Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Chocolate factory and cycle path

OK, I went on a site visit to Elizabeth Shaw today, and met with people from Squarepeg. To summarise as briefly as possible...

I like their plans, especially the fact that virtually all of the original buildings will be retained, whereas Persimmon were only going to, reluctantly, keep the office building. I think the finished development is going to be quite stunning, especially the lofts, the duplex apartments and the town houses. The community will also get a community centre, a bocca bar, some shops, about 40 workspaces, and more. That's what they wanted, and that's why they were so unhappy with the Persimmon plans for just housing, housing and yet more housing.

I think the developers/ architects are genuine people, who understand Greenbank and what sort of development would be appropriate to the area. They agree that the Persimmon proposals were awful.

I also think they're genuine about wanting to enhance, not detract from, use of the cycle path - e.g. with the cycle hut, the hostel for cyclists, the cafe, cycle storage, the cycle houses. I was shown the small piece of land which would have to be removed to build the cycle houses, and from the plans it looks as if it should have been included in the original site sale anyway as it's just a kink in an otherwise straight line which stops them owning it. I was told that some of the greenery that will be removed for building work (which isn't very much) will be replaced, and that overall - taking into account the common spaces, roof gardens, etc - there will be more green space in the area than there is currently. It was also confirmed that the closest any of the cycle houses would be to the path - i.e. the tarmac - is 4 metres.

Finally, I'm convinced they're entirely genuine about consultation. They've had several events, each of which has been attended by 150 people or so. They've written out to the closest 500 households. They are still - despite what I was told the other day - very much in touch with the community activists who originally opposed the Persimmon application. They are bemused by what's being said on the blogs, because the feedback they've been getting from local people has been very positive.

So... what next? They're having an open day on October 18th, actually at the site itself. Anyone who wants to can come down, look at the plans, look around the site, and put into context what they've read or heard about it.

I'm told that none of the people who have been opposing the cycle houses on blogs - Chris, Glenn, Adam, Blogger (and yes, we do know who you are) - have been in touch with the developers directly. So here's the offer. If you want to visit, they'd be happy to meet with you, either on October 18th or at some other time. In fact, why not all come along together? (And that's not a Reservoir Dogs style attempt to lure you to a deserted warehouse where you'll be tied to chairs and forced to listen to Stealer's Wheel... although it's tempting). If you don't like what you hear on the 18th, you still have until the 22nd to submit your objections.

47 comments:

Chris Hutt said...

Kerry, you've clearly been mislead, as have many others.

The land that Squarepeg are trying to buy from the council is not in any sense part of the original site and it's not "just a kink in an otherwise straight line which stops them owning it".

The Elizabeth Shaw land ownership never included the Railway Path embankment. The Persimmon proposals never included the Railway Path embankment. Only Squarepeg have sought to include the Railway Path embankment in the redevelopment.

We are well aware that the blocks of flats and houses will be 4 metres from the Path. That is the problem, because it will destroy over 150 metres of mature historic hedgerow which forms an important landscape feature.

You refer only to "cycle" houses, but not to the 4 storey block of flats or the 7 storey tower block that will dominate and urbanise the Path. Did they not mention those?

As for the 18th October "open day", given that the formal consultations on Squarepeg's Planning Application ends on the 22nd October I fail to see how that will give anyone the opportunity to make effective comments.

It is not true to say that none of us have been in touch with the developer directly. I and others have emailed Jenny Gee, who is Squarepeg's nominated contact point, and have not received replies. Squarepeg are the ones who are refusing to communicate.

You don't appear to have asked Squarepeg why they mislead people about the status of the land they are buying from the council, nor why they misrepresented the design of access from the houses to the Railway Path, nor any other questions that relate to the concerns expressed on the blogs.

I have no objection to meeting with Squarepeg if they have some additional information to supply, but given their unwillingness to reply to or even acknowledge emails they have some way to go on the consultation front.

Chris Hutt said...

Just to substantiate what I said in my comment, this is the email sent to Squarepeg (Jenny Gee) on 12th September, almost 3 weeks ago. No reply has been received.

"Hi Jenny,

In the interests of getting the facts right, could I ask you to clarify the land ownership situation along the embankment slope beside the CF car park and main vehicular entrance?

I am aware of course of the first section of the embankment slope that Squarepeg are negotiating to buy from the Council, but beyond this to the northeast there appear to be two more plots that include the remainder of the embankment slope up to the extreme eastern end of the site.

Can you tell me (1) if you currently own the remainder of the embankment slope covered by these plots of land and (2) when and from whom this land was purchased?

Chris"

The Bristol Blogger said...

Here's an email on behalf of the Bristol Blogger that went to Jenny Gee and then the Thornbury-based property agent, Steve Storey, who seems to represent Square Peg. They both went unacknowledged and unanswered:

- "Hi Steve,

I got your contact from a PPA between Square Peg, for which you are listed as the contact, and Bristol City Council regarding a development at the Elizabeth Shaw Chocolate Factory in Greenbank, Bristol.

I have also noted section 2.18 of this agreement, headed 'Principle 3', which seems to commit Square Peg to being "transparent and consistent".

I would therefore be grateful if you could supply the following information regarding the management and governance of Square Peg. I have already attempted to get this information from Jenny Gee at your PR firm. She omitted to reply.

I require the following information:

- The full current name (as registered with Companies House) of 'Squarepeg' and any other names it may have had in the last five years.

- The registered office of 'Squarepeg'

- The names of the directors (including Company Secretary and Chairman) of 'Squarepeg'

- the name of the CEO or Chief Operating Officer of the company.

Many thanks, -"

I don't suppose you know who Square Peg are do you Kerry?

Glenn Vowles said...

Kerry, you have been mislead by developers, in this post are positively campaigning for the development as it is currently planned and give no thought to any changes people are proposing, whether small or large, either in the whole development or some small part of it. This is close-minded and unwise and its extremely disappointing to know that you do not take a proactive interest this green space in your constituency eg by playing your part in seeing that the proper procedures are gone through. You state,

'I'm told that none of the people who have been opposing the cycle houses on blogs - Chris, Glenn, Adam, Blogger (and yes, we do know who you are) - have been in touch with the developers directly'

This is total rubbish! I'm going to be the third person to say here that I have contacted them directly. I blogged about emailing them and had a letter in the Bristol Evening Post to say I had too! Like the Bristol Blogger I've had zero response and so they do not appear to be open to considering the changes I think are needed in one small part of the development (note one small part). I've also emailed you about this issue and have no response other than from the auto-reply system. I still have no reply from Bristol's Cabinet (Cllr Rosalie Walker) and still wait a council response to a formal complaint I put in about the procedures they have (or rather have not) followed.

It is inaccurate to describe me as an opponent of the cycle house development - I have not been opposing the development as a whole, though it should be preceeded by the formulation of an Area Green Space Plan as is council policy. What I have in fact been doing is calling for, (repeatedly on my blog and previously on you blog Kerry) the scaling back of and change in the plans in one area, the east, in order to avoid the worst damage to wildlife and green area character. I guess it would be in the interests of the developers and perhaps you Kerry to misrepresent the case of opponents on political grounds.

After a heated exchange on one of your previous posts(Back to work) you'll recall making this statement about me 'to be frank I'm fed up with the manner in which you 'demand' answers' because you felt I should wait until after your site visit. What I said to spark this extraordinary reaction from you was this,
'The Bristol Blogger is right that the greenery along the Bristol to Bath Railway Path is described in the Parks and Green Spaces Strategy as significant...so why no Area Green Space Plan and why no Environmental Impact Assessment..'. I note that after your site visit you still dont address the specific points i raised. It is backwards to sell off and plan to build over publicly owned green space without an Area Green Space plan (council policy) first being drawn up is it not?? The relevant EU Directive states that the Environmental Impact Assessment process should be interpreted and applied broadly and yet no EIA has been deemed necessary for these plans - why?? There are wide implications here for how the city deals with green spaces issues and you should be looking into the matter further. I'll email you a copy of this comment because I want to ensure your full and formal response as my MP.

Kerry said...

Chris, I wasn't saying the land they're seeking to purchase was ever part of the factory site - but it should have been if the borders had been drawn in a straight line. There are lots of such anomalies from the days before there was a proper system of land registration.

The 4 storey/ 7 storey housing to which you refer will be on the factory site - and from what I gather, won't be much, if any, higher than existing buildings on there. I think the proposals will enhance use of the cycle path, as people will be able to stop off at the cafe, get their bikes repaired, stop overnight at the hostel. It will also make it safer. And as I've already said, much of hedgerow (which is mostly nettles) will be replaced.

Blogger, why do you particularly want answers to those questions? What do you think they're trying to hide? Isn't it more important to focus on the details of the plans rather than some imagined hidden conspiracy?

But like I said - go down there on the 18th and ask all the questions you want. And then tell me what you think.

Glenn Vowles said...

I wonder if you truly appreciate what wild green space means Kerry. There's a lot more to the area I want to see left undamaged than nettles, not least badgers wandering through and slow worm habitat (both are protected species and badgers have their own Act of Parlaiment). In any case nettles, easily controlled when needed, have a high wildlife value eg to these butterflies: Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell,
Peacock, Comma see
http://www.nettles.org.uk/nettles/wildlife/butterflies.asp.

Glenn Vowles said...

Why did the Nature Conservation Officer from Bristol City Council have such professional concerns about selling off publicly owned land if wildlife value is low Kerry? Its interesting that those who want development to go ahead unquestioned attempt to talk down the local wildlife value! You Kerry say its mostly nettles and in the Evening Post online comments Jenny Gee referred to srubland.

Chris Hutt said...

Kerry, the railway was built long before the Chocolate Factory. The boundary between the two is determined by the land take of the railway which is obviously wider when it is on embankment or cutting than when it is level with the surrounding land.

Therefore the boundary of railway land is rarely a straight line, even if the railway itself was. Speculation about where the boundary would be if it were a straight line is totally irrelevant.

The 4 storey block of flats is over 100 metres from the main factory buildings and the 7 storey tower block, although near an existing factory building, is very much closer to the Path and will therefore have a much greater visual impact. Both are on the Railway Path embankment land and not on the factory land as you say.

As for the facilities to be provided for cyclists, I'm afraid you overstate their importance. They are, in my opinion, only included in an attempt to 'compensate' for the loss of the amenity value of the railway Path rather than to meet any demonstrable need.

There are plenty of cycle shops, cafes and hostels within easy cycling distance (the centre of Bristol is only about 15 minutes away) and, with all due respect, I doubt whether many cycle tourists would regard Greenbank as the preferred destination.

Finally the hedgerow is not "mostly nettles" but mostly mature Hawthorn trees which date from the days of the steam railway. An extension of the same hedgerow threatened by earlier development was regarded by the Council's Nature Conservation Officer and Landscape Officer as worthy of protection due to its value for wildlife and as a landscape feature. The Landscape Officer said that "it is imperative that it be retained".

Kerry, I appreciate that you're doing your best to get the facts on this issue but it's clear that you're not getting them from Squarepeg. You've clearly been misled on many points. May I offer to meet you on the Path to point out some of the realities of Squarepeg's proposals?

thebristolblogger said...

I actually posted the email to demonstrate that at least one aspect of what you were told yesterday wasn't true. Shouldn't that be ringing some alarm bells?

But since you think it's much more important to engage in some inacurate speculation about my motives, here goes:

Blogger, why do you particularly want answers to those questions?

A combination of natural curiosity and the old Watergate advice to "follow the money". It's also known as research, which I appreciate is a dying art in this age of cut and paste press releases and PR-as-news but I'm old-fashioned like that.

What do you think they're trying to hide?

Er, their identities by the look of it.

Isn't it more important to focus on the details of the plans rather than some imagined hidden conspiracy?

There's plenty of people focusing on the plans already so I'm just focusing on what I'm interested in thank you very much. Unlike you, I'm in no position to say, at this stage, whether it's important or not. Certainly in the past I've found this kind of line of enquiry to be quite useful. And as I still live in a free country with a free press I'm certainly not going to have politicians (or anyone else for that matter) dictate to me what are and aren't legitimate areas of research and enquiry.

Insofar as a 'conspiracy' exists here - which simply consists of these developers being reluctant to reveal their identities - it is not imaginary.

Also on the subject of this 'imagined hidden conspiracy' you impute to me, you seem to be equating my simple journalistic enquiry with some sort of mental health problem. This would be insulting if it weren't patently absurd. Especially as over on the other thread you're pleading ignorance over the ownership of Cabot Circus by a Labour Party donor. Now you seem to be saying there's something wrong with people who discover such inconvenient facts.

Kerry said...

Some of these comments highlight one of the problems with blogging. It should be about getting ideas down pretty quickly, rather than writing huge essays on a topic. But the shortcuts that inevitably entails (e.g. use of the word 'opponents' of the plans) then leads to misinterpretation, wilful or otherwise. For the record Glenn, I have no interest in using this blog to denigrate you as a political opponent, because, to be frank, your party doesn't really register on my radar very much. I'm interested in knowing your stance on issues as I do believe that there's a lot more the main political parties could do to promote a green agenda, but I can't see the Green Party ever becoming a significant force in national politics. (Although I think you've got a fair shot whenever that Ashley by-election happens.) I think you could achieve more of your objectives as a pressure group rather than as a political party - but let's not get into that now.

You say I'm actively campaigning for this development. Well, yes, I think it would be a good thing for Greenbank and I'm really happy that this is such a massive improvement on what was proposed before. I am pretty sure I would know if local residents were unhappy - apart from Adam, none of you are local - as they certainly went out of their way to make their feelings known to me last time. And I repeat - we are talking about a short and narrow strip of land, and overall there will be a net gain of green space in the area. Although the plan is for 22 cycle houses, some of them will be built further back - the strip that is to be removed is just to allow an exit/entry point from the path to the development and about 5 cycle houses.


On the other issues, (and any chance you could stop being quite so patronising boys?) I am well aware that nettles aren't just nasty things that sting you but also attract butterflies and the like. I am also well aware that some hawthorn trees would have to be cleared - I was shown the area affected both from above (i.e. from up in the factory building) and from the cycle path. We also discussed the badger issue. And I know a fair bit about badgers habits, having been active in campaigning against a cull. The development wouldn't impinge on the badger sett directly. I am told expert opinion has been sought and they've said the badgers would adapt their routes without too much problem. They're used to this. Happy to seek a second opinion on this though, and will do so.

Surely these are all matters which will be considered by the planning committee anyway? Even if there is no formal EIA? I will check that out. And as for saying I should do this, and should do that Glenn - this is actually a council matter. I'm happy to take an interest, but councillors are elected to represent residents on council matters. Parliament returns on October 6th and you may have noticed that there's going to be rather a lot of urgent business for us to get through!

I would be happy to visit the site with you Chris, provided you're happy for someone from the developers to come along too - otherwise we'll just end up in an endless 'he said, she said' debate. Either on the 18th, or some other time?

Finally, I will take up with Squarepeg as many as possible of the questions you raise here - which you say you've already put to them - and let you know what the responses are.

greeengage said...

On the subject of consultation, according to Squarepeg's Statement of Community Engagement, only 98 people attended the second exhibition (not c. 140 as implied in the Design and Access Statement, or 150 "or so" as you were told).

This is more than nit-picking: the second exhibition is where the plans to build on the contested strip of land were unveiled. And I do think it's significant that the developers exaggerated the numbers by over 50% in their communications with you. There's a worrying flexibility with the facts there and elsewhere, as others have pointed out.

On the local issue - some of the people blogging about this are local, as it happens. But in any case, the cycle path is a resource for Bristol as a whole, so it's entirely appropriate and legitimate for people from outside the area to have a say on this.

The Squarepeg plans may well reflect local wishes better than Persimmon's. But does that really mean that nobody is allowed to criticise any aspect of the development or suggest tweaks? Should we really just be grateful, even if that means allowing them to ride roughshod over the Parks Strategy?

greeengage said...

I have just got an email from Squarepeg (I'm on their email list) and it seems the Open Day on October 18 will be in the Haulingway only.
They make it clear that it will not be possible to look round the rest of the site, so it will not be possible to do a walk around and look at the disputed bits of land.

Chris Hutt said...

Kerry said "the strip that is to be removed is just to allow an exit/entry point from the path to the development and about 5 cycle houses".

Sorry, but that is simply not the case. Squarepeg want to build 12 houses, the 4 storey block of flats, the bike shop and the 7 storey tower block, as well as the access steps, on the length of railway embankment. That is clear from the plans that have been submitted.

When you met with the developers on site there was apparently no question of inviting any of the "objectors" along. Why then should a meeting between you and an objector be conditional on the developers being represented?

thebristolblogger said...

Steve L's posted some photos of the drawings up recently.

This one and this one seem to suggest a little more than "an exit/entry point from the path to the development and about 5 cycle houses."

All the pics can be viewed here.

Kerry said...

Nearly all of that will be built on the existing site.

And it's kind of up to me how I decide I can make best use of my time, isn't it? If you're confident of your case, why not have it out with the developers in front of me?

Glenn Vowles said...

Yes, yes, never mind the Green Party stuff Kerry, I'm sure people said such things about Labour approx 100 yrs ago. You say you dont want to denigrate Greens then do exactly that with your comments! I'm more concerned that you stick to the topic of discussion - these plans and how we decide on green space use...Do you attempt to divert debate because your argument is on weak ground?? After all its pretty reasonable to suggest relatively small adjustments to plans is it not? Looks to me like you are fishing around for genuine points that will actually stick!

I'm not a local in the sense that I live in the same ward but I use the Bristol to Bath Railway Path Kerry, along with many, many others and thus have a stake. Dont forget that there are hundreds of local signatures on a petition too! There are wider issues of decisions on land use too - I became involved in this because I submitted a petition on green space flogging to the council recently. I was told categorically in the council petition response that high quality land in the city would not be sold off and that Area Green Space plans would determine land use/disposal but then news of Railway Path land sale reached me...

I resent the implication that I should, well, basically shut up because its not my business!

With respect to your comments on wildlife: I pointed out the wildlife value of nettles because you, just as others who favour an unmodified development have, attempted to portray the area inaccurately, saying that it was mostly nettles. You should not be thinking about whether the strip of land is small and narrow, that's shortsighted and its certainly not the way what BCCs Nature Conservation Officer looked at it - its part of a valuable wildlife corridor. Its not just scale that makes a green space significant! I welcome there being more green space after the development, which I dont oppose in total, but the problem is that many of these will be isolated pockets. If the plans are modified we could have increased green space area and retention of mature hedgerow and wildlife corridor - a double benefit.

As for what you say about this being a council matter I'm sure you will ackowledge that MPs often play a role(s) in planning applications - facilitating, mediating, liaising, advising...and indeed debating wider but related issues. Some of this you have done/offered and I welcome very much the contact opportunities offered by your blog and the way you approach it (...well, at least if I think you are wrong or stalling... I can say so by commenting...). You spoil it somewhat for yourself when you say/hint that commenters/constituents should not suggest to their MP what they should or should not do or take an interest in and that you are going to be very busy.... Dont you get lobbied or sounded out in all sorts of ways by all sorts of people Kerry?

Terry said...

Thank you Leo Tolstoy.

Kerry said...

Glenn, this is getting a bit ridiculous, isn't it? I was simply responding to something you said, about me misrepresenting the case of opponents on political grounds.

And you're all perfectly entitled to have a view. I've been responding to all of you on here, haven't I? But I am also entitled to point out that there hasn't been the local outcry over the plans that there was with the previous application. Which must mean something.

And as for the MP -vs- councillor bit, I've said I'm perfectly happy to take an interest in this, as witnessed by my site visit, previous meetings with developers, correspondence, blogging, discussion with councillors and council officers, etc, over the past year or two. But when you talk about 'playing your part in seeing that the proper procedures are gone through' - yes, I can correspond with the council about this, and have, and will continue to do so, but councillors are meant to be there to ensure council procedures work properly, and they have more opportunities to do this - e.g. at council meetings, through scrutiny, through questions.

To conclude - I've said I will take up some of the issues you're trying to get answers to, and will seek clarification on those points where you don't agree with what I think I've been told. You have an opportunity to meet the developers on October 18th, and to submit to the consultation by October 22nd and to object to the planning application in the usual way. I don't see there's much point in carrying on with these points in the meantime.

And incidentally - anyone got any idea what Stephen Williams thinks about this? The building won't start until late 2009/ early 2010, and he's hoping to inherit that part of east Bristol at the next election. But can't see any mention of it on his website.

Northern Lights said...

You people need to get out more...

Chris Hutt said...

Kerry said "Nearly all of that will be built on the existing site".

It depends what you call the existing site. We are objecting to the development of the land which forms part of the Railway Path embankment. The tower block in those pictures is on that embankment land.

Kerry also said "If you're confident of your case, why not have it out with the developers in front of me?"

I offered to meet with you on site to clarify where Squarepeg propose to build what, based on their published plans, since Squarepeg themselves have clearly failed to do this themselves. That offer stands.

But I see little point in "having it out with the developers in front of you" as you suggest. Squarepeg are refusing to respond to inquiries as confirmed by no less than three commenters here.

Until such time as they adopt a more responsible attitude to their duty to engage in consultation there's nothing to be gained from staging some kind of confrontation with them.

thebristolblogger said...

Nearly all of that will be built on the existing site.

Yes. But 'the existing site' is currently a park and classified as such by the city council - that's the issue at stake.

(We're just going to go around in ever-decreasing nonsensical circles here aren't we?)

Kerry said...

A park that's had a factory on it since 1901?

Incidentally, they found 4000 litres of chocolate in there just the other day. Don't know how they'd missed that.

Chris Hutt said...

Kerry said "anyone got any idea what Stephen Williams thinks about this? The building won't start until late 2009/ early 2010, and he's hoping to inherit that part of east Bristol at the next election. But can't see any mention of it on his website".

Perhaps you missed that story, but Stephen Williams was not included in the consultations organised on behalf of Squarepeg. In fact they had your friend Paul Smith listed as the "standing Labour MP for Bristol West" instead!

thebristolblogger said...

A park that's had a factory on it since 1901?

The big red building made of bricks is the factory. The green bit running alongside the north east perimeter of the area variously described as a 150m hawthorn bush/nettles/scrub verge is actually park land.

The two areas have two entirely separate histories and have served two entirely separate functions This is reflected in the different status attributed to each area by Bristol City Council among others.

They are not - and never have been one 'site' - as you suggest

Glenn Vowles said...

'...councillors are meant to be there to ensure council procedures work properly...'

Have you not spoken to the local Labour Councillor about this?? He's apparently backing the petition currently signed by hundreds of locals (300 last I heard). This represents pretty significant local concerns does it not??

Does the left hand of Bristol Labour not know what the right hand is doing??

Kerry said...

Yes, I know about the petition. Faruk has spoken to me about it, and also Square Peg mentioned it. But people haven't contacted me, which is what I said. I would urge those who signed the petition to go along on the 18th.

As for one section of the party knowing what the other is doing, I am tempted to say that it's a lot easier for those parties whose entire local membership could fit easily into the proverbial phonebox! But that would be mean...

Kerry said...

As for what Blogger is saying, yes I know - but someone on here (and I really don't have time to wade back through all the previous comments) was suggesting that most of the housing was being built on the green bit. It's not. Most of it as a conversion of the existing factory buildings, and a very sympathetic (in architectural terms) conversion at that.

Glenn Vowles said...

Kerry you say you dont want to denigrate Greens but then (again) do exactly that, here 'local membership could fit easily into the proverbial phonebox'. Do you often say one thing then do another? Do you 'treasure' green space but still favour building over it?

Cheap shots are a sign of weakness not valid, genuine, consistent argument! The green argument is the important bit and you've been unable to contradict anything I've said on this issue at all!

What is unreasonable about seeking modifications to and scaling back of one part of a plan in order to safeguard the wildlife and green character of a valued place?? What is wrong in trying to ensure that the proper processes are gone through??

On valuing Bristol's green spaces do you have the 'consistency' of fellow Bristol Labour member
Councillor Colin Smith who was quoted in the Evening Post as saying of a Site of Nature Conservation Interest in Bedminster:

'It is a green lung for South Bristol to be treasured and it is almost secret.'

Despite, apparently, treasuring the nature site ie valuing as precious, Cllr Smith went on to say,

'I'm going to have to support the employment issue'

to attempt to justify the fact that he had just voted in favour of building over the green space as someone who sits on the relevant planning committee. Sheer hypocrisy!!

confused said...

Glenn

Whilst you are obviously a decent enough chap, you might want to purchase yourself a sense of humour.

Glenn Vowles said...

I think, therefore I'm not an MP.

How's that one for you confused??

Terry said...

Glenn

In all honesty, who's interested in your Andy Warhol vision, when the economy is going down the pan?

sued said...

Kerry, I'm just a bit disappointed that you seem to be emerging as an apologist for Square Peg. I think it would be really good if you were more engaged with the objectors in the local area (your constituency, of which I am one), rather than giving so much time to developers who - whatever the merits or otherwise of their proposal - are trying to build on parkland (size doesn't matter here) for profit.

Glenn Vowles said...

Spot on sued. Why be so fixed on an unchanged development Kerry??

Terry said '...who's interested in your Andy Warhol vision, when the economy is going down the pan?'

Dont know what Warhol has to do with the Green vision... I would think all those looking at the economic chaos (and social and environmental damage) caused by consumer capitalism, pursued keenly by Labour, Tories and Lib Dems alike, would be interested in alternatives like the Greens. Ask voters in Brighton, Norwich, London, Stroud, plus Southville, Ashley and elsewhere in Bristol for instance Terry.

Terry said...

glenn

Perhaps you could help with this one. The govt keep banging on about the environment, cars being one of their targets. Please explain the carnage caused to the planet by AIRCRAFT, I know this is covered up as banning Aeroplanes is a big NO! NO!

Kerry said...

I'm not fixed on anything, and I really don't see how you can accuse me of not engaging with constituents on this - what else have we been blogging about for the past week or more? As I keep saying - go along on the 18th and if you're still unhappy, let me know. I've taken the time to go along, I've got the plans sitting on the desk in front of me at the very moment, I'm taking up a number of issues with the developers, the Council and the Avon Wildlife Trust. If they don't answer the questions satisfactorily, then there is still time to object. But I have to say, I'm quite impressed by what they've put forward so far, and I wouldn't say that unless I thought the development would (a) benefit the Greenbank area and (b) benefit the cycle path and its users. Can't really say more than that!

Kerry said...

PS Terry - this is not the Glenn Vowles blog! It just seems like that sometimes.

This is his site. Off you go!

http://vowlesthegreen.blogspot.com

Terry said...

Yes Mum.

Do I get a biscuit if I go?

Kerry said...

Terry, we're in danger of developing a perverse fondness for you in the constituency office. Any chance of a profile pic?

My staff are convinced you're a Rab C Nesbitt type, complete with beer-stained vest and fag hanging out of your mouth. I'm thinking more a cross between Steve Buscemi and Old Man Steptoe.

Terry said...

Kindly Kerry wrote:

My staff are convinced you're a Rab C Nesbitt type, complete with beer-stained vest and fag hanging out of your mouth. I'm thinking more a cross between Steve Buscemi and Old Man Steptoe.


Kerry

I don't publish photographic material on the web. I am 44, married, four kids, did have a couple of stained teeth, am now as white as Simon Cowell. More like Frank Sinatra I would say Kerry. So just for you Kerry..


Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you're young at heart.
For it's hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you're young at heart.

You can go to extremes with impossible schemes.
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams.
And life gets more exciting with each passing day.
And love is either in your heart, or on it's way.

Don't you know that it's worth every treasure on earth
To be young at heart.
For as rich as you are, it's much better by far
To be young at heart.

And if you should survive to 105,
Look at all you'll derive out of being alive!
And here is the best part, you have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart.

Glenn Vowles said...

Kerry any news from Avon Wildlife Trust, Cllr Rosalie Walker or anyone else you have written to on the cycle houses issue? I was hoping there might be more info around before the deadline for commenting on the planning application is up.

FYI - Cllr Walker still hasn't replied to my initial email and there is clearly disarray at Bristol City Council about my formal complaint about not following their own policy/procedures on green spaces -they have missed the 15 working days for a full and formal response deadline by a long way. If there are answers to my questions why have the council not
supplied them?

thebristolblogger said...

Fear not Vowlsie. The Bristol Blogger will be answering this very question, by the time the weekend's out, with reference to Franz Kafka, Artaud's Theatre of the Absurd and British Repertory Theatre of the 1970s.

You don't get that from yer local MP do you?

Kerry said...

No response unless they've come in this week while I've been in London. Will check tomorrow if I ever manage to leave the Westminster office. It's been a busy week, as you might have guessed from the lack of blogging.

Can I assume, Blogger, that you'll be going along to the consultation event on Saturday? Or are you going to pass judgment on it from the safety of your sofa?

thebristolblogger said...

Oh shit. Artaud's is of course the theatre of cruelty. Beckett is theatre of the absurd, which is more relevant to the LEA.

Kerry said...

Well as an armchair critic, you certainly know your stuff. Do you know this quote?

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

How about getting into the arena occasionally?

Northern Lights said...

In other words - all mouth and no trousers?

Kerry said...

That conjures up images of the Blogger sitting in his armchair, laptop on his knees, no trousers..

Kerry said...

Just by way of an update. I have now waded far enough through the pile of post to discover that we have had a response from SquarePeg. I think the best thing for me to do is to post it on this site, but not tonight! One thing that is worth pointing out that is that people who attend the event at the Chocolate Factory tomorrow WILL be able to view the area near the cycle path affected by these plans; they just won't be able to venture inside the buildings, for health and safety reasons, which seems eminently sensible to me.