Background. Bristol's Parks & Green Spaces Strategy was adopted at the Council Cabinet Meeting 21 February 2008. It is aimed at raising the quality of parks and green spaces throughout the city over the next 20 years. As part of the implementation of the strategy Bristol Parks are now consulting on Area Green Space Plans
(AGS)


The AGS plans cover Children’s Play areas, Formal and informal green spaces, Natural Green spaces and Sports spaces.


Bristol has been divided into 14 Neighbourhood Partnership Areas (NPA)
St Andrews Park is in the Redland ward of the Bishopston, Cotham, Redland NP.


Consultation process. We were able to make individual comments, as well as a FoSAP response. The consultation ended 29th October 29th 2010


FoSAP has been actively involved in the consultation and the committee agreed
our submission which was submitted on 18th October

Here is the FoSAP submission. F.o.St.A.Park--4 draft sub.re AGSP


Updates on the latest information is posted in comments below this Blog

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Comment by Fo SAP on February 28, 2011 at 19:37
BPF and the AGSP Process

The BPF committee has been asked by one of our members groups (it was FoSAP!) to clarify its position on the
AGSPs our reply is below:

BPF supports the process set out in the Parks & Green Spaces Strategy for identifying the most important parks
and green spaces in Bristol so that they will be protected from development.

The consultation process gave people the chance to have their say about the importance of green spaces in their
area and has resulted in many green spaces being withdrawn from the disposal list.

As a result of this process, inevitably some green spaces have been identified as less important or of
'low amenity value'. BPF agreed to support the principle of selling these on the basis that at least 70%
of the sale proceeds are to be reinvested to improve parks and green spaces in Bristol.

BPF has made a point of not commenting on individual site plans; local people are best placed to comment
on the 'low amenity value' designation.

BPF committee is pressing for further work to be undertaken to confirm that
- any development will take proper account of the wildlife value of the site and protect important trees.
- any development will be in accordance with the Bristol Development Framework Site Allocations process
that considers land use throughout the city.
- spaces identified for disposal will continue to be maintained for people and wildlife prior to disposal.
- disposals will be timed over the next 20 years to achieve the best value.
- local park groups will have a say in where the money raised is to be invested.
- the principles set out in the P&GSS are also applied in Knowle West which has so far been excluded from
the AGSP process.

BPF welcomes the local interest resulting from the AGSP consultation process and looks forward to working
Comment by Fo SAP on December 16, 2010 at 10:09

Update 151210

Following today's Scrutiny Commission the BPF committee has issued the following statement to Cabinet for consideration at their meeting tomorrow (Thur 16 Dec). The Scrutiny Commission did not finish until 3pm so this statement had to be prepared quickly for tomorrow's meeting. We had previously been advised that in view of the meetings being on successive days the Cabinet would consider a statement issued after the normal cut off time.

BPF Statement:

Support for Bristol Parks and Green Spaces Strategy

The Bristol Parks Forum endorsed and supports the Bristol Parks and Green Spaces Strategy.  We agreed to the values that were set out and to the criteria that were to be used to determine whether or not existing land could be considered for disposal.

We insisted that any sale of land should be based on the application of these principles and not driven by targets for capital receipts.

Disposals

Officers have now re-evaluated each of the sites proposed for disposal after the public consultation and determined, by application of the criteria in the Parks and Green Spaces Strategy, that four of the candidate areas should now not be sold off. For other sites they have suggested that the decision be deferred while further information (notably on flood risk) is assessed. We congratulate the officers on the way they have carried out this very difficult task.

Cabinet has said it is minded to overturn the officer's recommendations on some sites, we agree that it is right that Cabinet should make this decision having considered all the views expressed to it, including those of the Scrutiny Commission.

There was a deal of disagreement at Wednesday's Quality of Life Scrutiny Commission on the level and effectiveness of consultation that took place during both the stakeholder and public consultation. The consultation has highlighted certain areas that while not required to be retained on strict application of the Parks and Green Spaces Strategy criteria, they are still highly valued by the community in the surrounding areas.

Overall the consultation has captured views, however it has become apparent that some areas have been incomplete. Bristol Parks Forum recommends that  any decision on these need to be delayed until all information is available and complete has been taken into consideration by Cabinet.  They need to ensure that they fully understand  the complete set of views on each site before making a decision (and also demonstrate that they understand these). Based on the time taken by the Quality of Life Scrutiny Commission to review each of their chosen examples sites this would equate to two weeks work. Cabinet need to have invested that amount of time before they make decisions. This cannot be done properly before Christmas.

Any outstanding issues that are causing a deferral in a decision are resolved and a decision taken within a quarter. Once these decisions have been taken the focus needs to be on the improvement of the existing green spaces and that a method of prioritisation is agreed and prioritisation done to ensure that the most needy areas are addressed.

The cabinet should restate that the future of remaining green spaces within the city are protected for the next twenty years.

Planning

In areas where backland site development is proposed, clear stipulations must be made on the conditions of sale to ensure that suitable development is undertaken.

Areas proposed for development now have to be considered through the planning process, it is then that issues expressed in the consultations that relate to planning (such as increases in traffic) should be considered. Local people and Councillors will also have a further say in how these sites are developed. For some sites this process may conclude that development is not possible.

Land Sale

When land is put up for sale then notification needs to given to all stake-holders including local park groups, residents associations and residents who have been involved in the consultation process so they are well aware of what is happening.

Land sale should only be done when the best possible value can be obtained.

Budget Review

The myth that Bristol City Council owned many acres of land of 'undeveloped land' that were not not of value to the community has now been firmly squashed. It is also clear that the amount of money that is available for the improvement of the city's parks from the sale of these spaces is significantly less than was anticipated at the time the strategy was adopted. We support the view of the Quality of Life Commission that the budgeting for the strategy should be reviewed to consider additional funding sources that have become available. It is now the responsibility of all Councillors to work with Park Groups and others to find sources of income to fill this gap.

Knowle West

Lastly the AGSP proposals for the Knowle West Regeneration Framework  (4.2 h ) state that it "applies it's own financial arrangement for green space disposals and investments." We call on the Cabinet to ensure that the 70:30 split adopted for the rest of Bristol is mirrored as a minimum requirement within the area. We accept that revenue raised by disposals will be reinvested within the area ,and not throughout the city as for other disposals.



Rob Acton-Campbell
BPF
www.bristolparksforum.org.uk

Comment by Fo SAP on December 8, 2010 at 19:29
This is newsletter 41 from BPF

The report to Cabinet and the Quality of Life Scrutiny Commission is now available on www.bristol.gov.uk/meetings

The Council has also released a press statement which says that further sites will be removed from the disposal list compared with those listed in the report. The statement is below:

The City Council's Cabinet today confirmed its intentions for how it will take forward the proposals on Area Green Space Plans in the city.

Commenting on officers' recommendations following the consultation, Cllr Gary Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport, Waste and Targeted Improvement said:

"A huge amount has been said about the genuineness of the consultation that has taken place around the Parks and Green Spaces Strategy.

We are still to hear the voice of members of Scrutiny but we have examined the local feedback from across the city and wish to make certain announcements in advance of scrutiny to assist them in focusing their efforts.

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the consultation. As a cabinet we have listened carefully to all points raised, and will continue to do so in the run up to our meeting next week where all final decisions shall be made.

We must of course keep in mind that the Parks and Green Spaces Strategy is a city-wide strategy that was agreed by all parties and was aimed at ensuring that people have access to good quality parks and green spaces close to where they live.

This process is the start of a renaissance of Bristol's parks and green spaces. The extra income that can be generated by disposing of a very small part of the city's 1500 hectares of open space makes good sense. It will bring much needed investment to help transform spaces that have for years been neglected of any sustained funding.

The majority of the 'disposals' planned are in fact partial and the object has been to not only raise money for parks in general but also to improve the security design and therefore usability of the individual park.

The Officer report has a list of sites that they have recommended for non disposal. The Cabinet agrees with this list.

There is also a list of sites where it was felt that deferment whilst other matters are explored was the right option. This is particularly important where masterplans should be worked with. We also agree with this list.

There are 2 sites where the first consideration should be the expansion/relocation of an existing school and this should be given the highest priority: Abingdon Road and Begbrook Open Space.

There is a list where potential flooding will need to be taken into account. These are the result of flood guidance some of which was issued by the Environment Agency after the start of consultation. We agree with this list.

In addition there are sites that on the instructions given to Officers in 2008 would be disposed of but which we as a Cabinet are minded to withdraw. There have been a variety of issues that have emerged during consultation and balancing the city and local needs we aim to remove from disposal. These are:

· Bushey Park
· Craydon Road Open Space (P)
· Kingshead Park (P)
· Oakbourne Road Open Space (P)
· St Annes Park (P)
· Wellington Hill

P = previously proposed partial disposal

There are in addition 3 further sites that need mention at this point.

- Lodge Hill - some publicly accessible park space should be retained and further consultation on the best form of this.

- Victory Park - adjacent council owned grazing land is of good environmental and amenity value and although not technically covered by Area Green Space Plans should be retained and safeguards put in place that hedgerows onto neighbouring sites are to be protected.

- Elderberry Walk, Southmead - the footprint of disposal should be reduced and a note made of the preference for housing on this and connected sites.

We shall now await comments from members of Scrutiny next week before making the final decisions at Cabinet on 16 December."

-------------------------

Rob Acton-Campbell
BPF
www.bristolparksforum.org.uk

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