June 11th, 2013 by Cherry Beath
Our Recent Tour of The Site
The Ministry of defence were in Bath for more than 70 years. Yet few local people, apart from those who worked there ever went into MoD Foxhill, a secure area enclosed by 3 metre high fences. The area, a community within a community, remained a mystery to most. Cherry and I visited the site with the Chair of the Council, Cllr Neil Butters, a group of councillors, and officers from Curo and from the Council. Local resident, former MoD employee and local photographer Robert Coles, accompanied the group.
The first thing that struck us all is the size of the site. At 19 hectares it seems massive and is a similar size to Royal Victoria Park. All the buildings on site at present are one or two stories in height, but there is plenty of screening with trees on the northern edge of the site, so higher buildings should be possible, however the Bath skyline will remain a concern in any development. Robert was able to give us information about which department occupied which building when he worked there.
One of our biggest concerns is how the new development of around 700 homes can integrate with surrounding dwellings such as the Foxhill estate, Stonehouse Lane and Close, Trinity Road and Priory Close. There will also be some huge transport issues that will need innovative solutions. Curo, formerly Somer Housing, who now own the site are anxious to get the views of local people about how the site should be developed and to ensure that the development meets as far as possible the aspirations of surrounding residents and people who will live on the site in future.
Cherry and I have arranged a meeting for all interested local people in Combe Down School Hall this Thursday 13th June from 6.30pm to 8pm, so that Curo can give local people an update on progress to date and for people to ask questions and make suggestions about the development.
The B&NES concept statement for the site, made in partnership with the MoD and Homes and Communities Agency can be found at http://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/documents/s22301/
May 29th, 2013 by Cherry Beath
Cherry and Roger outside Foxhill MOD
As you will know from our last Enewsletter Curo Community Housing Trust are the Developers of the Foxhill Site, and this is good news as we understand that togwether with the MoD Site development, they intend to regenerate some of their housing stock in Foxhill, and thus integrate the development with the exisiting communities bordering the site.
We have had several meetings with Curo and with Council officers, and the Administration Cabinet. We have also kept in touch with MP Don Foster, who is active in supporting our Community, and helping with this important development and regeneration.
There has been an active group set up in Foxhill – Foxhill Futures – steered by local resident Nigel Dann, who have been active in gathering views from residents about what they would like to see on the site. The MoD have now vacated the Site, and Curo are applying for demolition of the existing buildings on site.
Curo are inviting initially Councillors to have a tour of the site next week, and they have agreed for a Photographer from the Combe Down Heritage Society to come along to record the buildings. Curo have told us that they will arrange for local residents to tour the site in near future.
April 22nd, 2013 by Cherry Beath
Liberal Democrats on BathNES Council started broadcasting their meetings on the internet. The first live Webcast was the Cabinet Meeting (Council Executive) in February, which was about the Council Budget for 2013/14. We hope to expand the service to include the Full Council Meetings and others, but have not yet had full agreement to this from the other Political Groups.
The aim in doing this is to make our meetings and decision making more widely accessible, in the interests of accountability and transparency. We welcome the public attending our council meetings, and speaking, Petitioning and making statements to Councillors, but now you can also watch them at home. You can see them live, or archived for six months, at:
You can watch the whole meeting straight, or scroll to a particular item, and of course share on Facebook, Twitter, or email feedback. Cherry and Roger both have Cabinet roles, and speak on various papers at the Cabinet Meetings.
In Combe Down, Foxhill and Claverton Down, we have a record of keeping in touch with residents in the Ward, both in person, through this website, and our Enewsletter and Focus leaflets, and this Webcasting allows another way for you to see more of what we are doing.
February 28th, 2013 by Cherry Beath
We have been involved in a number of Litter picks in Combe Down and Foxhill, and last week the important role of community litter picking groups was recognised by the Council Neighbourhood Teams in an official Chair’s reception held at the Guildhall.
A number of you turn up in Combe Down regularly, and Mazz White, pictured with the Chair of the Council, is certainly one who does. Well done Mazz. Over 100 volunteers were invited by the Council to the event to thank them for their hard work during the year. It is estimated that some 1,000 full bags of litter and detritus have been collected by volunteers since the start of 2012 – equivalent to around 30 tons. We last went out around Foxhill in December 2012.
Any community group or organisation who needs support from the Council to provide litter picking equipment and pick-up the rubbish collected can contact us via Council Connect on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01225 39 40 41 or Text SMS 07797 806545 or Twitter @ccbathnes
December 4th, 2012 by Cherry Beath
MoD Site Development moves on
Cherry & Roger outside the MoD at Foxhill
The Council’s Cabinet has approved “Concept statements” following the public consultations, for all the MoD sites. The statements do not have the teeth that we would like them to have, but many of the issues they address are ones we endorse, such as access for a good local bus service, houses that use very little energy to heat and that reach the highest standards of design, and the need for community facilities. We also want the new development, which will be for some 700+ homes to be integrated with the neighbouring existing communities, particularly Foxhill.
To that end we have been in talks with Curo (Previously “Somer”) Housing, as the biggest landowner in Foxhill in order to convince them that there is an opportunity for improving the whole area, and as a result we are pleased to note that Curo has responded positively, and have submitted a bid to the MoD for acquisition of the Foxhill Site. We will not know who the successful Developers will be until later in December, or early January.
Nigel Dann, who lives in Foxhill, is looking to build up a Community Group, and to work in developing a plan for regeneration. If you would like to help get the voice of the present residents of Foxhill heard on the new development contact Nigel on Nigel.Dann@uwe.ac.uk
Cllr Cherry Beath said: ” We welcome the development, however the MoD are moving very quickly towards closing the deal on the site. Once there is the appointment of the chosen developers, we will be wanting to ensure resident’s voices and concerns are heard in influencing the plans, and getting the development right. The best outcomes would be to include wider regeneration and good neighbourhood infrastructure and integration particularly with the Foxhill area.”
November 29th, 2012 by Cherry Beath
Proposals for Victoria Art Gallery charging explained
Have a look below at proposals for charges for certain exhibitions at the Victoria Art Gallery. These ideas are being developed as part of the financial plans to balance the Council’s budget over the next three years. This forthcoming Budget is a tough one, and as with other Councils we are facing difficult decisions. You can have your say, see below.
The proposal being worked up for the Gallery is that the new arrangements would be:
- To charge for the large downstairs temporary exhibition gallery which drives footfall through new high quality shows that change every 6 to 8 weeks; charges may vary according to the exhibition on show and, because of the Gallery’s popularity amongst repeat visitors, a Season Ticket option is being actively considered;
- No charge for the small exhibition gallery, which will continue to exhibit free selling shows by local artists and which will contain the Gallery shop;
- No charge for the upstairs galleries that exhibit the permanent collection.
These proposals are still work in progress. The Council made clear at the start of the budget process that its budget proposals in the four Medium Term Financial and Service Plans being considered by our Policy Development and Scrutiny Panels were not final and could be changed.
Local people and organisations are being listened to via the recent Budget Fairs we held and our on-going consultation in the run-up to the budget setting meeting in February 2013.
Have your view
The Council values the views of local people when making decisions about our budget and the impact it has. In order to ensure that we get it right, we would like your help in answering the following questions:
- What should we do less of?
- What are your ideas for improving services at lower cost
- What services/communities should we make a priority?
You can answer these questions at www.bathnes.gov.uk/budgetview or write to us at Resources Team, 3rd Floor, Guildhall, Bath, BA1 5AW