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Houses on Hold, Maybe SOMEONE literally screamed “won’t somebody please think of the children” as more than 30 people raised objections to plans for a small housing development in Thornbury as they claim would endanger highway safety. Planning chiefs are set to visit the site on Park Road where an outline planning application has been submitted to build three four-bedroom houses and four flats. The reason for their visit is due to people living near the site claiming that with a huge amount of additional traffic, possibly seven extra cars, the site could be dangerous for children attending nearby Manorbrook Primary School. Chris Brazier, a local resident, said: "The sheer volume of traffic is a real danger as parents drop off and collect their children and this development will only exacerbate and inflame this situation as more cars, vans, lorries congregate and park on this proposed site." Other concerns outlined in the overwhelming 35 letters received by the local authority included over-intensification of the site and how the design of the properties would be overbearing on neighbouring houses. Councillor Clare Fardell explained that "the awkward shape of the site, which is long and narrow, makes it difficult for the parking and access arrangements. "The access is virtually opposite Cossham Close, so with the school, Chatsworth Park and buses going past it’s not an ordinary application on a reasonably sized site, on a reasonably sized road." Iain Stevenson, senior planner for Carter Jonas, the company behind the plans, said: "A previous application was for five houses but that was refused on two grounds, one was layout and one was the amount of development.” But after this rejection, “the planning authority requested we swap two of the houses for four flats, which would increase density but wouldn’t increase traffic generation.” You know how this problem could be solved? Get the builders to not drive their lorries in and out of the site at peak hours. Simples. Maybe I should run for Councillor.

THORNBURY and Yate town centres are set to be the focus of a major regeneration programme. The district authority has announced plans to help revitalise the two towns after the recession hit small independent businesses hard. South Gloucestershire Council says it wants to ‘improve the vibrancy and vitality of town and district centres including Kingswood, Staple Hill, Downend, Yate, Patchway and Thornbury'. Director of community services Steve Evans said: "A number of town centres in South Gloucestershire are facing significant challenges. "The council seeks to support these centres and the businesses that operate within them." He said the trend towards out-of-town shopping centres, combined with the global economic crisis, had hit town centres hard. "Over the past 20 years, retail expenditure has polarised towards the out-of-town retail parks, The Mall and freestanding stores," said Mr Evans. "Consequently, the traditional centres have seen a decline in the proportion of shop frontages in retail use, with an increase in non-retail uses such as cafes, takeaways and building societies.” He went on to explain that there was “a need to redefine the role and increase the competitiveness of certain centres to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the local community and maintain viability and vitality.” In Thornbury, 10 percent of the 145 units are empty although a new café, delicatessen and Timbercraft shop have opened. The council hopes to increase footfall in the towns by launching marketing and promotional campaigns. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath. By the time this is completed, I’m sure that the poles will have thawed completely, thus drowning huge swathes of land including my fair Thornbury. Pictured: Choices is one shop that has remained empty for years


Friday, 14 May, 2010 – Issue 4. Written and Produced by Matt Reed. No Copyright obviously.

Town Centres To Get Free Facelifts

More Locals Complaining About Houses For Some Reason A GROUP of residents in Thornbury are launching another campaign against more proposals to build 500 houses near their homes. People living in the Parklands area of the town have accused South Gloucestershire Council of not consulting properly on its plans for the development, which are to be included in the authority’s Core Strategy. The Core Strategy is a key planning document for the district’s development for the next 16 years and it proposes up to 500 homes could be built on land north of Thornbury, next to the Castle School. However, once again people living nearby have said there has been insufficient consultation and the site is not suitable for such a development. Do you ever feel that there’s a running theme to these sorts of issues? Grace Davies, one the run of the mill ‘concerned locals’, said: "This has come as a real bolt of the blue. We only knew about this because of the surveyors who were in the field last week.” "We just feel this is a heritage site with the castle and the medieval ponds. There are so many issues why this isn’t a good site, such as transport and the impact on wildlife." A survey carried out by Thornbury Town Council, in conjunction with the chamber of commerce and the Peer Group in 2008, revealed a need for additional housing in the town. A South Gloucestershire Council spokesman said: "Following feedback from the steering group that Thornbury might benefit from additional housing, a framework for how this might be achieved has been included in the draft core strategy document.” "However, this work is at a very initial stage. We have expressed our disappointment and strong concerns to developers about undertaking any work before this period of public consultation has been completed and the local community has had a chance to give their views."

Seriously You’ve Got To Be Woman On The Run After Squid-ing Me, This Is Fake Luring Unsuspecting Cat

Pictured (Left): A cat that looks like Blackie, as in it’s a black cat, but obviously it’s not.

SWANSEA magistrates have been confronted by a new level of insanity and depravity. A picture of a man having sex with a squid was among sick images police found on a home computer, magistrates heard the other day. Andrew Dymond, 46, faces a total of 24 charges, including making indecent images of children as well as having photos of people having sex with dogs and horses. Prosecutors amended the charge relating to the squid when it was admitted it could have been an octopus in the picture, it was just so difficult to look at it for long enough to tell. The court heard the creature was clearly dead.Swansea magistrates committed Dymond, of Mumbles, to stand trial at crown court at a later date. He was given bail on condition he does not access the internet. Dymond was banned from having any contact with a child under the age of 16.

POLICE today appealed for information after a cat was stolen in Chipping Sodbury, signalling the start of an international operation to catch the ‘catnappers’. The horrifying incident occurred on Thursday, May 6 between 2pm and 2.30pm in the High Street. It is believed the unsuspecting cat was lured away by a woman before driving off in her car. The witness was clearly not trying hard enough as they were unable to provide details of the vehicle. Blackie is a two-year-old male domestic shorthaired cat, much loved by both family and his community. Worrying details were also revealed though, as the public were informed that he had been neutered and was not wearing a collar. It would be remiss of this reporter to speculate on exactly what Blackie is currently going through, but it can be safely assumed that he has already been raped several times and could already be dead, buried in a shallow grave in the nearby woods. Poor Blackie. If you see a black cat, think of Blackie and shed a little tear.

Carnival Needs New Ideas For A Laugh THORNBURY Carnival organisers are looking for new ideas to help make the event popular for once. With plans well underway for this year’s carnival, to be held on July 3, those behind the ‘successful’ town event are hoping to expand it further in future years. Last year the Thornbury Carnival attracted 11,000 people to the town, which saw a street parade, live acts and a fly-past from the Red Arrows. However, keen to build on this success the organisers are looking to develop the event further and would like to hear from anyone within the town or surrounding idea that might have ideas. David Goldring, chairman of the Thornbury Carnival said: “We are hoping to hold a meeting later in the year, which will be open to any and all local organisations.” “We want to generate some constructive ideas about the future of the carnival. We don’t want to burden the already very busy groups that operate in Thornbury, but if the carnival is to move forward, the carnival committee cannot do it alone.” Mr Goldring said one suggestion that had already been made was to abolish the carnival altogether, but this was ignored as a silly idea. He went further to say that the Thornbury Carnival 2010 was shaping up to be bigger and better than last year. “We have brought the parade forward and we have entertainment throughout the day and on into the evening. We have more stalls and displays available.” “July 3 is going to be a very busy day but we hope people will find there is something for everyone.”

Scout Campers Get Tents CHILDREN are unable to sleep through fear after hearing that their Almondsbury Scout group can go camping this summer thanks to the local village shop. Almondsbury Community Shop recently presented 1st Almondsbury Scout group with £200, as part of the shop’s first birthday community award. As a non-profit organisation the village shop has to donate any profit it makes to local charities and voluntary organisations. Alun Evans, chairman of the Almondsbury Community Shop, said: "In the future we hope to be able to give a larger grant and potentially to more than one group. "The Scout group told us about the mice problem they had and how all their tents had been ruined so with the help of this grant they can go camping this summer." What was not revealed was whether the children themselves had damaged the tents in order to avoid the clear and present danger of going camping.

Pictured: Some tents being used properly

Man Stupidly Claims Fun Run Organisers “Work Hard” AS the weeks slowly count down to the 2010 Oldbury Fun Run, it is not just the runners who are frantically trying to get ready. Behind the scenes of the successful charity fundraiser there is a team of 26 committee members who for the remaining six weeks will do nothing but, eat, sleep and breathe the fun run. At the helm, making sure everything comes together for the big day on June 20 is Chairman Keith Sullivan. Keith, 65, has been chairman of the fun run committee for the past four years. “The fun run was going long before we moved to the village 25 years ago and it is something that everyone gets involved with. I have run it quite a few times over the years but more recently I’ve been consigned to just overseeing it.” “I was just retiring when I was approached to get involved and it is such a good village event and raises a lot of money for CLIC Sargent,” said Keith. However, it is not just Keith and the 26-strong committee that make the fun run the annual success it is. “In total we have about 100 volunteers who help out with the marshalling, running stalls, manning the car park, setting up, delivering leaflets, getting sponsorship, the list is endless really,” said Keith. So our thanks go out to their tireless work to ensure than thousands of pounds can be raised for worthy charities.

Free Me News - Issue 4  
Free Me News - Issue 4  

Following on from Free Me News - Issue 1, Free Me News - Issue 2 and Free Me News - Issue 3 comes Free Me News - Issue 4! Issue 4!!!!