ecological mitigation, will cause harm to the remaining features of ecological value and will result in a net loss to ecology contrary to policy NE.9 of the Bath and North East Somerset Local Plan, policy CP6 of the Bath and North East Somerset Core Strategy and the National Planning Policy Framework.

4 The proposed development results in the clustering of affordable housing, does not deliver tenure blindness and does not promote effective social integration contrary to the Planning Obligations SPD 2015, policy CP9 of the Bath and North East Somerset Core Strategy and the National Planning Policy Framework.

5 The proposed development has failed to demonstrate that satisfactory access to a public highway can be achieved. For this reason the proposal is contrary to the key aims of Policy T.24 of the Bath & North East Somerset Local Plan, and the National Planning Policy Framework, which seek to provide adequate and safe access to all development sites.

6 The application has failed to secure the provision of 30% affordable housing, a Site Specific Targeted Recruitment and Training in Construction scheme and a contribution towards the provision of additional fire hydrants as required by the Planning Obligations SPD 2015. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies CP9 and CP13 of the Bath and North East Somerset Core Strategy and the Planning Obligations SPD 2015.

Local Campaigner Sarah Moore said "This is really good news and a great result for the local residents that put such effort into their campaign".

Councillor Tim Ball added "We are aware the applicant could appeal this decision, however, we are going to push to get this land formally designated as green space".

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Beware rogue tree surgeons

Members of the public are urged to be vigilant of rogue tree surgeons after numerous reports of cold-call tradesmen operating across Bath and North East Somerset.
“Several local residents have been approached by tradesmen posing as qualified tree surgeons offering to cut down or provide maintenance to garden trees in exchange for cash.
Not only is this potentially dangerous for the tradesmen, it can also cause lasting damage to the tree, possible damage to the property and, in some cases, may result in enforcement action from the Council.”
Bath and many of its surrounding villages and hamlets are covered by Conservation Area designations. In addition, some trees (including trees located in private gardens) may be subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) – which protects specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interests of amenity. The Council must be notified six weeks in advance of intended works to a tree located within a Conservation Area or covered by a TPO unless a specific exemption applies (such as where a tree poses a risk to the public). To cut down, uproot or destroy a tree covered by a TPO or within a Conservation Area, or to authorise such an action to take place, is considered an offence under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Rogue tree surgeons are therefore leaving landowners potentially liable to criminal prosecution.
Work to trees will often require careful consideration by an experienced Arboriculturalist or a person who is practiced in assessing the health of trees and their appropriate management. Tree works should also ideally be undertaken outside of the bird nesting season (March – October) to prevent destruction of eggs and harm to birds protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The Council would advise anyone who is considering undertaking or contracting work to trees on their property to first ensure that the trees are not located within a Conservation Area or covered by a TPO. The Arboricultural Association provides a Directory of Tree Surgeons on their website which lists professional, qualified tree surgeons by name, area or postcode. The website also contains information relating to good tree care.
If residents remain in doubt as to the works that can be undertaken to trees covered by a TPO or located within a Conservation Area they can contact the Council for further advice and guidance by emailing or calling 01225 394041.

Real time Bus display

The Real Time Information display at St Michael’s School that we reported as not working has been fixed now.

We are however concerned that this has taken longer than we expected to be repaired and that not all of the buses at certain times of the day stick to the timetable that is displayed.

We have also asked that several other bus shelters that have been damaged are also repaired.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Food Growing

Time Bank who are based in Twerton High Street are running several events on food growing.

First of all, this Saturday 27th February is the launch of their Growing Together project, starting 2.30pm at Bath City Farm allotments. They will be welcoming you with “Food, Fun and Campfire Cooking”. It’s a chance to find out more about the project, meet others or get some handy food growing tips. You are very welcome to bring your family or friends. Just come along on the day, no need to book in advance.

Regular food growing sessions will take place as from the beginning of March, on Tuesdays from 1.30 to 3.30pm on their allotment at Bath City farm. Rowan, their food growing tutor, can also arrange home visits, to offer help and advice with growing vegetables and fruit at home. 

Their food growing Buddy Scheme can help connect people with others living locally, so you can work together and share skills, enthusiasm and produce.

You can contact time bank details below.

Time Bank Plus 

Poolemead Road

We have been receiving many complaints from residents about their cars being damaged by lorries cutting through to Whiteway Road.

As locals will know this is a residential road that at one time had no access to Whiteway Road.

We have therefore asked that an advisory sign is placed at the Junction of Wedgewood Road with Poolemead Road advising lorries that this is not a suitable route.

It seems strange that the complaints that we receive is lorries leaving the area not entering it so at this time we are not asking for signs at the other end of Poolemead Road.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Road works Twerton

The following notice of roads works that need to be done in the next week has been published and these may cause some delays.

Delays possible Traffic control (two-way signals)
Works location: Opp Rear Of 14 Boyce Close
Works description: Section 81/Defect
Responsibility for works: Wessex Water
Current status: Advanced planning

Delays possible Traffic control (two-way signals)
Works location: Opp Side Of 13 Boyce Close
Works description: Section 81/Defect
Responsibility for works: Wessex Water
Current status: Advanced planning

Friday, 12 February 2016

Parking on Pavements

I put the following question to Cabinet about parking on pavements.

Parking on pavements and grass verges in Twerton is becoming a nightmare for pedestrians.  This affects the disabled and partiality sighted residents the most and can have devastating effects on their lives.  Will the cabinet ensure that its officers work with Curo the Police and the community of Twerton in order to resolve this ever growing problem?  Will the cabinet look at what other powers they are able to bring down from government to tackle this problem?  Will the cabinet investigate what financial resources may be needed in order to resolve some of the problems uncovered?

The answer that I received although not very good is a start gives some hope?

Unlike Greater London, there is currently no national legislation banning the parking of all vehicles on the pavement, due to the wide range of circumstances and locations where pavement parking occurs.  For example in some narrow residential roads with a lack of off-street parking provision, drivers have little option but to park on the pavement to avoid causing traffic congestion.
Parking Services can enforce against vehicles where other restrictions such as Double Yellow Lines are in place upon the highway under the Traffic Management Act 2004. Where there are no restrictions we do not have powers to enforce via the issue Penalty Charge Notices. Furthermore, the Police have powers under section 137 of the Highways Act 1980, which makes it an offence “to wilfully obstruct the free passage of the highway”. However, this is difficult to prove and resource intensive so rarely gets used.
We do have the power under the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 to make Traffic Regulation Orders, allowing for specific parking regulations to be implemented in specific areas, according to the demands of local circumstances.  We can for example introduce a Traffic Regulation Order in a single road banning the parking of vehicles on any part of the pavement. However, the order would need to be signed appropriately and the restriction would apply to all vehicles which can be contentious and lead to many objections. Currently no budget has been allocated to investigating this issue specifically in Twerton but if specific areas of concern are raised they can be added to the forward plan of work for when budget is available. In the meantime, Parking Services will liaise with Curo and the Police Neighbourhood Teams to raise awareness of the issues being caused by pavement parking and request that residents show consideration for others by not parking on the pavement. 

On the 4 December 2015 the government committed to undertake a policy review and to convene a round table next year to examine the implications of any legislative change in response to a private members bill which was subsequently withdrawn. Transport minister Robert Goodwill MP stated that improving access for all pedestrians remained a priority for the government. As an Authority we will be feeding into any consultation raising the issues faced within Bath and North East Somerset for both pedestrians and motorists alike .

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Rose cottage, elected Mayor etc.

Councillor Tim Ball spent several hours at Rose cottage today talking with local residents talking about issues that affect them.

Rose cottage is a very good community cafe that is open on a Wednesday and Thursday from 9 am till 2pm. They offer a special lunch with a drink for £4 or under with Kids meals even cheaper so well worth a visit.

Some of the issues that were discussed today were about the planning application for a single bed roomed dwelling in pace of the old public toilet block that local residents say they want but planners seem to have a different opinion of.

The other planning matter for discussion was the land at Bath City Farm that has a planning application for housing that no one thought was a good idea.

The issue of the travellers site on the Lower Bristol Road came up and several questions were asked and when the answers were given that rent was being paid by occupants, most residents agreed that it was a good idea.

The final subject was about a directly elected Mayor for Bath & North East Somerset that everyone said was a total waste of money and would lessen democracy rather than increase it.