Stoke Lodge fields face new threat
A GROUP of campaigners who are fighting to save Stoke Lodge playing fields are facing a new threat.
Bristol City Council has revealed that it plans to “downgrade” green space protection for the 22-acre park in Stoke Bishop, which means that possible development could take place.
Although Stoke Lodge is currently deemed “important open space”, according to the Bristol Local Plan Review it is among 410 of the city’s green spaces which have been given a new designation of “reserved open space”, which means that the land can be developed if it is deemed that the green space is no longer needed.
The We Love Stoke Lodge campaign group, which has been disputing Cotham School’s use of the playing fields for eight years, says that it now wants to overturn the designation and have the park re-categorised as “local green space”, which means it will have green belt status.
To support its campaign, the group has launched a petition, which had over 1,200 signatures at the time of writing.
Following Freedom of Information requests and the disclosure of council documents that relate to the construction of the controversial fence at Stoke Lodge this year, the group has also stated in an email that its members “have been left shocked at the extent of what they believe to be maladministration, wholly inadequate and erroneous decisions and multiple errors of law by Bristol City Council.
The email goes on: “This saga has now run for eight years and looks set to continue as recently disclosed documents have left the community reeling and seeking redress against their own council.”
As reported in the Henleaze and Westbury Voice, the Bristol Local Plan outlines the council’s approach to delivering inclusive growth and development over the next 20 years including over 33,500 homes by 2036.
Citizens and communities are being asked for their views on the changes to the Local Plan, which will help support the creation of new homes and jobs across the city. It will also help safeguard valued environmental assets.
The Bristol Local Plan Review is open for public comment until May 24. To give feedback, visit: http://www.bristol.gov.uk/localplanreview
To find out more about We Love Stoke Lodge’s concerns, visit: www.welovestokelodge.co.uk
To sign the petition, go to: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/please-designate-stoke-lodge-as-open-green-space