This indpendent website, founded in January 2012, aims to bring you a comprehensive round up of stories from the police, local councils and community groups in Stoke Gifford.

Planning application submitted for extension of Little Stoke Community Hall

Posted on Thursday 22nd September 2016 at 8:00 pm by SH (Editor)

Proposed extension of Little Stoke Community Hall: Visualisation showing path from car park leading to new entrance on the side of the extended building and the new cafe.

Stoke Gifford Parish Council has submitted a planning application to extend and enhance the existing community hall within Little Stoke Park.

The proposals will provide new sports changing facilities, an ancillary café, an enlarged office for council staff and a larger meeting room. The retained elements will be refurbished and a new bin store and external store will be formed with the existing parking and landscaping being retained.

According to the ‘design and access statement’ submitted with the application, the proposed works will “support the parish’s ambition and aspiration to engender community spirit, activities and cohesion by providing new and improved facilities that can be used for and by the public”.

The proposed works will increase the existing gross floor area from 352.8sqm (plus 19.3sqm external store) to 551.7sqm, an increase of 48.3 percent.

The majority of the proposed works will be on the north side of the existing building, within the area currently used for external storage, which currently has no public access or right of way.

Internally, the new accommodation will provide:

  • Two changing rooms with lockers, showers, toilets and treatment bench for two teams
  • Two officials’ changing rooms with associated lockers, shower and toilets
  • Two small stores for sports equipment and a plant room with external access
  • Café with associated kitchen, servery/bar and utility
  • New entrance, office and meeting room

The new café will be located on the north-east corner of the extended building and will feature two large concertina doors, allowing greater connection to the outside that can be opened during warmer months and, when closed, allow greater visibility due to the large area of glass.

The scheme is being funded with housing developer S106 contributions arising from the Charlton Hayes development.

Plans may be viewed on the South Gloucestershire Council website under reference PT16/4896/F. Consultation is open until 26th September.

Image: Visualisation showing path from car park leading to new entrance on the side of the extended building and the new café.

This article originally appeared in the September 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Lidl looking to open new store in Stoke Gifford

Posted on Friday 16th September 2016 at 10:32 pm by SH (Editor)

Former B&Q store at Fox Den Road, Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

Discount retailer Lidl is looking to open a branch within part of the former B&Q building in Fox Den Road, Stoke Gifford, the Journal has learned.

A planning application has been submitted to South Gloucestershire Council seeking permission to vary conditions on the original planning application for the building to allow its subdivision, permit the sale of food and drink and make changes to the external elevations, including the installation of full-height glazing and sliding double doors and the creation of a trolley bay.

The building has been vacant since B&Q ceased trading in June 2016, although only part of it had been in use for some years after B&Q reduced its floorspace.

Planning permission to convert another part of the building into a gym was granted in April 2016. That unit, at the end closest to the Ring Road, is currently being fitted out and is expected to open under the DW Fitness brand in the new year.

A ‘retail assessment’ statement submitted with the application states: “Although a specific tenant is yet to be finalised, discussions are ongoing and it is anticipated that the end user will be a Limited Assortment Discounter (LAD).” However, an additional document, the ‘transport assessment’, clearly identifies the potential tenant as Lidl.

According to the applicants, the proposal “will enhance convenience goods provision in the local area, affording local residents a greater choice of convenience shopping facilities”. Furthermore, “it will provide an additional discount foodstore and promote competition between operators”.

The retail assessment anticipates that the Asda store at the nearby Abbey Wood Retail Park will experience the highest level of trade diversion as a result of the proposed development, due to an overlap in target market. The new store is expected to derive 30 percent of it turnover from this source, representing a 10 percent impact.

The adjacent Sainsbury’s store is also expected to be affected, but to a slightly lesser degree, resulting in a 5.4 percent impact on convenience turnover.

Plans and reports may be viewed on the South Gloucestershire Council website under reference PT16/4626/RVC.

This article originally appeared in the September 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Rail passengers reminded of tunnel closure

Posted on Sunday 11th September 2016 at 8:41 pm by SH (Editor)

Severn Tunnel electrification drilling work.

Severn Tunnel closed for SIX weeks from Monday (12th September). Services to/from Bristol Parkway affected

Rail passengers are being reminded to plan their journeys before travelling, ahead of a six-week closure of the Severn Tunnel to prepare the Great Western Main Line for a brand new fleet of electric trains.

On 12th September the 130 year-old tunnel will close to trains for six weeks as Network Rail’s ‘orange army’ works day and night to install over eight miles of electrical equipment which will power a new fleet of electric trains in the future – delivering more seats, more frequent services, and faster and greener journeys.

From Monday 12th September to Friday 21st October, Great Western Railway high-speed train services will be diverted between Swindon and Newport, increasing journey times by around 30 minutes. These services will not call at Bristol Parkway.

One service an hour will operate between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway.

Replacement buses will run between Severn Tunnel Junction and Bristol Parkway, and between Bristol Parkway and Newport. Journeys involving replacement buses will take approximately 45 minutes longer than normal.

Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour and Taunton services will start and end at Bristol Parkway.

There will be further service alterations at weekends.

More: Patchway railway tunnels also closed over same period »

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Yarn bombers bring cheer to church and local community

Posted on Friday 9th September 2016 at 9:31 pm by Nikki Hallur

Yarn bombing on the gate leading to Parkway Station by St Mike's Yarn Bombers (SMYB).

Knitting and crocheting enthusiasts from in and around Stoke Gifford have created an exciting local group called the Yarn Bombers. It all started in the Old School Rooms near St Michael’s Church, when local resident, Kia Harris, mentioned the idea of ‘yarn bombing’ the building. A group of friends got together to make creative designs based on a particular theme and decorated the space with their artwork.

One of the group members, Debbie Bambridge, spoke to us about the group. “We describe ourselves as a group of like-minded crochet and knitting lovers who want to spread a little woollen love around St Michael’s Church and the Stoke Gifford community,” said Debbie. “We currently have nine people who are actively knitting or crocheting and more who are interested in getting involved.”

Debbie added: “It’s amazing what a variety of people we have in our group. All ages from 20s to retired, all abilities from beginner to those who write their own patterns, and each contributing what they can to each project. Being part of this group has been a brilliant way to build community as well as a great way to learn new skills and share creative ideas.”

The group goes under the name St Mike’s Yarn Bombers (SMYB) and the SMYB label is used on everything they make.

So far the group has done four ‘yarn bombs’, each one different, and each one bigger than the last. February’s theme was love, and three of the members made hearts in different shades of pink and red to decorate the pillars, gate and railings around the Coffee Shop at the Old School Rooms. In May half term, the group put up flowers, butterflies, bees and ladybirds all around the outside of the Coffee Shop and new St Michael’s Centre, and even on the gate by Parkway Station for the commuters.

Each time, the Yarn Bombers have put labels up with the crafted items, with Bible verses on a theme. They want to bless the community in any way they can, and “inspire people with the love of God, as much as with the beauty of the things they’ve created.”

More: Group has "lots more in the pipeline"! »

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