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.

Your local British Legion branch needs YOU!

Posted on Saturday 6th October 2018 at 10:04 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Billy Wilde collecting for the Stoke Gifford RBL at Cribbs Causeway.

The Stoke Gifford branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) is urgently calling for new volunteers to come forward to help with this year’s Poppy Appeal collections, which started on 1st October.

The branch fears that it will be unable to fully staff its usual stands in the large local supermarkets, and also at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, due to a number of long-serving helpers having to retire from the role due to old age or frailty.

If volunteer numbers cannot be restored, the branch fears it could lose a significant proportion of what it currently raises in the area – approximately £100k for the Bristol Poppy Appeal (and ultimately for members of the Armed Forces, Veterans and their families needing our support).

Branch spokesperson David Bell said:

“We’re making a concerted effort to recruit more volunteers to help us raise this much needed money for the Poppy Appeal. We need volunteers particularly at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Sainsbury’s at Stoke Gifford, ASDA at Filton and the Willow Brook shopping centre in Bradley Stoke.”

Sue Potepa, RBL community fundraiser, Bristol and Districts, said:

“It would be wonderful for a new generation of volunteers to join us this year for the Poppy Appeal. Anyone can volunteer for these roles and if people could spare just a few hours to help, it would be really appreciated.”

Billy Wilde, 17, a student at Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS), is keen to emphasise that people of all ages can help out. He said:

“I have been volunteering for the RBL since I was 5 years old and I have really enjoyed raising money for such a worthy cause, whilst making many new friends, of all ages, along the way. To be able to see how so many of our ex-servicemen and women are helped by the money we raise is incredibly moving.”

More: Other volunteering opportunities are available »

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Planning permission secured for replacement railway bridge

Posted on Saturday 6th October 2018 at 9:11 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge (looking westwards).

The proposed Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme, which will see the old railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane replaced with a much wider concrete structure, took a major step forward in July with the approval of three of the four planning applications necessary to allow it to proceed to the next stage in its project plan.

The existing masonry railway bridge has a height clearance of only 4m and creates a ‘pinch point’ on the local road network. The replacement bridge will be of concrete construction and will span 24m, approximately 14m wider than the current bridge. To accommodate taller vehicles, such as double-decker buses, the carriageway will be lowered by around 1.7m under the bridge.

New bus lanes will also be constructed along sections of Gipsy Patch Lane, either side of the bridge.

The work will require one-way and full closures of sections of Gipsy Patch Lane, for a period of 21 months, currently scheduled to commence in July 2019.

The duration of the required full closure is now estimated at 330 days (up from the previously stated eight months), from January to November 2020.

Demolition of the existing bridge and construction of the new bridge is scheduled to take place during a twelve-day closure of the railway, most likely over Easter 2020.

Approval of the most significant of the four applications, the one for the replacement railway bridge, was secured despite planning committee member Cllr Ernie Brown (also chair of Stoke Gifford Parish Council) tabling a proposal that its consideration should be deferred “ in order that clarification and more detail is made available for discussion regarding the lowering of the road and the construction programme, and to allow further consultation to be undertaken with residents, local businesses and traders.”

More: Concerns over "long term implications" for local businesses »

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Plans to build 1,600 homes east of Stoke Gifford set for decision in coming weeks

Posted on Thursday 20th September 2018 at 9:10 pm by SH (Editor)

East of Harry Stoke New Neighbourhood: Sketch Composite Framework Plan (August 2016).

After more than two years of deliberations, two planning applications for a total of more than 1,600 new homes on former green belt land between Stoke Gifford and Hambrook look set to be brought to the decision table within the next few weeks.

The East of Harry Stoke New Neighbourhood site was allocated for development when South Gloucestershire Council’s Core Strategy was adopted in December 2013 and housebuilder Crest Nicholson submitted the two planning applications in August 2016. One application is for land south of the Great Western mainline railway and the other for land north of it.

The new neighbourhood will be accessed from the recently opened Stoke Gifford Transport Link (a.k.a. Stoke Gifford By-Pass) which provides a link between Parkway North and the A4174 Ring Road.

The application on land south of the railway, PT16/4782/O, seeks outline permission for a mixed use development including 1,290 new homes, a local centre, community facilities, landscaping and open space and detailed access junctions.

The application on land north of the railway, PT16/4928/O, is for 327 new homes and associated infrastructure and landscaping. This is a hybrid application, with full permission being sought for some elements and outline permission for others. The full application is for 150 homes, an earthworks strategy, access and public open space. Outline permission is being sought for 177 new homes, as well as a new primary school and nursery.

So-called ‘site inspection meetings’, attended by councillors who sit on the committee which will eventually determine the applications, are to be held in the coming weeks, with the first, for the application south of the railway, taking place this Friday (21st September).

The meeting point for Friday’s meeting, which is open to the public, is at the junction of the Stoke Gifford Transport Link and Oxleigh Way (entrance to Highbrook Park). Councillors are expected to arrive for the meeting at 10.45am.  An ‘issues for consideration’ report prepared ahead of the meeting may be viewed under item 11 of the agenda.

More: Crest ‘north’ application set for decision in Nov/Dec »

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St Michael’s Centre to begin hosting events for the wider community

Posted on Sunday 16th September 2018 at 10:04 pm by Laura Mortimore

Auditorium at the St Michael's Centre,.

This autumn will see the commencement of a series of events where the newly finished auditorium in the St Michael’s Centre in North Road, Stoke Gifford [BS34 8PD] will be used to its full capacity.

The auditorium is going to play host to a number of entertainers, suitable for the whole family to enjoy. The St Michael’s Centre has recently completed the installation of seating in the balcony of the auditorium which has provided a further 163 seats for events such as church services, concerts and conferences. The extended seating was used for the first time on Wednesday 25th April when the Diocese of Bristol attended the Connected Conference. The 500-capacity auditorium has now allowed the centre to schedule a variety of performers to entertain the local community over the coming months.

As part of the ‘Heart of the Community’ project, the St Michael’s Centre wants to serve the community in ever increasing ways. Ian Taylor, director of operations at the centre, explains: “The centre is already used for numerous activities such as the Golden Oldies, Keep Fit and a number of youth activities and groups. The large hall is also used for wedding receptions and birthday parties. Now that the auditorium has additional seating, we would like to reach out to the wider community and offer events that are suitable for the whole family to enjoy together.”

One of the key ambitions of the ‘Heart of the Community’ project is to “create a spacious modern meeting place in the centre of the community”. Andy Mead, who is in charge of venue hire at the centre, says: “The idea behind hosting these events is to reach out to the wider community and make our space available to everyone in the community, not just those who attend our church.”

If you would like to read more about the ‘Heart of the Community’ project, visit www.stmichaelsbristol.org/heart

More: Programme of entertainment for the whole family »

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Railway upgrade work around Bristol Parkway Station.
Chiropractor, Patchway, Bristol BS34.