While the Network has no direct control over how the Council and others spend money in our area the community working together can have a strong voice.
The Network works to influence decisions through its Topic Groups and its Network meetings.
A meeting was held on 14th March to talk about the spending of funds available to the St George area from past developments – Community Infrastructure Levy or CIL – and the projects on which the available funds could be spent. The final decision on spending these funds will be taken by Councillors each year, with the descision for 2018 being taken in September.
We are now forming a Community Planning Task & Finish Group, to help move these projects forward.
The key outcomes of the discussions at the meeting were:
- That options for provision of public toilet facilitities as soon as possible in the centre of the park should be investigated (possibly in the form of a temporary kiosk type toilet for summer 2018).
- That the community is happy for the old toilet building at the park entrance to be sold if the money is invested in new toilet & other facilities in the park.
- That a master planning process is required to consider the options for all the projects related to the park (see below) together, this would include the Library and the Community Centre.
- That the phase 2 plans for Meadow Vale Community Centre were supported and should be considered in future years.
- That the following projects should be put forward for CIL funding this year:
– Provision of publicly accessible toilets in St George Park in existing buildings for 2019.
– Troopers Hill Field paths & access track (with match funding sought by Friends of Troopers Hill)
– Provision of planters on Church Rd as part of a combined project with St George in Bloom working with ParkWork to expand the existing CIL funded project in St George parks
Listed below are the projects that were discussed at the meeting.
Projects for potential CIL funding from September 2018.
The public toilet in the park at the main entrance was closed by the Council in January 2018. There are now no public toilets in or near the park. The Council’s list of available toilets doesn’t currently include any in St George.
The meeting was happy for the building to be sold to be used for something else such as a café or small shop providing that the money is invested in new toilet & other facilities in the park.
Options for provision of public toilet facilitities as soon as possible in the centre of the park should be investigated (possibly in the form of a temporary kiosk type toilet for summer 2018). The use of CIL money should be considered to provide public toilets in the existing building from 2019, possibly managed by the café kiosk as part of a new lease agreement.
St George in Bloom would like to install a number of council approved planted containers within Church Road. They would also like to enhance the Billboards site (currently owned by JC Decaux Ltd) at the junction of Marling Road and Bell Hill Road in St George with a planting scheme.
At the meeting it was agreed that CIL funding should be sought for this as part of a combined project working with ParkWork to expand the existing CIL funded project currently running in St George parks on Thursday mornings.
New Path on Troopers Hill Field
Troopers Hill Field between the play area built in 2016 and Troopers Hill itself can be very muddy in wet weather. Friends of Troopers Hill are seeking funds to build a new linking path around the Field as part of their Ways to Nature Project.
A second part of this project is to replace the fencing between Troopers Hill Road and the Nature Reserve.
CIL funding allocated to this project would be used by Friends of Troopers Hill as match funding to apply for grants to fund the rest of the project.
Projects to be considered as part of a Master Plan for the Park and adjacent sites.
Councillors are investigating possible sources of funding to put together a master plan to cover all the projects listed below. This would be a long-term project with a number of consultation stages over the next few years.
Friends of St George Park have long had an aspiration to improve the lake for wildlife. They are currently carrying out a study into the options for this that is Lottery funded. In addition part of the lake wall has collapsed and needs expensive repairs, this has led to part of the path around the lake being fenced off.
The collection of buildings in the centre of the park include the bowling club pavillion, the café kiosk and the park keepers hut.
It has often been suggested that better use could be made of these buildings or that some of them could be replaced. Ideas include creaing a café with indoor seating areas and toilets.
Work was carried out in the summer of 2016 to replace the safety surfacing and rebuild part of the ‘Dragon head’ in the play area, however, the wooden structure will need to be completely replaced within the next two or three years giving an opportunity for the whole play area to be redesigned.
It has also been suggested that some outdoor fittness equipment should be added in the park, this could be done as part of the same project.
The future of the library is uncertain pending the outcome of the current Council review.
The current building was opened in November 1963, over the years there have been a number of suggestions that better use could be made of the site. In the Area Green Space Plan produced in 2009, the library and part of the park adjacent to it were shown as ‘area of possible multi-purpose building including library’.
The Community Centre requires some investment to keep it available for use for the next few years.
In the longer-term it would be possible to consider moving to a new purpose built community building on the site of the Library.
Other Projects to be considered for CIL funding in future years.
In 2016, Meadow Vale Community Association applied for planning permission for a major renovation and extension of Meadow Vale Community Centre, providing an all purpose hall and ancillary accommodation including toilets, changing rooms and stores. The planning application was approved by Bristol City Council in January 2017.
Some work to improve the existing centre is now been carried out, but significantly more funding is required for the extended centre to be built.
You can see a list of highways projects that have been suggested in St George on the Traffic Choices website.
Due to the long lead-in required for highway works, these are being treated differently and did not form part of the disscussion about the use of CIL on 14th March.
Page last updated 17/03/18