This independent 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.
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Green light for 327 new homes and primary school on land to the east of Stoke Gifford

Posted on Sunday 20th January 2019 at 8:24 pm by SH (Editor)

Map showing Crest Nicholson land north of the railway.

House builder Crest Nicholson has been granted planning permission to build a total of 327 new homes, along with a primary school and a nursery, on steeply sloping agricultural land immediately east of Great Stoke Way and the new Stoke Gifford Transport Link (SGTL).

The 22-hectare development, which lies north of the main railway line that runs through Bristol Parkway, will form part of the East of Harry Stoke New Neighbourhood, an area earmarked for 2,000 new homes in South Gloucestershire Council’s Core Strategy.

Full permission was granted for 150 of the homes and a site-wide earthworks strategy, with outline permission for the remaining 177 homes, the primary school and the nursery.

The approval comes follows the granting of outline planning permission, in November 2018, for 1,290 new homes on Crest’s related site to the south of the railway.

A number of smaller sites in other ownerships are expected to contribute the remainder of the new neighbourhood’s overall housing quota.

Access to the ‘Crest north’ site will be from a new arm off Parkway North Roundabout in the west, and via a new junction on Old Gloucester Road, 90m south of its junction with Winterbourne Road in the east. A pinch point will be introduced on the main spine road through the development to discourage through traffic.

Extensive earthworks are required to create a level plateau to enable development. These earthworks comprise levelling the site at its highest point and infilling areas on the lower slopes, with no intention to take material off site. This will involve the excavation and relocation of 250,000sqm of material, resulting in embankments with gradients as steep as 1:2 around the perimeter of the site.

More: Loss of 1,400m of hedgerows deemed "regrettable" »

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Stoke Gifford dancer earns place on London academy programme

Posted on Friday 18th January 2019 at 9:40 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Grace Cousins dancing. Photo of Grace Cousins dancing.

Thirteen-year-old Grace Cousins, who is a member of the Stoke Gifford School of Dance, has successfully auditioned for a place on an associate programme at the prestigious Urdang performing arts academy in London.

Grace has been dancing since she was three years old and over the years has developed a love and passion for dancing, having performed in numerous shows and entered a variety of competitions.

The Urdang Academy, based in Islington, offers training in dance and musical theatre for students aged 16 and above, but starting in January 2019, it is offering places on an associate programme for students aged 10 and above. The course will have a strong focus on the core technical subjects and aims to produce strong, well-rounded dancers. It will cover the three basic dance styles of ballet, tap and jazz as well as offering acrobatic and technique classes. Grace is most looking forward to developing her ballet skills as this is her favourite style of dance. She said:

“I enjoy all styles of dance but my favourite is ballet because I’ve been growing up doing it and I enjoy dancing it. I’m also someone who likes having a good technique and being precise and neat, which is the main focus of ballet.”

Grace found out about the course from her dance teacher Miss Eve, who encouraged her to go and audition as it would be a good way to push her to becoming a better dancer. The audition took place on Sunday 2nd December 2018. Grace said:

“I felt quite confident about the audition so I didn’t need to prepare much. I just needed to show them some impressive moves and tricks in order to display my ability and to wow them. I felt like the audition went well; I showed my personality through my dancing and executed the steps well.”

More: Grace will attend Urdang Academy every other Sunday »

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New parking restrictions at Stoke Gifford Co-op

Posted on Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 3:59 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of Parking conditions signage. Photo of parking conditions signage (detail).

Residents of Stoke Gifford may have noticed some new signs being placed around the car park of the local Co-operative store over the last few days.

The store, located on North Road, has implemented new parking restrictions which were put into place as of Monday 14th January.

A spokesperson for Southern Co-op said:

“From 14th January, the car park connected to our store in North Road, Stoke Gifford will be limited to two hours of parking. This is to deter all-day parking. The car park will remain free to use.”

Cameras have been set up to monitor the parking and if the two-hour maximum stay is breached, you are at risk of receiving a £100 parking charge notice (PCN).

For more information, visit the store’s Facebook Page.

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Cost of replacement railway bridge rockets by at least £20m

Posted on Tuesday 15th January 2019 at 9:30 pm by SH (Editor)

Photomontage of the proposed replacement railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane, looking westwards

Council in race against time to secure extra funding in order to achieve planned 2020 implementation date.

Plans to replace the narrow-arched railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane with a much wider concrete structure have been thrown into turmoil following the revelation that the work could cost tens of millions of pounds more than was originally estimated.

The bridge replacement forms a major element of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme, which will provide a direct express bus link between Bristol Parkway railway station and The Mall bus station via the forthcoming new developments on the Filton Airfield site.

The cost of the CPME scheme, which includes highway works to create new bus lanes on some sections of the route, was originally estimated at £35m, to be funded through an allocation from the West of England’s Economic Development Fund (EDF), subject to approval of a full business case submission.

In 2015, South Gloucestershire Council chose to proceed with a wider design for the Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge than had originally been envisaged, adding £5m to the overall CPME scheme cost, subject to an additional funding source being identified.

But with the council now ploughing ahead with its plan to implement the Gipsy Patch Lane bridge replacement during a 12-day closure of the railway over Easter 2020, it has been told by Network Rail that the costs for the work are likely to be “significantly higher” than originally estimated, bringing the overall CPME scheme price tag to between £60m and £75m (an increase of at least £20m).

With the Network Rail tendering process still under way, the reasons for the cost increase have been deemed commercially sensitive, so they have not been revealed to the public.

More: Council is negotiating a ‘break clause’ with Network Rail »

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