Disquiet over the Reverend Rees’s plans to ‘transform’ the Cumberland Basin and its aging 1960s road system into ‘Western Harbour’, a GLOBAL CITY HIGH RISE HELL, in the shadow of Clifton Suspension Bridge is growing. A ‘public engagement’ on the gruesome plan, while everyone was away on holiday in August, led to an OUTCRY after it emerged that the Reverend was consulting the public on just THREE of the ten proposals he had received from his consultants, Arup. The remaining seven proposals remain SECRET.
The three proposals the Reverend deemed suitably “transformational” all involve DEMOLISHING the existing road system to “RELEASE LAND FOR DEVELOPMENT“. All three lack detail – just pink lines on a map indicating where any new road system may go – while potentially having A HUGE IMPACT on surrounding communities and the landscape around the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Concerns are also emerging about the involvement of The ENGLISH CITIES FUND (ECF) in any plans. ECF is a joint venture between HOMES ENGLAND, LEGAL & GENERAL and MUSE DEVELOPMENTS. Which raises questions about the role and independence of the Reverend’s semi-detatched £1,500 a day regeneration chief, our old friend COLIN “Head Boy” MOLTON, who will have had a major influence on any plans.
Head Boy was chief exec at HOMES ENGLAND – when it was the Housing
and Communities Agency – until he joined Bristol City Council on a unique TAX EFFICIENT PAY ARRANGEMENT in 2017
and immediately cut a secretive, unminuted deal, on behalf of the council, with
LEGAL & GENERAL. A deal handing
these developers the land at Arena Island should the arena be cancelled.
Remarkably, this is the SECOND TIME Head Boy has been involved in cancelling an arena at the Arena Island site as he happened to be Executive Director of Operations & Development at the SOUTH WEST REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (SWRDA) in 2007 when they cancelled their plans for an arena on the site that they then owned.
Head Boy left the SWRDA in 2008 to become director at the South and South West Region of the HCA (now HOMES ENGLAND). By remarkable coincidence, with the winding up of the SWRDA by the Tories in 2011, the Arena Island site was transferred to the HCA. In early 2015, Molton’s HCA, handed the site to Bristol City Council to build an arena and then Molton PITCHED UP at Bristol City Council in 2017 to work for the Reverend. He immediately set to work CANCELLING an arena and negotiating his sweetheart deal with LEGAL & GENERAL to hand them the site for an unispiring, if highly profitable, mixed use development.
Head Boy is now being thrown out of the job he never went through a competitive recruitment process for at Bristol City Council. But will the man, who lists his address with Companies House as Donington Le Heath, Leicestershire, continue to take a personal, proprietorial interest in ANOTHER VALUABLE PIECE OF PUBLIC LAND in Bristol?
Watch this space.