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Bristol City council’s undeclared war chest : spend ratepayers cash on defeating city wide TVG’s

October 3, 2011

STOP PRESS<<<>>STOP PRESS Whitchurch WIN!!!!!!

Bristol City Council has been pouring cash into legal fights against every Town and Village Green application in the city. Why they’ve chosen to do battle by spending ratepayers money to fight ratepayers wishes is anybodys guess. It’s not as if there’s been a massive debate in chambers to sanction this policy.
Take the Whitchurch TVG which has been a local residents initiative to preserve local greenspace which the council wants to flog off.
They’ve battled for a few years with next to no resources to try to preserve the play and wildlife space for future generations. Meanwhile BCC has spent over 100,000k on legal fees and officers time to fight the locals according to the latest FOI reports. In other words poured money into enabling the greed merchant developers to get their grubby hands on the fields.  Literally they’ve wasted that amount of cash as it looks like they may be defeated very soon.
Then there’s Ashton Vale – council mediators and delaying tactics have cost 10’s of thousands of local rates in efforts to overturn their own inspectors recommendations.

What is the end result of the councils undeclared policy? Residents money being poured into legal battles to fight against  residents wishes.

Since when has this undeclared war on residents been debated in the College Green public arena or put forward on the election manifesto? And who signs the massive cheques?

  1. TheAshtonVole permalink
    October 3, 2011 9:45 pm

    I suspect the total BCC costs pass the £500k mark. There are a few that insist on pushing the bill higher with daft FoI requests, attempting to disparage supporters and their legal rights yet apparently not bothering to read the small print in advance.

    It’s an atrociously-(un)hidden Land Grab policy.

  2. October 4, 2011 8:49 am

    The land grab up to now has been a one way street for the wealthy few and the merchants of greed.
    At last the local residents are able to fight back against the absentee landowners and try to preserve their neighbourhoods and open spaces for future generations.
    BCC hasn’t asked its ratepayers if they are happy to have the taxes spent on legal battles against the residents.
    It would save a massive sum if someone just ticked the right box for residents rather than getting into bed with the wealthy builders, avoiding the protracted legal fight which must be lining as few lawyers pockets.

  3. October 4, 2011 8:55 am

    AshtonVole you need to think before sending FOI requests in asking how much FOI requests cost.
    Your request in itself has wasted many hours of officers valuable time as they scratch their heads trying to think of a suitable silly response to match the question.

  4. Richard Lane permalink
    October 4, 2011 8:08 pm

    Bristol City Council have a legal obligation to protect the ratepayers land and assets. By allowing TVGs on every little plot of land just because the residents say they’ve used it, would be letting the other 430,000 ratepaying residents down and neglecting their duties.
    There has to be a compromise where valuable land is used to it’s full potential for everybodys benefit within our cramped city with it’s restrictive boundaries. Nobody wants to see every blade of grass built on within the city but there are many plots of land where the only purpose served is to provide a place for rubbish to gather, such as the island at Stokes Croft. Much better that these plots be brought into use to provide housing or jobs for the less well off, whilst at the same time reducing the pressure on greenbelt housing developments. I suspect that in most cases but not all, the residents are trying to prevent developments of this nature from happening near them, by applying for TVGs.

  5. October 5, 2011 6:54 am

    Small islands of greenspace like the one at Stokes Croft and North St Green are even more valuable as pockets of urban greenspace and should be TVG’d immediately to stop you building a burger bar on them.
    This proves Mr Lane you haven’t got a clue but never mind, I enjoy a laugh at your nonsense.
    Lucky 430,000 residents have got you speaking on their behalf!

  6. Richard Lane permalink
    October 5, 2011 8:27 pm

    Sometimes I wonder how stupid you really are, then I remember.
    You have as usual ignored all of the relevent statements in my post. You have instead focussed on the tongue in cheek remark about rubbish gathering in places such as the island in Stokes Croft.
    I do not claim to speak for the 430,000 residents, I said the council represent them. Could you remind us how many people you speak gibberish for?
    North St green as it’s now called by the Southville set, and the island in stokes croft, were once peoples homes or businesses, untill they were raised to the ground during hostilities. According to you we should build on brownfield sites, these two examples are absolutely ideal to fulfil that requirement, or are you saying that brownfield sites are now not desireable to build on, because they have now been used for other purposes. You seem to want it both ways.

  7. October 6, 2011 6:57 am

    Last time I looked at these two green spaces they looked pretty green to me. Mr Lane and his builder mates would love to turn Castle Park and the downs to blocks of flats and burger drive-thru’s. Lucky there’s only a few of the nutters loose.

  8. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    October 6, 2011 11:24 am

    There is something called “The Sites Allocation Plan”, the outcome of which is still pending, where people throughout the city could put forward areas for development, or indeed not for development, and where there has been substantial consultation with local communities. Not like the AGSP but sure not to please all. The whole arguement about housing and where it should go is complicated but you cannot escape the part a rapidly rising population plays. For reasons I won’t go into here, the last Gov. saw large scale immigration as a boost to our economy, but at the same time ignored the consequences. More people mean the need for more housing, stating the obvious I know, and perhaps a policy of sustainable population should go hand in hand with sustainable house building.

  9. Richard Lane permalink
    October 6, 2011 7:53 pm

    Thanks for bringing some sense to this subject, it is very refreshing to compare your subjective comments to that of Sacredspring and the like.

    We obviously have a problem with the housing requirements of an ageing population and one which has been boosted in recent years by immigrants with a much higher birth rate than that of the native population.
    All avenues of providing housing for this population increase need looking at. Be it brownfield developments, bringing unoccupied housing back into use, property conversion and obviously building on greenbelt land. The first three options are more attractive but do not come anywhere near supplying the required amount of housing, and obviously they are more expensive to develop, meaning even less chance to provide low cost housing.
    Those opposed to greenbelt development would have everyone else pay a heavy price just to keep their semi rural environment untouched, whilst at the same time putting the onus on providing new housing, onto our cities and it’s residents.
    I am all for providing extra housing in our cities where we can but the semi rural residents have to do their bit as well. North Somerset for example, has a higher than average percentage of white, middle class, high earning, high car ownership, expensive homes and retired people. They are doing very nicely thank you very much, why change things? Let the plebs in the city reduce their standard of living, by being even more overcrowded than they already are.

    Some posters on here have closed minds, this gives them the biassed outlook on anything other than what they think they know.
    I try to be logical about certain subjects and offer a different opinion to that blurted out on this site by the majority of those opposing planned developments. It appears they only want to have their say, ignore others opinions and generally try to bully, abuse or ridicule people, if they are not of the same opinion. They obviously have no intention of debating any of the points they raise or oppose, as they ignore the opportunity for debate. This site is merely a place for propoganda.

  10. bobs permalink
    October 7, 2011 7:36 am

    There is enough brownfield and empty commercial space in Bedminster, Southville, Hengrove, Whitchurch and Knowle to fit all these new houses.

    There simply isn’t the political will to do so.

    Green land is cheaper to develop. But what these people are really after is the property gain when planning permission is obtained on agricultural land,

  11. bobs permalink
    October 7, 2011 7:37 am

    And when are you going to allow Richard Lane to start writing his own posts again ?

  12. Richard Lane permalink
    October 7, 2011 11:16 pm

    Are you giving me some sort of back handed compliment? These posts are mine, they come from my mouth. I have grown a little and learnt a lot in the last three years. I can differentiate between crap and sense a lot easier now, your posts are still crap. Have a look at the little purple figure preceding my posts, it has remained constant throughout. I still make mistakes, sometimes with spelling, sometimes with punctuation, sometimes with my take on the situation. But I am always honest.
    There is nowhere near enough brownfield sites to cater for the required amount of housing, that is unless you fancy having an extension built on the top floor of your house with a family of four occupying it. Even Hengrove park will only provide 2,000 odd dwellings and that will only make a dent in the requirements for housing over the next 15 years.

  13. Richard Lane permalink
    October 7, 2011 11:41 pm

    Ooh Dear
    Harry T and BobS both think I don’t write my own posts.
    Harry. This site is for grown ups, get back to the EP site where you can argue like the child you are. Only part of the reference to the Physio mentioned the height of the window in relation to the tennis courts. It matters not what was said about the new evidence, merely that there was an attempt to discredit it, by claims that a person was a former Football hooligan, if not, why mention it? The same attempt to discredit evidence was carried out and always has been, by the applicants for a TVG, and then those same people have accused others of the same acts, hypocrites.
    Now that Legal aid has been awarded to the puppet fronting the JR application, I wonder if the funds being provided by outside sources (namely LAPC) were taken into consideration in calculating the applicants ability to pay towards the costs? You lot shout, “it’s not fair” at every opportunity, I think that’s the reason for asking for a JR isn’t it? Well, the councill of Bristol will pay, the councill of LAPC will pay but the residents asking for a JR won’t pay a penny. Now claim it’s not fair.
    After reading again (yes I have read it Harry) the applicants response, it appears that there is a very heavy reliance on the evidence of the main three women in this TVG application, with constant refferals back to their evidence and reffering to that evidence as fact. As I read it, I realise that the majority of the so called evidence, does indeed come from these three women. It then jumps out to anyone with a bit of savvy, that there cannot possibly be substantial use of that site, merely the said substantial use of that site by a few people.

  14. October 8, 2011 7:25 am


    There were 182 witnesses for the applicants.

    How do you count 3 ? Because you are biased.

    Now stop with the insults.

    Your gang have been run ragged by the people you insult and degrade. Perhaps if you had shown some respect from the start, you would not be in such a dire position now.

  15. October 8, 2011 7:27 am

    And how can you know what evidence comes from which witnesses when all the names are blacked out eh Richard.

    You obviously are not Richard but some desprate servant of the club. All you needed to give him was your email address and he can print in your name

  16. Richard Lane permalink
    October 9, 2011 3:19 pm

    A word of advice young man, before replying to my post and getting the content totally wrong, actually read it. I did not say there were only three witnesses, what I actually said was: ” it appears that there is a very heavy reliance on the evidence of the main three women in this TVG application, with constant refferals back to their evidence and reffering to that evidence as fact”. As far as I remember, there was not 182 witnesses, there were 22. There was 182 witness statements, if you can call them that. I believe these were replies on pr-printed download forms itemising certain events which are supposesed to have occured. The fact remains that those 182 witness reports were the only ones returned (or collected) out of the many more which were distributed. The so called evidence could actually be duplicated many times over because times of events were not included. For example: if there were 100 people in the high st and a crash between two cars occured and a bank was robbed, these incidents were witnessed by 80 people. how many crashes were there and how many banks were robbed? Answer =only two, if you remove the timeline from the equasion, there could have been many crashes and several robberies.
    As you probably know, the original TVG response had the names blacked out, I have an original copy, not the doctored re-submitted version. It is possible to see the names. I have not revealed the names, nor would I do so. I also, have not revealed the name of S Waters/stillwaters, but it’s okay for you lot to abuse, call names, bully, lie, exagerate, libel, misrepresent, dismiss facts, join together as one, but really just helping individual causes, all in an attempt to aid your own positions.
    There has been a campaign of hate, ridicule, venomous accusations and deception from the outset from many members of the opposition groups, in what appears to be an attempt to get some sort of moral high ground, you are blind if you cannot see that. Obviously there have been reactions likewise from the supporters of the schemes because of this. You yourself are accusing me of not being myself when posting on these sites. You only want to deflect from the truth, have a look at the times of my posts, they vary considerably and that is because I post when I can. This is just another tired example of yet another attempt to discredit the poster. Get real, your childish actions are only discrediting any credability which might have been attributed to the opponents of the schemes.

  17. Bobs permalink
    October 9, 2011 4:50 pm

    To the person who is writing his posts

    You are busted. Harry has exposed you.

    The only other person who has claimed that the club has been the victim is Guy whatshisface. The Chief Exec.

    And the 3 witnesses you are referring to are the 3 who took all the photos to show your witnesses cannot see what they see they can see from their houses. Why should the number of photographers be relevant to truth.

    You are truly desparate.

    And you really should stop the insults. It does your cause no good.

    The 3 witnesses who took all the photos. Is that who you are referring to. I can see your point now. Any campaign that does not have at least 50 separate people supplying photos to show various locations to assist the Judge must be a false one. Why would anyone simply ask say 1 person to take all the David Lloyd photos?

    And the 22 witnesses is old hat. That was all there was time for after your barrister had spent 3 hours asking each O

  18. Bobs permalink
    October 9, 2011 4:52 pm

    Bloody iPhones. And their tiny screens.

  19. Richard Lane permalink
    October 9, 2011 9:02 pm

    You are almost as deluded as young Harry. The only thing exposed is your lack of immagination when coming up with such utter rubbish. After suffering copius amounts of abuse from various posters on this site over the years, I find it rather ammusing that you consider my little tame efforts abuse.
    I was not making a point that there was only three main witnesses, I was pointing out that they were being referred to as factually correct, this is obviously open to debate.
    A, they have no access to peoples houses and as such cannot see from first floor windows, B again no access is available to the physios room so it is another assumption, C one of the new witnesses homes overlooks the fields, yet it is stated that the whole fields are not visible because of the 30ft high trees, again the view is different at 1st floor level but more importantly, the person making the claim of restricted views of the site lives next door, so as such it would seem she also suffers from that same restricted views, D other referrences are made to houses and then trees restricting the view obviously those same trees would then also restrict the views of those bordering the site. These people are very willing to knock the witnessesevidence with claims of this or that being untrue and at some point almost calling some liars, yet it’s not fair to question others evidence.
    Obviously it stands to reason that those adjacent to the site will be the most vociferous opponents to the development. As only 14 houses are in a direct line and view of the stadium, it appears that the rest must be mainly upset at the proposed housing on the southern end of the site. As this is now not being built and never will be, are those people now unnaffected by the development, still at the forefront of objections to the stadium? If so, does that leave just the main aggitators running this campaign?

    May I remind you that none of the people you refer to are My witnesses, or that the barrister is Mine, none of them represent me and I have never had any contact with or dealings with any of them.

    My role in this is as a supporter of BCFC, as a former local resident and as someone that carries out my business in the area, has family in the area, socialises in the area and who’s son was christened in St Francis Church. I lived in Durnford Avenue, Exeter Road and was a partner in a business based in South St.
    I care about the area and more importantly I care about Bristol. I am fed up of our great city being held back by backward thinking selfish individuals who only care about themselves. I see these plans as a way of finally providing decent modern facilities to the people of Bristol. At the moment these plans are being held up by the collective efforts of people, mostly not even in Bristol, who’s only objective is to look after their own little patches of urban idylic retreats. They are under the impression that if any greenbelt development happens, then it sets a precident to further developments. Let me inform you, building a stadium does not set a precident for housing to be allowed. Building a stadium has to prove a special need, this it did to the acceptance of two local authorities and two inspections from the SOS.

    This is what I refer to: “Green land is cheaper to develop. But what these people are really after is the property gain when planning permission is obtained on agricultural land”.
    You made that quote, now can you tell me what that has got to do with building a stadium at Ashtonvale?
    This is another example of the outsiders with their precident theory coming to the forefront.
    Many wealthy people may have bought land specultively for future housing and profit in that area. It is absolutely nothing to do with BCFC trying to build a stadium there, It is you that is desperate and now fully exposed with quotes such as that..

  20. bobs permalink
    October 10, 2011 7:47 am

    The person writing for RL states: This is what I refer to: “Green land is cheaper to develop. But what these people are really after is the property gain when planning permission is obtained on agricultural land”. You made that quote, now can you tell me what that has got to do with building a stadium at Ashtonvale?

    Is has to do with Ashton Vale because John Pontin and Steve Lansdown bought agricultural green belt land which they are seeking to turn profits on by getting planning permission. I think its a simple enough point. The land is now worth 20 times what it was.

    As for your comments on being able to see through the Leylandii hedge, I suggest you go down to the land and see if you can see through it. The photos show you can’t. i know you can’t. So why are you saying you can ??? This really is desparate and laughable stuff.

    Or the physio’s evidence. You can’t see the fields from outside his window. How are you going to be able to see them from inside ?

    But hey, lets leave it to a judge to decide now. He can decide if it was acceptible for the Council to admit without challenge evidence that forgot to mention a 30 foot Leylandii hedge !!!

    I think the Judge is going to find your evidence and the reaction to it of the Council rather funny.

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