Reverend Rees’s housing tsar, Paul “Wolfie” Smith’s promises to “build communities not just houses” on Hengrove Park have collapsed on first contact with the public.
The recent first round of public consultation in Hengrove found Wolfie’s Major Projects Team openly admit they will be providing NO FACILITIES as part of the development because “THEY ARE ALREADY HERE“. So don’t move there expecting anything other than McDonalds, KFC and Premier Inn to service your needs.
The only public investment planners are agreeing to will be a GP surgery – somewhere – which is already urgently required in the Whitchurch/Hengrove area due to CHRONIC over-subscription of the existing GP service – and more primary school places.
However, there will be NO NEW SCHOOLS. Instead, existing primary schools in the working class area – highly regarded for their leafy and spacious grounds – will be extended and expanded. Conveniently REMOVING playing fields and open space from the schools and leaving more prime development land for corporate developers to transform into high density rabbit hutches (surely exciting sustainable housing in the ‘Bristol Vernacular’ style? Ed.).
The highlight of this major development shambles, mainly designed to place large sums of cash into corporate developers coffers, however, is the plan to SHUT the recently opened Family Cycling Centre on the old Whitchurch Athletics Track and build a main access road over it!
Not only does this plan DEMOLISH one of the few public facilities still allowed in the area, it also demonstrates Bristol City Council’s real level of commitment to so-called “sustainable transport” and “active travel” once the hard cash for corporates is on the table.
The council’s current Quality of Life Survey lists the number of commuters cycling to work in the area as ZERO PER CENT while 60 per cent use their car. And car use will only increase once Wolfie throws up 2,000 extra homes with car parking spaces. Why would anyone want to promote cycling here?
Residents in and around Bamfield in Whitchurch are especially up in arms since their residential road is set to become the MAIN VEHICLE ACCESS to all this new housing. Thousands of vehicles will be encouraged to drive down Bamfield every day and then drive directly over the ex-running track to access Wolfie’s new “community”. Locals predict traffic chaos and say the level of congestion and pollution likely to be generated by this plan is “HUGE“.
Meanwhile, the obvious road access to the development, directly off Hengrove Way – a MAIN TRUNK ROAD specifically designed for heavy traffic – will be buses only and blocked to private cars!
Who thinks this shit up?
So just like every Tory Councillor he purports to loathe, Paul Smith (and the aimless Marvin Rees) are all about the money and not the people. It’s amazing what power does to people isn’t it. Hell yes, let’s shut down a busy, well-loved cycling centre opened just a year ago that helps keep children safe on our already over-congested roads. Oh and let’s not forget that it’s used by a great many disabled children that simpy can’t ride on our roads. Consider my Labour support and membership cancelled.
Cancelled my Labour Membership to over Wolfie’s undemocratic activities! It seems being Homes and Communities Member is actually a clash of interests if by building Communities you mean places that people actually want to live in!
Wolfie’s Cabinet Home building activities means putting homes over existing Children’s playgrounds, green space and paths and shoe horning as many homes as possible with a 11 storey block of flats! This is proposed for an already densely populated Redcliffe Estate with 2 12 storey tower blocks nearby and needless to say with a Private Developer rubbing his hands! Wolfie is obviously pushing the Developer to go large on Council Land, being given it seems for free to the Developer. Welcome to the Labour created Ghetto of Redcliffe, once a garden estate!