Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
Dear Stockwood resident,
Thanks to those of you who came to the Planning for Stockwood’s Future meeting in March, where we were joined by the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, West of England Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles, Bristol City Councillor and Cabinet Member for Transport Kye Dudd, and Stockwood’s local ward Councillors Steve Jones and Graham Morris. It was a useful discussion, which allowed some of the key players in the region to hear from Stockwood residents. Since then, Bath and North East Somerset Council has had local elections where power has changed hands– so we will need to see where strategic proposals which cross local authority boundaries and will affect Stockwood are at, such as the proposed ring-road.
I have contacted the Government to support Bristol City Council’s bid for Housing Infrastructure Funding (HIF), which will provide funding for new transport and community infrastructure. If granted, the HIF bid could, in part, be used to create a rapid transit route down the A4 Bath Road, which would help relieve current congestion problems.
Bristol’s Local Plan
Bristol’s draft Local Plan, which outlines the council’s policies for approving planning applications, is currently out for public consultation. The scope of the plan is extensive, establishing both city-wide policies and more localised plans, as well as permitting certain types of development in distinct areas. In Stockwood, there are proposals to permit development on the site of the Greville building on Lacey Road, which has an estimated capacity to provide 32 new homes – please see details on page 140 of the Draft Development locations document.
I would encourage local residents to have a look at the draft plan, and consider making their own views known. A link to all the documents and how to submit your views is here. The consultation will close on Friday the 24th of May.
I recently got an update from the Managing Director of First Bus, James Freeman, about the number 2 bus service, and I understand that James was recently in Stockwood at a meeting with the ward councillors Steve and Graham. Many of you will know that there are problems with the reliability of the bus service, which First says is due to the bus getting caught up in traffic. There were proposals to split the service in the city centre, but First has now decided not to do this, as it would be too disruptive for too many users.
The current plan is to come up with a new timetable for September 2019 introduction that will be more robust and that will (at least for the September to December period, which is generally the worst time) provide extra unscheduled buses to plug gaps. The Temple Circus works should be completed by then, which has been responsible for much of the delays.
Local Issue Updates
I am pleased to learn that Waycroft Academy was successful in its bid for Condition Improvement Funding, which grants funds to improve school building facilities to ensure they are safe and in good working order. This funding will be used to improve the school’s fire resistance.
The repeated closure of Scotland Lane due to flooding has been an issue for local residents over the years, and I have long been calling for improvements. I’m delighted that Bristol City Council has now completed works to improve the Lane’s flood resilience. I hope that the road will now remain open for good.
I have been liaising with the local ward councillors Graham and Steve about how to improve the shops in Stockwood. There are proposals to improve the public space and pavements around the Hollway Road shops using a mixture of CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) and Council money. Ideally, there would be additional investment to improve the appearance of the shops and the private car park behind them, but this will have to come from a desire to improve the area by the owners of the site. There was some talk of the owners being interested in a land swap, whereby they would relinquish ownership and a new investor could redevelop the site, but this suggestion does not seem to have gone anywhere.
The ’My Wild City’ project launches this month, which will see the creation of 8 local wildlife sites in Bristol, including one in Stockwood, funded by the National Lottery. If you would like to get involved in the My Wild City project please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or see further details here.