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Crunch month : Giant Sainsbury planning consent called in and Town Green ratified, or not.

May 24, 2011

All the hours and years of work either by overpaid consultants and developers or voluntary graft by dedicated citizens, comes down to the wire and gets the nod or not by the slender choice of a select few.
Its not unreasonable to hope that the decisions made by the elected political animals are truly independent and impartial when it comes to planning issues of major importance.
But then why should they be impartial? We are all only human and can be easily swayed by the multitude of social pressures and financial funding that makes our society function.
The political system has been moulded and shaped by the patronage of the historic aristocratic gentry and the modern autocratic wealthy elite. The current mega-rich elite are not shy of supporting political parties to further their own aims or gain political leverage, why should they be, it works.
Sainsburys as posted previously, has poured money into the political coffers of whatever party happens to be favoured or in power. MiLord Sainsbury himself bought his way into nothing less than a Blair ministerial position with barely a vote being cast. Just listen to what the Labour fundraiser M’Lord Levy says about it:
“People who have had success in life are the ones who can write out larger cheques,” he told the inquiry. “Very few have purely altruistic reasons. They are driven.”
“They wanted to meet the leader… does that give them access that they can use inappropriately? I think not… I never made a promise to anyone.”  link

That’s entirely true Mr Levy, he’s saying that no one can trust him and why should we disagree? It’s a nice thought that the millions that Sainsbury poured into Labour coffers may finally backfire, as the Tory gov. call in the appalling giant Sainsbury decision for Ashton Gate. But even though the Sainsbury oligarch is now bleating in public that political parties should be state funded, I doubt that any politician would have the balls or whatever to upset the new wealthy elite.

And so the greed money is on Sainsbury getting the nod from the system that we’ve become accustomed to: the patronage is rewarded even if not from any direct promises then from the fear of refusal and the consequent ire and backlash of the monster greed merchants who will bellyache that they haven’t been treated with the respect and consideration that their millions deserve.

Nuclear Power Station, Extra Airport Runway, Giant Hypermarket Ashton Gate, its never the wealthy elite or the politician who has to live with them AND next door to them.

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28 Comments
  1. Richard Lane permalink
    May 24, 2011 9:42 pm

    Sacredspring

    You are correct when saying “Its not unreasonable to hope that the decisions made by the elected political animals are truly independent and impartial when it comes to planning issues of major importance.
    But then why should they be impartial? We are all only human and can be easily swayed by the multitude of social pressures and financial funding that makes our society function”.
    We have both eluded to this in past planning applications.
    I was challenged by Tony on this very subject, to prove how his massaging of figures helped to sway the first decision towards refusal.

    Tony
    The fabricated figures I referred to, were the final figures you used after they had been massaged and not the ones from the assessments.
    You have taken the lowest estimation of sales for the existing store (by GVA) and used the store average from Sainsbury’s for the higher figure. Obviously taking these figures from either end of that spectrum resulted in a larger retail impact figure, one you’d like people to believe. There are other uses of figures taken from other sources, some from the original Tesco application, I believe. It appears they were included to further confuse a muddled presentation.
    You use telephone surveys when it suits your arguments. The GVA study took results from it’s phone survey which was regionalised, it included people from as far away as, Street in Somerset to Stroud in Gloucestershire. Yet at one point in the past you slated the WYG (Sainsbury’s) assesment for being conducted locally, this is likely to be more accurate and reflect the local trading turnover than the one you chose, when collating your figures.

    You then produced your own estimation of figures based entirely on those manipulated figures.
    Claiming that five times as many shops would close and five times as many jobs would be lost. But the thing was, there was no actual figure for possible job losses or shop closures. So how could you assess this as accurately as you predicted? The truth is, you yourself used the same biassed method of presenting figures, that you accuse the developers of using.
    On one hand you state that the retail assessors were well respected, yet you manage to find fault with their assessments, and come up with a retail impact figure £9m higher than the highest assesment figure of those respected company’ s and five times higher than the one accepted by the planners, Strange!
    As you explain in your statement, retail assessment is both a science and an art. You have chosen to present it in art form, one that mirrors a Picasso.

  2. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    May 25, 2011 10:27 am

    If the “facts and figures” are so important to the final decision, how come in both situations the ctte. members went against the conclusions of there own planning team? Also, when Tony or Pip, or Sexton or the Brighton owner get up to have their say, are the ctte. really surprised at the way their arguements go. All this no preconceived views is nonsence in a case so contenscious and widely publicised as this. Outside pressures are at work and we all know it!

  3. harryT permalink
    May 25, 2011 2:23 pm

    Oh dear Richard. Here we go again.

    How many times does Tony Dyer have to take you apart and show your comments to be dishonest and fictional.

  4. Richard Lane permalink
    May 25, 2011 7:02 pm

    Harry T

    Oh dear! How many times do you comment but actually fail to comment, yet another attack on the poster but again, nothing of substance.
    Tony Dyer has never, taken me apart as you put it. He has frequently misrepresented things with his clever use of figures. An example from the Dyer use of figure manual= 30,000 houses are required for Bristols housing needs. 10,000 have already been built or are under construction, 10,000 have been planned or have sites allocated for them. This according to Tony means that, only another 10,000 houses need to be built and not 20,000. This misrepresentation of figures may have fooled one as simple as you but not me.

    Just for the record, what is dishonest and fictional about my comment? Please clarify

    Paul
    You are correct, the committee all know the content of peoples statements prior to the meeting. That’s how Simon Rayner was able to have his sums prepared (using Tony’s) figures and his questions already prepared for the council officers using those figures.
    I believe they have the plans and statements to study long before each meeting.
    The purpose of those statements is surely, so that the public can see the arguments put by both parties.

  5. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    May 25, 2011 7:21 pm

    But it makes no difference if the public see the arguments or not. Were the arguments really so different from the first hearing to the second. What changed was the make-up of the ctte. Nothing to do with the arguments.

  6. Richard Lane permalink
    May 25, 2011 7:42 pm

    Paul

    I believe that the issues are only contencious because of the way the media have hyped it up, for their own gain, It sells papers and getslisteners/viewers. The reality of the situation can be seen by viewing how many people are actually involved in either side. An example of the levels can be seen by looking at the petitions, for and against the TVG. They both have signatures from outside of the area, yet one has only 1,200 and the other over 30,000. I am not gloating about those figures, I am merely pointing out that, if it were so contencious, why are so few people represented in the, for a TVG petition, being that it is so well publicised.
    No matter what the criticism of the press from objectors to the stadium and Sainsbury’s, there has been a good if not dispraportionate representation of their views in the media coverage, mainly due to the opponents enthusiasm for their cause.
    The reality is that, there is not the level of opposition that is portrayed by this media coverage or the opponents themselves. Only those of certain beliefs or for their own gain, bother to join in, in my honest opinion.

  7. Richard Lane permalink
    May 25, 2011 7:53 pm

    Paul

    You are correct again, the only thing that changed was the committee. That committee took the issues as a whole and not just about the supermarket. They allowed themselves to realise that there were far more important issues than a supermarket at stake.
    Obviously there was the finance towards the stadium but there was also the release of land at the existing site for housing, the other associated developments, which went hand in hand with the stadium and the investment into the area which would be lost without that scheme.
    These are old arguments but the consequence of no new stadium would be an opportunity lost for the whole city. And that is why I believe they passed the application.

  8. Tony Dyer permalink
    May 25, 2011 8:23 pm

    “He has frequently misrepresented things with his clever use of figures. An example from the Dyer use of figure manual= 30,000 houses are required for Bristols housing needs. 10,000 have already been built or are under construction, 10,000 have been planned or have sites allocated for them. This according to Tony means that, only another 10,000 houses need to be built and not 20,000. This misrepresentation of figures may have fooled one as simple as you but not me.”

    Richard, why do you continue to perpetuate this claim?

    I never said that only 10,000 houses were still to be built and to continue to claim that I did is simply dishonest.

    The figures I provided were taken directly from Bristol City Council’s Core Strategy (publication version November 2009) document which is still available on the city council website. What those figures show in regards to the Housing supply position at 31st March 2009 is as follows;

    Completions 2006-09 = 7,037
    Sites with planning permission or agreed subject s.106 = 12,510
    Additional supply identified = 10,453
    TOTAL 30,000

    I provided those figures to counter your claim that not only were there still 30,000 houses to be built but also your claim that many of those would be built in areas relatively close to the proposed new supermarket (an attempt by you to justify its construction).

    Furthermore, you claimed that 30,000 houses meant that Bristol’s population would increase by 90,000. A ratio of 3 occupants for every house.

    When I pointed out that the Office of National Statistics website had data showing that occupancy levels for 3 per dwelling had not been seen in this country since the 60’s, you denied this and claimed that you had taken the occupancy level of an up to date website.

    It was only when I asked you to provide a link to the website that you, after a period of sulking, then began to claim that i had said there were only 10,000 houses still to be built.

    For somebody who claims they never knowingly lie, you tell a considerable number of untruths. As others have demonstrated.

  9. Tony Dyer permalink
    May 25, 2011 8:41 pm

    “The fabricated figures I referred to, were the final figures you used after they had been massaged and not the ones from the assessments.”
    So, despite the fact that the assessments themselves produce widely differing figures, you are happy that they are correct?
    “You have taken the lowest estimation of sales for the existing store (by GVA)”
    In my submission, I provided the figures both from WYG (who were, to use the words of Bruno Moore from Sainsburys, “batting for Sainsburys) and from GVA (who had been commissioned independently by the City Council to produce a retail study of South Bristol). WYG have since revised their figures downwards. In any case you have just said that the figures from the assessments are not fabricated.
    “and used the store average from Sainsbury’s for the higher figure.”
    Yes, it seems likely that Sainsburys will have a better idea of what their average store turnover is based on actual sales compared to figures produced via telephone surveys based on customer estimates.
    “Obviously taking these figures from either end of that spectrum resulted in a larger retail impact figure, one you’d like people to believe.”
    Except I didn’t take the figures from either end of the spectrum. The estimated turnover figure for the new store based on Sainsbury’s own figures was £58.4m, whereas the spectrum was from £49.4m to £64.9m. This was than compared to the independent GVA figures to show what the potential retail impact was likely to be.
    “There are other uses of figures taken from other sources, some from the original Tesco application, I believe. It appears they were included to further confuse a muddled presentation.”
    So having falsely accused me of using figures from opposite ends of the spectrum, you now complain that I provided the figures to demonstrate what the spectrum of potential retail impact figures might be. If it was such a muddled presentation it makes me wonder why almost a year later you still bring it up.
    “You use telephone surveys when it suits your arguments.”
    You’re complaining that I used the same methods that was used by those applying for planning permission? How very stange.
    The most accurate way of establishing what the turnover of the existing Sainsburys store was, would have been for Sainsburys to allow an independent analysis of the actual turnover figures for the store. They refused to do this. Instead the evidence supporting their claims about the retail impact of the new store was almost entirely based on telephone surveys.
    Telephone surveys are by their very nature inaccurate, and can lead to very differing results depending on what questions are asked, the size of the survey, and how the results are interpreted.
    Sainsburys used telephone surveys because it suited their arguments. When I demonstrate how inaccurate this method is by showing the widely differing results from different telephone surveys you accuse me of trying to “confuse a muddled presentation”.
    However, the one thing that the original telephone surveys did tell us is that not a single individual who used the existing Sainsburys complained about it being overcrowded or congested. Yet apparently it was overtrading by 24% (later reduced to 15%).
    “The GVA study took results from it’s phone survey which was regionalised, it included people from as far away as, Street in Somerset to Stroud in Gloucestershire.”
    No it didn’t. You have mixed up the GVA study which studied the South Bristol Retail market, with the DTZ study which studied the entire Bristol Retail market. It was this latter study which used, along with other methods, a telephone survey covering the area you refer to.
    “Yet at one point in the past you slated the WYG (Sainsbury’s) assesment for being conducted locally, this is likely to be more accurate and reflect the local trading turnover than the one you chose, when collating your figures.”
    I have no recollection of slating WYG’s assessment for being conducted locally. In terms of the catchment area identified by WYG, I seem to recall that it was you that made a lot of claims about the new store serving the communities of North West Bristol along the Portway. As this area was outside the area where the WYG assessment was conducted it would appear that you were the one implying that there were inadequacies with the assessment area chosen by WYG.
    Both myself and the council’s own independent retail experts suggested that the previous assessment conducted for Tesco by NLP was inadequate in that it covered too small an area and allocated too great a percentage of turnover outside the area covered. This was accepted by WYG who included the results of a retail study covering part of North Somerset and commissioned a new one of the South Bristol fringe/Chew Valley to inform the Sainsburys application – the latter an area which you yourself had dismissed as not likely to use the store (probably because access to the store would be via the congested Parson Street gyratory which in your traffic expert mode, you had said would not be affected).
    “You then produced your own estimation of figures based entirely on those manipulated figures.”
    My “estimation of figures” were the result of simple arithmetic based on the figures taken from the surveys, figures that you have already said at the beginning of your post were not fabricated. It is a simple task of taking estimates for average turnover per square foot and mulitplying them by the floorspace proposed for the new store. If you want me to, I can provide you with the source figures for the turnover per square foot and you can then do the maths yourself if you want. It’s hard to manipulate basic maths but if anyone can do it, my money is on you.
    “Claiming that five times as many shops would close and five times as many jobs would be lost. But the thing was, there was no actual figure for possible job losses or shop closures. So how could you assess this as accurately as you predicted?”
    If, as officers predicted, shops were likely to close under the retail impact figure produced by the applicants, it seems reasonable that if the retail impact figure is actually five times higher than the number of shops closing would also be five times higher. If, as officers predicted, jobs were likely to be lost due the retail impact estimated by the applicants, then again, it seems reasonable that five times as many jobs would be lost if that retail impact was five times higher. Whatever the level of accuracy of the original estimates of the results of the impact, a five times higher impact is likely to have a five times higher effect. It’s called a reasonable corelation.
    “The truth is, you yourself used the same biassed method of presenting figures, that you accuse the developers of using.”
    Yes that is correct, the methodology used by the developers to estimate the retail impact is flawed (in fact, you yourself made that comment about the DPDS survey that recommended rejection of the Tesco proposal). Instead of telephone surveys, Sainsburys should have been asked to allow an independent assessment of the actual turnover figures, and then this could be compared against an estimate of the future stores turnover (based on Sainsburys own reported average turnover for their stores rather than third party guestimates). Unless they were willing to do this, planning permission should not have been forthcoming. In fact, the developers behind the stadium were asked to provide access to their development appraisal, so that it could be assessed by GVA Grimley. As a result the original estimate of a £50m shortfall by the developers was reduced to a breakeven estimate by the council’s own independent experts..

    “On one hand you state that the retail assessors were well respected, yet you manage to find fault with their assessments, and come up with a retail impact figure £9m higher than the highest assesment figure of those respected company’ s and five times higher than the one accepted by the planners, Strange!”
    Strange indeed Richard. Stranger still is that within six months the original £4.5m retail impact figures produced by the developers would more than double to £9.7m. Part of the reason for this was that they revised the estimated turnover of the new store up to £53.3m. Meanwhile GVA estimated the turnover of the existing store at £35.4m. You do the maths. When GVA were queried about why, after having criticised WYG’s retail assessment, they then used WYG’s own higher estimate of the existing store’s turnover they responded that they “are both estimates, based on the date from different household survey and there is no evidence to prefer one over the other”. In other words, the retail impact might be £9.7m or it might be £17.9m.
    “As you explain in your statement, retail assessment is both a science and an art. You have chosen to present it in art form, one that mirrors a Picasso.”
    Whereas in your case you prefer painting by numbers but only those numbers that suit your needs.

  10. Richard Lane permalink
    May 25, 2011 9:09 pm

    Tony Dyer

    “Richard, why do you continue to perpetuate this claim?” Answer because it is the truth. Surprisingly it is no longer available on your site to view. This is not surprising when you consider the depths you go to to try and win an argument.

    “The figures I provided were taken directly from Bristol City Council’s Core Strategy (publication version November 2009) document which is still available on the city council website. What those figures show in regards to the Housing supply position at 31st March 2009 is as follows;”
    Those figures may have been provided by the council, it was you that used those figures to claim only 10,000 house were still to be built. You use these figures and the other references to put a smokescreen over your untruths.

    Further more, I did not claim that there were (still) 30,000 houses to be built, I stated that there were requirementss for those houses to be built, I was referring to past media coverage That actual number varied with each report and government policy change. As time elapsed some houses had already been built, but the requirement at the time of our discusion was still, for more than 20,000 +. Not as you claimed that there was already 20,000 and only 10,000 still to be built.

    Nobody has proven that I have ever lied, this is because I have not. You say I have told untruths as you put it. Now prove it.
    Would you swear in a court of law that you never made the statement about the house building requirement being only 10,000? I will.

    You claim I made statements with figures of 90,000 increase in population. I actually made references to approximate increases. I could only estimate using available data after all.

    Your statement: “It was only when I asked you to provide a link to the website that you, after a period of sulking, then began to claim that i had said there were only 10,000 houses still to be built.” This is laughable for the following reason.
    Our whole discusion was about your claim regarding the amount of housing still to be built, made in response to my statement that some 30,000 houses were required. This is obvious really, why else would we be discussing occupancy levels before your claim about the housing requirements?

  11. harryT permalink
    May 25, 2011 9:11 pm

    “Tony Dyer has never, taken me apart as you put it.”

    He has just done it again Richard.

    He has done it so many times to you that I know in advance that anything you write on the topic will be proved false. Why do you bother ?

  12. Richard Lane permalink
    May 25, 2011 9:34 pm

    Tony

    Blimey that was a long one! virtually irrelevent again, as it only shows how figures are manipulated by both sides and how easy it is to get confused by this or that survey, cue the point scoring and snide remarks.

    Why did you not use the Sainsbury average sales to calculate the existing stores sales and then compare it with the national average, instead of comparing different sources of figures? I would assume this was possible for you and would have been a more accurate portrayal, or did you not want that?
    Please provide the figures and I will calculate them to obtain the retail impact based on those figures. I do agree that actual trading figures would have been more acceptable.
    Having said that, they enabled you to delay the decision for a while, perhaps you should be grateful.

    “If it was such a muddled presentation it makes me wonder why almost a year later you still bring it up.” Because it is part of the topic under debate and it shows, as with this latest presentation how easy it is to bore someone into agreeing with you.

    “Whereas in your case you prefer painting by numbers but only those numbers that suit your needs”. Not as good as the picasso qoute IMHO.

  13. Richard Lane permalink
    May 25, 2011 9:55 pm

    Harry T

    As I said before, you are easily fooled.
    Now where is this proof of my so called fictional dishonest statements you have claimed.
    Once more you have failed miserably, to come up with a single jot to prove your childish claims.

  14. Tony Dyer permalink
    May 25, 2011 10:02 pm

    “Surprisingly it is no longer available on your site to view. This is not surprising when you consider the depths you go to to try and win an argument.”

    Richard,

    My site is still there, nothing has been removed from it.

    It appears you cannot remember what website the conversation took place on. It was on the Berate site. I do not, and never have had, access to that site. I will ask around and see if anybody knows if it is possible to get it online again.

    “Would you swear in a court of law that you never made the statement about the house building requirement being only 10,000? I will.”

    I will be more than happy to swear in a court of law that I never claimed that there were only 10,000 houses still to be built. Why would I make that claim when I regularly attended meetings with the Bristol Development Framework that contributed to the Core Strategy itself?

    As for discussing occupancy levels, we were discussing occupancy levels because you had claimed the a giant supermarket was needed because the building of 30,000 houses would mean that 90,000 people would need somewhere to shop including about 30,000 in south Bristol. That was when I referred to the Core Strategy figures and the fact that your occupancy figures were 40 years out of date.

    Tonight, in your haste to respond, you have just admitted that I used the figures from the Core Strategy document. Those figures again:

    Completions 2006-09 = 7,037
    Sites with planning permission or agreed subject s.106 = 12,510
    Additional supply identified = 10,453

    Yet you also claim, that at the same time as providing you with those figures, I said that “10,000 have already been built or are under construction, 10,000 have been planned or have sites allocated for them. This according to Tony means that, only another 10,000 houses need to be built and not 20,000.”

    Tell me Richard, why would I make that claim whilst at the same time providing you with the actually figures showing that 7,037 had been built, 12,510 had planning permission or subject to s.106, and that 10,453 were still to be identified.

    How stupid do you think I consider you to be?

    As for swearing in a court of law. Will you swear in a court of law that you never claimed that 30,000 houses meant a population increase of up to 90,000? Or that you had taken the relevant occupancy level figures of 3.0 per house from an up to date website?

  15. Tony Dyer permalink
    May 26, 2011 7:26 am

    “cue the point scoring and snide remarks”

    What you mean like this?

    “using fabricated figures”
    ” massaged and compiled by herr Dyer”
    “muddled presentation”
    “has frequently misrepresented things”
    “the Dyer use of figure manual”
    “depths you go to to try and win an argument”
    “a smokescreen over your untruths.”
    “virtually irrelevent again”
    “how easy it is to bore someone into agreeing with you”

    The reality is that you like to point score (or at least try) and sprinkle your posts with snide remarks as much as anyone else. And when I bother to take the time to unpick your claims and explain why they are wrong, you then complain that my response is over-long and designed to “bore someone into agreeing with you” or that the post is “virtually irrelevant”.

    It seems to me that if you state 2+2=5 and somebody comes alongs and explains to you why 2+2=4, you automatically resort to claiming that you are being picked upon, rather than recognise that you have simply had your error corrected.

    “Why did you not use the Sainsbury average sales to calculate the existing stores sales and then compare it with the national average, instead of comparing different sources of figures?”

    Just to remind you that you complained about my use of figures taken from other sources saying that they “were included to further confuse a muddled presentation”. Now you appear to be complaining that I didn’t provide more of them!

    The reason why I didn’t use the average sales figures for the existing store were twofold;
    1) The applicants had already claimed that the existing store was over-trading by 24% so if I had used the national average, they (and people like you) would have said that the figures were irrelevant because I had failed to take this into account.
    2) GVA’s figures were attained using similar methods as that used by WYG but had come up with a turnover figure that was £8m different. This could not be dismissed by saying “you are comparing different methodologies” and it further highlighted the problem with telephone surveys which was an underlying theme of my submission. More importantly, the GVA figures came from a retail study commissioned specifically by the council to inform retail development in South Bristol but which was then largely ignored. The council belatedly turned to GVA and the considerable work they had done to assess the second Sainsbury’s application. As a result, planning officers changed their recommendation based on the more detailed analysis of retail impact provided – analysis that had simply not been available to DPDS who had been consulted on the first Sainsburys application.

    “Please provide the figures and I will calculate them to obtain the retail impact based on those figures.”

    I will hunt up the figures for you. However, they are all available online or as part of the planning documentation so you could quite easily source them yourself. In fact, if you spent a bit of time reviewing the actual documentation it might save me having to bore you with yet another long post in the future.

  16. Richard Lane permalink
    May 26, 2011 9:23 am

    Tony

    It appears we are going over old ground in these discusions. You say: “I will be more than happy to swear in a court of law that I never claimed that there were only 10,000 houses still to be built. Why would I make that claim when I regularly attended meetings with the Bristol Development Framework that contributed to the Core Strategy itself?” You made that claim prior to bringing up any core strategy figures, it was made in a general discussion about housing requirements for south Bristol. Your inclusion of those figures was at a later date in the discussion. You made the claim to counter my claim that more retail outlets would be needed to cater for the population increases. Those population increases are still occuring.

    I am not complaing that you did not use more figures in your presentation, I am saying that it would have been less confusing and a more accurate reflection of reality if you had used the same format for assesing those figures. Such as comparing both the proposed and existing figures for the store with each other, using the company average. You instead chose to incude figures from many other surveys, including one from south Glos. I believe that this method was not used, as it would not have produced the dramatic effect you were trying to achieve. It would not have given you the figures of up to five times as many shops closing and people losing their employment, the ones you used in your scaremongering tactical predictions based on those figures.

    As for snide remarks, you have taken a toungue in cheek comment (Herr Dyer)from a different topic which was not directed at you, added it to non personal remarks and responses to your original personaly insulting way of responding to my comments. It’s like your figures. You’ve taken and fabricated them from text to present a different picture from reality.
    At the last Sainsbury meeting you aproached me and offered an appology for the personal comments you had made towards me. It appears you still like to make them.
    You have a knack of changing what I have said, all be it very slightly, then changing it a little more, by which time it appears that I have said something completely different.

    If the statements you made were indeed on the Berate site, I can’t wait for them to be found, if possible.

    You ask “As for swearing in a court of law. Will you swear in a court of law that you never claimed that 30,000 houses meant a population increase of up to 90,000? Or that you had taken the relevant occupancy level figures of 3.0 per house from an up to date website?”
    I would swear that I took my information from a website that gave me that figure, Yes. Whether it was using up to date data I don’t know, as I said at the time I could no longer find it. I used the same search technique but to no avail. We then used the same figures to assess the population increase, which would have been anything up to 86,000 for Bristol. Depending on how many houses were required, when the list was compiled and at what occupancy levels were being used, which differs with each development, all of which were being changed on what appeared to be a weekly basis.

    “So having falsely accused me of using figures from opposite ends of the spectrum, you now complain that I provided the figures to demonstrate what the spectrum of potential retail impact figures might be”
    I did not falsely accuse you, I did accuse you. This is another example of your twisting things. You would probably then go on to say, so after wrongly accusing me you then such and such. Some may be fooled by this use of chinese whispers but I’m not.
    I await your next appology.

  17. The Oracle permalink
    May 26, 2011 9:25 am

    Tony Dyer – are you denying you speak incoherently? Have you watched yourself back? You are a mumbling bumbling speaker. So to describe anything presented by you as muddled is wholly accurate.

  18. May 26, 2011 10:12 am

    Richard Lane-you just got pwnd (v.domination or humiliation of a rival), Tony dishes out a hiding.
    The Oracle- empty vessel with no content. What did you say at the planning meetings then? You can explain all here if you unable to do so at the public meetings.

  19. Paul Browning permalink
    May 26, 2011 11:20 am

    As somebody who followed it with interest, I remember the debate between Tony Dyer and Richard Lane on the Berate website.

    Tony Dyer had commented that the housing target for Bristol had been reduced from 36,500 down to 30,000.

    Richard Lane then produced his figures that 30,000 houses including 10,000 in South Bristol, meant that there would be 86,000 to 90,000 extra people in Bristol and where would they all shop?

    Tony Dyer then provided the figures from the Core Strategy which showed that about 7,000 houses had been built by March 2009. He then pointed out that about 12,500 already had planning permission, and that some of those had probably been built as well since March 09 had been and gone.

    Where I think that Richard Lane has confused himself is that Tony Dyer then said that there were only 10,453 houses left to be built for which sites had not been identified. In other words that although there were about 20,000 houses still to be built, we knew where about half of those would be sited, which meant sites still had to be found for about 10,000. He then pointed out that, in South Bristol, most of those had provisionally been allocated to Knowle West and Hengrove Park, and thus would be best served by a new store in that area rather than one at Ashton Gate.

    I can only assume that Richard Lane read the first bit of what Tony Dyer said “10,453 houses left to be built” but for whatever reason, left off the end of the sentence which said “for which sites had not been identified”. Whether this was deliberate by Richard Lane in order to misrepresent what Tony Dyer had said, or simply an honest mistake only Richard Lane can clarify.

  20. The Oracle permalink
    May 26, 2011 1:16 pm

    sacredspring – I’m happy with my contributions to the meetings. I wasn’t the one resembling a gibbering gibbon.

  21. Deano permalink
    May 26, 2011 2:04 pm

    Hey look everybody, Will is back. Sorry I mean Bryan, or was it Lance?

    Love the new identity. Shame it’s still used by the same shallow youth!

  22. The Oracle permalink
    May 26, 2011 3:57 pm

    Deano – I’m not Will. Fact. I know of him. And Lance wasn’t him either.

  23. The Oracle permalink
    May 26, 2011 4:05 pm

    Sainsbury’s not called in too. Shame. 😉

  24. The Oracle permalink
    May 26, 2011 4:06 pm

    Well shame in that it denies the opportunity of more bumbling mumbling.

  25. May 26, 2011 4:08 pm

    I guess a pint of Old Dogsbollox that oracle was the simpering seagull from Brighton.

    Hear down the bush telegraph that the Con-Dem government have bottled out of calling in the crooked Sainsburys decision. Don’t want to upset the party donors. Kerching they’re all cashed in together, tax dodgers greed merchants and dodgy politicians.

  26. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    May 26, 2011 6:40 pm

    It’s a shame we judge the message in the way it’s presented instead of it’s content and meaning. Thats how we ended up with the “slick” disaster that was Blair, but thats another subject. At the end of the day, if we are talking about Sainsburys, the dye was cast well before any presentations were made. At the end of this whole saga, whichever way it goes, there are two issues that will always trouble me. The virtual giving of public land to a private company, and the fact there has been no inquiry into why so many cllrs. refused to take part in the planning process. To add insult to injury on the former point, we had Vince Cable making a big play as to how he intended to crack down on those who avoided or evaded paying tax in this country. Was Barbara Janke asleep at the time? History shows that politicians have this very bad habit of gravitating towards power and money, and more recently celebrity, and yet claim we can bring democracy to the World. Perhaps we should get our own house in order before we preach too much to others!

  27. Tony Dyer permalink
    May 26, 2011 7:43 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I don’t think anybody really expected Eric Pickles to call-in the decision, certainly not if it meant over-turning the decision to build a supermarket. Overturning a decision to refuse a bio-fuels plant or the burying of radio-active waste in a landfill site – that’s another matter.

    I have seen a copy of the letter sent by the National Planning Casework Unit (who handle referrals to the Secretary of State) to Bristol City Council and it says that “he will, in general, only call in applications if planning issues of more than local importance are involved”.

    So essentially, despite the linking to a regional stadium it is regarded as being only a local matter, and it is now up to the local planning authority to make the decision (or rather confirm their decision). This decision can of course be challenged, just like the previous decision to refuse permission for a store was due to be challenged by Sainsburys.

  28. ChrisU permalink
    May 26, 2011 9:55 pm

    Tony/Rich,
    You will not find the berate site anymore as I have took it down a few weeks ago, so all the evidence of who was right has gone. The basics website meter ran out as well and I didn’t feel like putting another £25 into the slot so that has gone too, and anyway, the fact that Sainsbury’s was not called in by the SoS today means the process has almost reached its end, so you’ll both be able to down tools.

    Although it looks like the store will eventually get built, it gives me enormous satisfaction that we slowed the process down considerably and made it far more expensive that it might have been. This kind of endless shitty unsustainable development in the name of “progress and bringing the city into the 21st century crap” will obviously continue unabated despite the endless rhetoric on quality of life, community and the environment we hear spouted by politicians, and its right that people affected by it use all fair means at their disposal to delay it or stop it, for whatever reason they have.

    I think Paul Browning is spot on when he identifies the two sordid elements of this, both episodes that leave plenty of questions unanswered. Firstly, the giving away of public land to facilitate a development by some very wealthy businessmen. Dress it up as you will, plenty of development (with good tax returns for local authorities too) happens without handouts of this kind and hopefully the European state aid investigation will shed some light on whether this was a fair deal or not, but even if it finds nothing wrong, it stinks of favours and backhanders, and without transparency, it will forever look dodgy.

    Then secondly, the stepping down of Councillors from the planning committee was shameful. Even if you believe their excuse, that they were threatened and intimidated by the BEP and some fans, whatever happened to not giving in to threats or violence? Spineless is the only verdict. And it applies whether they stepped down or were forced down. I hope a few more years as a Councillor were worth it?

    Tony is right about one thing. Anyone is entitled to make a complaint to the Council about the manner and timing of changing the committee. If the council do not uphold the complaint, it can be referred to the Local Government Ombudsmen.

    Finally, I know that the National Planning Casework Unit of DCLG are keen to provide anyone with further information on any or all of the below:

    Which elected councillors or MPs have made representation to it regarding this case?
    What correspondence exists between SoS and the NPCU and any other elected or unelected official regarding this case?
    What criteria did the NPCU use to determine that this application was of only local significance, given the size and position of the store?

    They are standing by and waiting for your call.

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