Newsletter Masthead

No. 41 - September 2001 edition

In this Issue:

It Never Rains

Amphibious Garbage Raid

Spring in Autumn


One Lump or Two?

The Programme

Could the A38 be 'A!'?

Who's who


STOP RIGHT THERE! Don't read any more until you have seen page 4. This event was fixed only recently and we are trying to get this Newsletter out to everyone in time for you to come and enjoy the splendid Dundry Hill Group 'Spring Project' at a special event.

The November 2000 Newsletter had a report of our meeting where Deborah Jones, the artist who created the spring feature, told us all about it. If you keep your newsletters, dig out that one and re-read the fascinating story.

In fact, this edition is partly a 'Dundry Hill Group Special', and the centre spread also has news of their book, hot off the presses, Walks on Dundry Hill. As I said last time, we welcome input to the Newsletter from any and all of the groups we co-operate with in the area.

However, we have plenty of our own work to report as well. August is traditionally the 'silly season', but this August was when a number of very serious planning applications appeared throughout BS13. We report on the major ones on page 2, but we have looked at several more - in fact, we keep in touch with the City Council's weekly Planning Register (now handily available on their website) and regularly check out applications on major or sensitive sites.

Dundry Hill Group's autumn event also heralds our own autumn season of talks at St Peter's Rooms - and, of course, our annual Coffee Day. Read all about it in the Programme on page 7, and start scribbling in your diary!

See you soon ...




WE'VE HAD a tremendous number of planning applications to deal with in recent weeks. There are important applications in the Bishopsworth & Malago Conservation Area and at the former Wills site.

You may already know from the Evening Post that an application was made to develop THE OLD VICARAGE, Vicarage Road, Bishopsworth. This would have extended the historic former vicarage building and converted it into eight flats. The plan also included six new houses on the edge of the garden, facing onto Ilex Close. There was considerable opposition from people living in Ilex Close, and we agreed that the application was hopelessly over-intensive. We now understand from the planners that the applicant intends to omit the new houses. We await further information - this one will run and run!

There is a planning application for 75 QUEENS ROAD, Withywood, where the existing garage/car workshop would be replaced by a new 2/3 storey building of 17 flats, with associated car parking. There is something to be said for the change of use to residential, but we have misgivings about the intensity of the development. We also oppose the proposed culverting of what the application calls a 'ditch' and we know better as part of the Malago. As with the Old Vicarage (and coincidentally, the architect is the same for both schemes), we have been told that a significant change in the plans is expected.

The architect for these two schemes was also responsible for CHESTNUT COURT, where we applauded the restoration of the historic building but questioned the number of new houses adjacent. There was a loose end to that planning permission; the original plans omitted a boundary wall where the new houses face on to Vicarage Road. We said that this 'open plan' arrangement was not acceptable in the Conservation Area, and the planners agreed, leaving the detail of a suitable boundary to be decided. A brick wall started to appear before agreement had been reached, and we informed the City Planning Department who then received from the developers a proposal for a wall of brick and railings which wasn't appropriate. We have made suggestions for a better solution and we are currently awaiting developments.

At the FORMER WILLS OFFICE BLOCK, a listed building now in a very sad condition, there is an application to demolish the structure to one storey in order to remove asbestos. It isn't clear to us why this should be necessary, and we have written to oppose demolition in the absence of a better case, and a positive plan for redevelopment.




(G)loving every minuteTHIS YEAR'S Amphibious Garbage Raid happened on Sunday 26 August. A select band of enthusiasts started at the Bishopsworth Library entrance to Manor Woods and waded along the Malago removing whatever we could from the stream bed.

There were a few things which were too big to tackle, but in a couple of hours we had retrieved enough to fill the trolley to overflowing. We didn't get as far as the pond this time. The junk was taken straight to the tip.

(G)loving every minute >>


Weir(d) people

Weir(d) people



COME AND CELEBRATE the first day of autumn at the Malago Spring water feature which Dundry Hill Group created on Dundry Hill.

There will be an Autumn Picnic and Conker Challenge on Saturday 22 September at 2.00pm. Bring your own picnic and take part in the Great Conker Challenge. There will also be seed gathering and other autumnal games.

If you don't yet know where to find the Malago Stream site, then meet at 1.40pm outside Hartcliffe Library (Peterson Square, Hartcliffe), or follow D.H.G.'s ammonite signs from the end of Aldwick Avenue, Hartcliffe (it's about two fields up).

The event will finish at about 4.00pm.

The Malago Spring






The Malago Spring:
this drawing by Anton Bantock appears in the 'Walks on Dundry Hill' book.




'Walks on Dundry Hill' bookWALKIES!

DUNDRY HILL GROUP has just produced a book called Walks on Dundry Hill which will guide you through ten different routes. The Group wants to encourage local people and visitors to discover and enjoy this amazing hill.

The walks pass and describe many sites of historical and wildlife interest and will lead you through some stunning view points. The walks start at various locations on and around Dundry Hill and range from short gentle strolls to challenging hikes!

The book is beautifully illustrated with Anton Bantock's line drawings and additional information is included on local wildlife, history and facilities such as pubs, shops and bus stops.

The book costs £3 and can be bought from a number of local shops and pubs in the area or from the Dundry Hill Group, c/o CSV Environment, City of Bristol College, Bishport Avenue, Hartcliffe, Bristol, BS13 0RJ - phone (0117) 935 9710; e-mail It will also be on sale at M.V.C.G. meetings, and at our Coffee Day on 8 November.

D.H.G. is also planning to extend its activities and involve more people. M.V.C.G. will have an update about this at a future meeting, and there will be more information in subsequent newsletters. If you'd like to get involved now, or find our more, ring Barbra Lakin (née Wharton) on the number above, or talk to André, Lola or Beryl.



Map of Coffee Day venueAUTUMN brings our annual COFFE DAY, held each year to raise money for three of our favourite organisations: the Wildlife Trust, the University of Withywood - and Malago Valley Conservation Group.

Thursday 8 November is the date this year, and the event will be at Christine Lillington's house, 23 Grange Road, between 2.00pm and 6.00pm.

Donations for the Bring & Buy, the Lucky Dip, or for produce to sell such as plants, cakes, jam etc., will be gratefully received. Please bring any items to our meeting on 16 October, or ring Chris on 964 7578 or Marie Jo on 964 3106 to deliver closer to the date.

Everyone is invited. It's a chance to chat, to get your Christmas presents, and to support some good causes. The Wildlife Trust stall will have an excellent range of gifts for all ages.

Make a note in your diary now, and come along on 8 November. Bring a friend!



AS WELL AS the Walks on Dundry Hill book, there is also a new publication from the University of Withywood. The Withywood Book of Wit and Wisdom was created from a request sent out to friends in 40 countries across the world in December 1999 to send quotations, values, anecdotes and words of wisdom that could benefit the children of the next millennium. The book is lavishly illustrated with sketches of children of the world by Anton Bantock and is an excellent anthology (a good Christmas present!). The book costs £5 from Chris Lillington, 23 Grange Road, Bishopsworth, Bristol, BS13 8LE.



MALAGO VALLEY CONSERVATION GROUP'S own events are shown by the symbol. The University of Withywood has started its autumn programme, including the regular Thursday evening talks. More details from Chris Lillington on 964 7578, website



THE A38/Bridgwater Road around the Kings Head and 'The Pavilions' isn't exactly Bristol's most impressive gateway. The pub and the offices themselves are OK to look at, but the mixture of cars, caravans and conservatories, along with the closed petrol station, is less inspiring.

Now we hear of a possible Park & Ride site on the field south of the Pavilions. It won't happen overnight - the City Council has simply approved expenditure on investigating the feasibility of Park & Ride on the A38. There will be consultation, detailed plans and a planning application to look forward to before anything is built.

What do M.V.C.G. members think about this? Park & Ride seems to work well in some places; less so in others. Reduction of traffic in the city centre is everyone's goal - or would removal of some cars simply allow others to take their place? And would an environmental improvement in the city centre justify building on the green belt here on the edge?

We'd like your thoughts to help prepare M.V.C.G.'s future response. Please ring André on 964 3106 or let us know at a meeting.

Malago Valley Conservation Group


André Coutanche

964 3106


Lola Hardingham

964 1116

Hon. Secretary

Lis Pibworth

987 0825

Hon. Treasurer Beryl Heaton

964 5780

Committee Members

Anton Bantock, Don Bartlett, Brenda Docherty, Royston Griffey, Mavis Palmer

Co-opted Members

Tania Case, Valerie Gay, Peter Hall, Audrey Milton, Ted Thomas, Sue Walker, CSV Environment, Cllrs Bernard Chalmers, Peter Crispin, Richard Eddy, Ron Hodges, Dave Johson, Mary Sykes (All the City councillors for Bishopsworth, Hartcliffe and Whitchurch Park wards are invited to become co-opted Committee members).

Newsletter edited by André Coutanche, 14 Queens Road, Bishopsworth, Bristol, BS13 8LB; telephone 964 3106; e-mail; web address Letters, articles and suggestions from readers are welcome. The opinions expressed in this Newsletter do not necessarily represent those of M.V.C.G.


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