Knowle Lib Dems

MARCH 2019
www.knowlelibdems.com
Facebook - Knowle Councillors


  • Broadwalk Development
    • Affordable Housing
    • Retirement Flats
    • Parking
    • travel Plan
    • Detailed Design
  • Community Infrastucture Levy
  • Secondary School
  • Elections 

Broadwalk Development
Following the passing of the outline planning application for the Broadwalk Shopping Centre development we have written to all those who submitted a comment, either for or against or neutral, to let them know of the decision and what is likely to happen next. Some letters are held up, believe it or not, by the Euro Elections, but they will all get there eventually.
 
It is vital that everyone realises this is an outline approval and lots of issues need to be resolved before building can actually start. We will continue to talk to the developers and to planning officers and we are trying for a final result that protects and enhances our shopping centre, whilst addressing as many of the concerns that have been raised as is possible.
 
Affordable Housing
Given the huge repair costs (£15M) the developers reduced the hoped for profit below the norm, but were still only required to provide 13% affordable housing. The developers are working hard to increase that number by looking to form partnerships with housing associations, who will have access to central government cash, to significantly increase the % of affordable homes. Talks with several associations are going well and we hope that announcements of partners will come later this year.
 
Retirement Flats
Talks are going well with at least one specialist investment company who work on retirement flats. The situation with all local facilities and services close by is regarded as ideal.
 
Parking
A large financial levy on the developers is being negotiated by the planners. This will pay for a local resident’s parking scheme and so far a sizeable majority of local residents are in favour of this.
 
Gary and Chris have written to the planning department to request that the scheme follow local residents and business preferences rather than the ineffective schemes that have been put into some parts of the city. We also want any scheme to be an open book so that everyone can see what money comes in and goes out, and that it be not for profit, and run separately from the city schemes.
 
Travel Plan
This will form part of the planning conditions and its first aim is to eliminate parking/traffic issues for the surrounding area.
 
Detailed Design
This is being worked on at present and will be brought back for consideration later this year.

 
Community Infrastructure Levy
Is a tax on development money. This has to be negotiated between 5 other wards and the funds are limited. Last year we secured the funds promised for the Redcatch/Woodbridge Rd scheme, which officers should now be delivering, and this year we have the rather expensive, but vitally important, Wells Rd crossing agreed. At present there is no crossing between Somerset Rd and Broad Walk  and this scheme will provide a safe crossing in the area that is used by so many children accessing schools and the park. We have already written to the head of highways seeking an early start. However, we know that staff are in short supply.
 
A bid for improvements to the community centre in the Square is a possibility and the bidders are being asked to supply more details.
 
The committee had 2 more bids for parks/open space improvements from the Northern Slopes and Redcatch Park and although there is no money from the CIL fund Knowle uniquely has funds from the partial sale of Salcombe Rd for the building of affordable housing. Some of this had been held back for future emergencies, but as Gary spotted a plan for housing on the side of the Bath Rd near Totterdown Bridge, and it has been confirmed that future funds will come the way of local parks,  we can now hopefully fund the 2 parks from the Salcombe Rd reserve.
 
Secondary School
Chris and Gary have had a meeting with the metro mayor to seek support for plans to avoid delay with our new secondary school in Knowle.
 
Elections 
Despite there being elections in all the surrounding councils this May, Bristol did not have any,  but the whole of Bristol will vote in council elections next year.
 
In North Somerset Conservatives lost control with seats going mainly to Lib Dem’s and independents.
In South Glos the Conservatives remain in control with a couple of Lib Dem Gains and a couple of Labour losses.
In Bath and North East Somerset there was a huge surge, with the Conservatives losing power and The Lib Dem’s gaining a big overall majority.
 
These results do affect Bristol. The Metro Mayor is effectively the chair of a committee formed of  leaders of all the local councils, and does have a sizeable amount of money to spend on things like roads and public transport. There is an election to select the next Metro mayor for the region in 2021.
 
Later this month we have the national Euro elections. Whatever your views we would encourage you to vote as the results may well be far more important than many commentators believe.
 

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