Bristol City Council have twice refused planning permission for a new pavilion to be built by Cotham School at Stoke Lodge due to transport issues. The school refused three requests to meet with the council to discuss transport arrangments as part of the last application. Councillors told the school that they would never usually refuse a school's planning requests but they had no choice. The school say it has been refused becuase so many local residents objected but is this really the case ?
Many locals support the school's plans for a new pavilion but just wanted a viable transport plan to make it safe for Cotham's pupils and local redidents. BCC issued the below as the reason for the refusal:
'The proposed enlarged and enhanced changing facilities would increase the intensity of usage of the facilities by Cotham School as well as community sports teams and that would in turn be associated with a significant increase in vehicle and coach traffic and parking demand unsuited to the local highway network surrounding the site. Therefore, based on the information provided, it is considered that the proposal would give rise to unacceptable traffic and highway safety conditions. '
Cotham School have appealed the last refusal for planning with the secretary of state. In the mean time however they have returned to Stoke Lodge for the first time in five years. They have installed two toilets in an old maintanace shed and have been using the fields since mid March. However they have done so with no transport plan in place.
We as a community are delighted to see both Cotham pupils and clubs using the field however the lack of a transport plan and any consideration of residents in the arrangements that have been made in the few weeks is having significant impact on residents and is often dangerous.
We have offered to work with the school however the school have refused our requests. We have emailed and contacted the clubs directly to see if there is anything we as a community could do to support better transport arrangements for club usage at weekends to help avoid the type of congestion and illegal parking as demonstrated in the photo’s provided below.
Coaches have dropped off on Coombe Lane public bus stop and then remained on the bus stop for the duration of the lesson.
Coaches waiting on the public highway for the duration of the lesson (60 mins plus) on both double yellow lines and public bus stops
First Great Western buses have had to wait for the coaches to move/double park or pick up drop off away from the bus stop and therefore block drives.
Usage has increased significantly, whereas five years ago when the site was last used this was limited to a couple of mornings a week the school has now increased to five days usage.
Typically ten coaches per week have arrived to drop off, waited and picked up pupils- 2 each day in addition to afterschool and weekend club usage.
Up to 4 coaches have arrived on one day.
Coaches use the minor roads (daily) to complete a circle and ensure that they are on the correct side to collect children from public bus stops for the return journey,
Mini-Buses have bought Cotham School children for afterschool matches using minor roads and getting stuck - reversing onto main roads and on pavements around tight corners
Coaches have also parked illegally blocking driveways
It was amazing to see a club back at Stoke Lodge but as a every road around the lodge was chaos and members found it really hard to park
Sadly there were many cars parked illegally and in very dangerous spots
This small road was one of many blocked up with cars - many locals not able to access / leave their driveways