Newsletter Masthead

No. 49 - January 2003 edition


In this Issue:

A.G.M. and Birthday Party

Annual Accounts

Planning Matters

Christmas Party 2002

The Programme

Make Your Mark

Who's who


THE NEW YEAR is off to a flying start, with several planning applications to report on - see page 4. There's also positive news from Manor Woods; Richard Ennion has agreed the modifications we wanted to make to the plan for maintaining and improving the woodland and associated areas. We now have to apply for the grant money which will make the plan a reality.

There's always less good news, of course. The phone mast at the Chrysalis Conservatories site on the A38 which we opposed, and which the City Council refused planning permission for, has been granted on appeal. It seems that there are no valid grounds, so far as the government inspectors are concerned, for turning down a phone mast.

Uncertain news, too, for Dundry Hill Group. The grant application for money to pay for a part-time officer to carry on the excellent work which Barbra Wharton and Eleanor Davis have done has been rejected. There is a meeting on Thursday 6 February to discuss the future (see page 7). But all is not lost - the Group may just go into hibernation for a bit while new plans are worked out.

There's no shortage of work for M.V.C.G. in the weeks to come (is there ever?). The City Council have approved the 'final' version of the revised Bristol Local Plan which is now going for consultation. We will be commenting on what affects our area, not least the implications for the line of the former ring road which, on a first reading, are unclear and not in accordance with the recently adopted Structure Plan.

And it wouldn't be a January Newsletter without two traditional remarks: please do come to our A.G.M. and Birthday Party on 18 February - and please renew your subscription (form enclosed)!




THE EIGHTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of Malago Valley Conservation Group will be held on Tuesday 18 February at St Peter's Rooms, Church Road, Bishopsworth, starting at 7.30pm. The Officers and Committee members retire each year but are eligible for re-election. The names of the current Officers and Committee members appear on the back page.

According to the M.V.C.G. constitution, nominations for either Officers or Committee members should be made in writing at least 14 days before the A.G.M. They must be supported by a seconder and the consent of the nominee must first have been obtained. Nominations can be made to the Hon. Secretary, Lis Pibworth, at 9 Cowler Walk, Withywood, BS13 9AY or to the Chairman, André Coutanche, at 14 Queens Road, Bishopsworth, BS13 8LB (phone numbers on back page).

However, anyone thinking of volunteering to join the Committee should not be put off by these formal requirements. If you think you may be interested, please contact any existing Committee member for an informal chat. New members are always welcome!

The formal A.G.M. business will include a report-back to members on the year's events, and this will be followed by our Guest Speaker, who this year is GEOFF CARGILL, who is a good friend of M.V.C.G. and has spoken to us before. This time, he will tell us about the exciting plans the Withywood Church and Community Project have for a new building on Queens Road, Withywood, which will make a major new community facility where the run-down Youth Club now stands. Come and hear about the plans and ask Geoff questions.

As usual, we will finish with wine/orange juice and cheese/other nibbles to celebrate our birthday. All members and friends of M.V.C.G. are invited to come to our birthday party.

Hon. Secretary



HERE ARE THE ACCOUNTS which will be presented to the A.G.M. on 18 February. If you have any queries or comments on the accounts and cannot be at the A.G.M., please contact me on 964 5780 or e-mail


Income £   Expenditure £
Membership 319.00   Postage & stationery 28.50
Functions Income 168.63   Refeshments at A.G.M. 22.16
Other Income 348.99   Hall Hire 140.00
Bank interest 0.83   Printing 84.00
      Speakers fees/donations/expenses 80.00
      Christmas meeting 22.00
      Bulbs 260.00
Total 837.45   Total 636.66


Excess of Income over Expenditure 200.79
Brought forward from 2000 873.21
Balance carried forward to 2002 1074.00
Made up of:  
Cash in Hand 5.52
Bank Account 1068.48


Detail of Functions Income £   Detail of Other Income £
Christmas 'At Home' 141.73   Donations 19.00
Christmas Party Raffle 20.00   Grant for Bulbs 130.00
Sales at Meetings 6.90   Sale of scrap metal 14.00
  88.18   Sale of aluminium cans 117.32
      My Manor Woods Book sales 68.50
      Finds 0.17


Hon. Treasurer



WE REPORTED in the last Newsletter that there was a unwelcome planning application to build new houses around the edge of the garden of the Old Vicarage, Bishopsworth. We opposed it, along with many other people, and the good news is that it has been refused. The planning grounds for refusal were so clear-cut that it was refused by the case officer in the Planning Department under delegated powers - it wasn't necessary for the application to go to the Development Control Committee. The bad news is that we will almost certainly have to deal with this again; either the applicants will appeal against the refusal, and/or they will come back with a revised planning application.

We also reported last time about the planning application for 55 Whitchurch Road, better known to us as Brook Farm. Following negotiations with the planners, the applicants have revised the application so as to reduce slightly the height of the proposed new blocks of flats.

Brook Farm elevation

The drawing shows the revised application as it would appear from Whitchurch Road (or Whitchurch Lane as we usually call this bit of road!). We now have details of the materials which would be used, which weren't included in the original application; they seem acceptable. Some people don't like the fact that this would be a departure from the identification of this site in the Bristol Local Plan for employment uses, i.e. industry. We reject this argument, since if there really was demand for this type of use the site would not have been vacant for several years. We are keen to see the farmhouse restored to use, and, while we would have preferred less bulky blocks on each side, we generally support the application.

The planning application to rebuild Bedminster Down School which we reported last time has been passed. This was an outline application, so we can expect a detailed planning application in due course.

There are two new important planning applications which the M.V.C.G. committee have considered. At Pentire Avenue, there is an application to build a block of six apartments in the garden behind the hairdresser's. The height and mass of the building would make for a hopelessly over-intensive development, completely filling the garden with the block itself and the associated car-park. The fact that this site is in the Bishopsworth & Malago Conservation Area only makes it worse. Of course, there would also be problems with traffic access and parking in the narrow cul-de-sac. We have written to ask that the application be refused. Ironically, considering the number of new buildings which are designed to the lowest acceptable standard (cement render, white uPVC windows, no detailing to give interest etc.), the architecture of this scheme is actually rather good. A much less intensive version might have been more acceptable.

The last new application to report on here (but there are some more recent ones on the weekly planning register which we haven't looked at yet) is a major one for Highridge Playing Field. Last year, the playing field was made over by the City Council to the National Playing Fields Association; this guaranteed that it couldn't be used for anything other than sport. The Highridge Community Sports Trust have now put in a planning application which would see the main football pitch levelled and floodlights installed. There would be a second, smaller pitch behind the houses in Sandburrows Road, and several small 'multi-user games areas' around the edge of the Playing Fields. A new single-storey pavilion/changing rooms would be built behind the flats in Cutler Road, and the Highridge United Football Club's clubhouse would be tidied up and clad in brick. There would also be additional car-parking spaces off Lakemead Grove.

We are still thinking about our response to this, and comments from members would be very welcome. We are certainly not against proper sports facilities in the area, but our first reaction is that this seems a very intense use of the space. Many trees would be lost around the edge of the Playing Field. The floodlighting needs thinking about, both from the point of view of appearance (six columns) and the potential for light pollution. Any new development raises concerns about traffic generation and parking. A site surrounded on three sides by residential development has to be a good neighbour, and this site, of course, is also in the Bishopsworth & Malago Conservation Area.

A public meeting to hear from the applicants and their advisers and to discuss the plans has been called by Cllr Richard Eddy for Thursday 6 February at Bishopsworth Junior School at 7.00pm.




PERHAPS it was the reputation of the Programme Committee with their previous successes at Christmas parties that prompted a record number of members to turn up at this year's 'do' on 17 December.

Give a little whistleWe were welcomed with mulled wine and asked to attempt to pair up names with the faces around the walls. This would seem to be easy as they were all people from the Group whom we knew well. However there was a catch - the photos were all taken in childhood! It was good fun trying to sort them out. Later, when Lola revealed the correct pairings, some people couldn't believe it and thought Lola had got muddled! Of course, she hadn't. As a departure from tradition the prize went to the one with the lowest score. Mavis (Palmer) you obviously haven't an eye for a face!

Give a little whistle >>

Next we played a game which required a good memory as each person adopted the name of someone famous. The object was finally to name everyone in the room. I am sure I shall always think 'Beethoven' when I see Marie, 'Fatty Arbuckle', Harold, 'The Virgin Mary', Anton, and so on. The winner of the game was Lis who managed to recall every celebrity with only a little help with Lord Nelson (Chris mimed losing an eye and an arm).

Our brains hurt ...


<< Our brains hurt ...

After all the excitement the Wassail Bowl was brought in as we sang the Wassail Song. Then we tucked in to a delicious array of food provided American Supper style. The evening was very enjoyable and certainly lived up to previous years. Thanks to all the organisers for their hard work and in particular to Lola for her leadership. Last, but not least, thanks to Marie Jo who made the mulled wine and Wassail bowl and generally ensured the smooth running of the refreshments.




MALAGO VALLEY CONSERVATION GROUP'S own events are shown by the symbol. The regular evening meetings on the third Tuesday of each month are held at St Peter's Rooms (by the side of St Peter's Church), Bishopsworth, and start at 7.30pm. (DHG) indicates a Dundry Hill Group event.



THERE are two extremely important consultation exercises happening in our area. Hartcliffe Community Campus have nearly finalised their masterplan which will be going for planning permission soon and they want final comments from as many people as possible. An exhibition of what is proposed will be at various venues in early February. And the major scheme to regenerate Symes Avenue around a new Morrisons supermarket is also being exhibited and comments are sought - get along, have a look, and make your mark!

Wednesday 5 February 9.45-2.15 Gatehouse Centre
Wednesday 5 February 4.30-8.30 Whitchurch Sports Centre
Thursday 6 February 2.00-8.00 City of Bristol College
Friday 7 February 2.30-4.00 Teyfant School
Monday 10 February 2.00-8.00 City of Bristol College
Tuesday 11 February 8.30-3.30 Hartcliffe Health Centre

Tuesday 4 February 10.00-8.00 Hartcliffe Library
Wednesday 5 February 10.00-8.00 EAZ Office, Gay Elms School


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, Mavis Palmer, Jack Price

Co-opted Members

Tania Case, Valerie Gay, Peter Hall, Paul Mizen, Ted Thomas, Sue Walker, CSV Environment, Cllrs Bernard Chalmers, Peter Crispin, Richard Eddy, Royston Griffey, Ron Hodges, Colin Smith, 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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