One of the aims of the St George Community Network is for us to work together influence plans for the area.
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.
We have formed a Community Planning Group as a new Topic Group to move forward with large scale plans for the park and other community buildings in St George (see Project List below).
Several local residents volunteered to join the Community Planning group at the meeting we held to disscuss this on 15th August 2018. The group is now holding regular meetings; please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join the group.
The August meeting followed earlier meetings held on 14th March & 20th June 2018 to talk about the options and 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 is taken by Councillors each year, with the decision for 2018 being taken in September.
Listed below are the projects that have been suggested for St George.
Projects allocated CIL funding in 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 includes only 1 in St George that is open most days – JD Weatherspoon: St Georges Hall.
The meeting in March 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.
Cllr Asher Craig arranged for a temporary toilet block to be provided for summer 2018, it was hoped funding could be found to keep this until at least November, but this was unsuccessful and they were removed at the end of September.
The allocated CIL is being used to provide more permanent public toilets from 2019 within one of the existiong buildings. Funding for maintenance (cleaning etc) will come from the Parks budget but some of this will be covered by increased takings from the café kiosk – which is also to be refurbished. The target is to have these new toilets open for summer 2019.
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.
Friends of Troopers Hill have been awarded funds for other parts of this project, including to replace the fencing between Troopers Hill Road and the Nature Reserve, from the Heritage Lottery Fund
The CIL funding allocated to this project will be used by Friends of Troopers Hill as match funding to apply for grants to fund the rest of the project.
Projects being taken forward by Community Planning Group.
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.
Ideas developed by the Wildlife & Wetlands Trust for Friends of St George Park can be seen below. These are provisional plans and a more detailed report is now being produced. Any project would need to consider the long-term maintenance of both the structures and the wildlife areas.
Click on images to view.
The collection of buildings in the centre of the park include the bowling club pavilion, 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 creating a new café / community building with indoor seating areas and toilets – this would be a long-term project needing at least 5 years to design, get planning permission, raise funds and build.
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 fitness equipment should be added in the park, this could be done as part of the same project.
The threat of closure of the library has now been removed with the Council confirming that all libraries will stay open, but the Council wants to look at options to modernise the library and make better use of the space.
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.
Projects requiring funding.
The project below was considered by the Area Committee for funding in September 2018 but was unsuccessful.
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 in March 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.
Drinking Fountain for St George Park
When first established St George Park was blessed with a magnificent drinking fountain.
A new fountain wouldn’t be so ornate but they are now being installed around the City and indeed across the UK, we should have one in the Park.
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 discussion about the use of CIL on 14th March.
Page last updated 24/10/18