January update

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) 2019/20
AGB is the community space organisation for our area for 2019 CIL and section 106 funding. We are hosting a meeting on Monday 11th February at 7.30pm, the Jasper Room, the Chessel Centre to discuss initial projects that could potentially be funded with CIL money. This meeting is open to anyone who is interested in how this funding could be used or has an idea for a project. There is more information about this process here  and we will be sending out updates. This is a key opportunity to make changes in our neighbourhood.

What is CIL?
The Community Infrastructure Levy is a planning charge made by local authorities in England and Wales to help deliver infrastructure to support the development of their area.  Most new development which creates net additional floor space of 100 square metres or more, or creates a new dwelling, is potentially liable for the levy. The charging authority is required to devolve a meaningful proportion of CIL to local communities. The two wards of Bedminster and Southville will receive 15% of the funds resulting from development in their neighbourhood.

What is S106?
S106 enables local authorities to require developers to set aside monies to mitigate the impact of their development.  Unspecified local S106 schemes, where the details of the mitigation and/or the specific location is not determined in the S106 agreement – although the general sort of work is – e.g. ‘park improvements’ or ‘improvements to public transport facilities’ – require Area Committee to come to a decision following public  consultation.

What can CIL and S106 pay for?
CIL can only be used to support the development of the local area by funding the provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure; or anything else that is concerned with addressing the demands that development places on an area.  Local devolved S106 money can only be used as set out in the S106 legal agreement between BCC and the developer.

Library conversations 
The Councils are consulting about how we use libraries. More information about that here. There are two meetings looking at our local libraries on 26th February and 2nd March. You can book here .

Local groups needing volunteers
BS3 Community is looking at how to make our area an all age friendly neighbourhood. As part of this project, Ben Barker is looking for volunteers to join:
– BS3 Street Wardens
– Bedminster Access Group (BAG) This is a group composed of people experienced in moving around the BS3 area with a disability that can act as advisors to projects.  
– Friendly Neighbourhood Social Media Group. A small group using social media to promote the idea of an age friendly community during 2019.

If you are interested in finding out more, please email Ben benbarker@blueyonder.co.uk 

Bedminster Green

Bedminster Green is a six hectare site covering an area which includes St Catherine’s Place and the train station, and  from Malago road/St John’s Lane to Clarke Street with between 1,000 and 1,500 new homes. The framework document for Bedminster Green has been commissioned by the developers and has been drafted by Nash Consulting.The framework consultation can be found here: responses need to be received by midnight on Sunday 13th January. We encourage residents, organisations and businesses to respond to the framework which will have a role in the planning process for this large and complex development. Bedminster Green will have an impact on the whole area, and is just one of many new developments due to be built in our neighbourhood. AGB’s Community Conversation on 8th January brought together community groups and local residents with council officers to look at the draft framework in depth to help everyone make an informed and considered response.

We hope the meeting gave attendees a chance to understand the nature of the development and the framework document, the role the council and planning committee play in the planning process and to consider the fears and hopes they have for the development. 

The session was chaired by Paul Hassan from Locality and hosted by Windmill Hill City Farm. There was a question and answer session with Councillor Nicola Beech, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Spatial Planning and City Design, Councillor Stephen Clarke who sits on one of the planning committees, Neil Sellers from BS3 Planning, Nick Townsend from Windmill Hill and Malago Community Planning Group and Stef Brammar from AGB who sits on the Bedminster Business Improvement District Board. The discussion brought out a number of questions and concerns, many of which were around the timing and nature of the framework and its consultation, the height, density and make up of the blocks on the development (one site will be primarily student flats, another rental properties and the majority are one or two bedroom apartments). Detailed notes from this discussion have been passed on to Cllr Nicola Beech and will be sent to Nash Consulting as part of the response to the consultation.

The workshop session asked attendees to look at priorities for four different aspects of the framework: the nature of the new housing (capacity, affordability, fit, public spaces); community infrastructure needs; accessibility, navigation and transport; leisure and business opportunities. These notes are here. Again, concern was raised over the proposed heights and density of the builds, and the nature of the development as a whole. There was hope that the developers would look at how to create an environment that generated a sense of community, had good green and public spaces and opportunities for local businesses. The impact on local infrastructure, traffic flow and East Street is not yet clear, both during the build and in the longer term.

AGB is not forming its own opinion of the development but will continue to work with local councillors, council officers, community organisations and residents to share information and give opportunities for your voice to be heard. We aim to draft a manifesto for Bedminster Green that will reflect the community’s priorities for it, and develop that into a wider document that can be used in future discussions with developers and the council.