How the Evening Post reports the victory
Local campaigners are celebrating the news that a piece of community land in Shirehampton, known as “The Lamplighters” has been saved from possible sell-off and development by council.
The much-loved community land was under threat of development under the Council’s “Parks and Green Spaces Strategy”. The strategy aims to identify land of ‘low value’ to the community, for possible sell-off, with a view to enhancing the remaining land.
The news follows a long campaign to save the land, led by local campaigner, Charlotte Leslie and Cllr. Siobhan Kennedy-Hall. Over the summer, Ms. Leslie and Ms. Kennedy-Hall organised a petition against the council’s plans, as well as “Shire’s Big Picnic”, attended by hundreds of local residents as a peaceful protest, and a public meeting with council officers in September.
The land has been saved thanks to the results of a soil-test which was requested by Cllr. Siobhan Kennedy-Hall at the public meeting organised by local campaigner Charlotte Leslie, chaired by Cllr. Kennedy-Hall.
At the public meeting in September, local residents flagged up their concerns over the council’s possible proposals to build in the land. One issue that was raised was the fact that the land was previously a land-fill tip and may contain toxic substances that would be disturbed if developed. Council officers agreed to Cllr. Kennedy-Hall’s request to conduct a soil test with all speed.
The soil test results reveal significant heavy metals beneath the Lamplighters land, making it unsuitable for development. The Council have now confirmed that the Lamplighters Land will be excluded from development consideration, in a Parks and Green Spaces consultation document due to come out in January 2010.
However, the report also reveals that another piece of much-loved community land, The Daisy Field, in Shirehampton, has not been saved from possible development plans. Charlotte Leslie, who is also the Prospective MP for Bristol North West, and Cllr. Kennedy-Hall have vowed to keep campaigning to save the land.
Charlotte Leslie said,
“I am delighted that after all the hard work of local residents, the Lamplighters Land is now safe, and will even be enhanced. We said all along that the campaign for the Lamplighters was to ensure it did not even appear in the council’s consultation document, and we have done that.
“However, the battle is not over. The Council has stripped Shirehampton of so many amenities in recent years. The Robin Cousins Centre is still closed and derelict, and Shire’s lovely swimming pool is now sadly demolished, thanks to the Council. I will be fighting with residents to ensure that the Council does not strip Shirehampton of yet another much-loved community amenity – The Daisy Field. If the Council is really listening to residents’ voices, they will take the Daisy Field out of the list of at-risk land as well.”
Cllr. Siobhan Kennedy Hall added,
“Local residents have been fighting all the way for this result. It was their input at the public meeting in September which has really forced the Council to think again about their ill-thought-through plans. I’d like to thank everybody who has signed my petition, came to the picnic and made Shirehampton’s voice heard at the public meeting. Together we have won a real victory, and together we will work to make sure that the will of the people really does win through.”
The Council’s Parks and Green Spaces Strategy Consultation is due to be published in January 2010, and will include a list of Bristol green-space under consideration for development. Residents will have the chance to respond to the consultation and object to land included in the list for development, which is likely to include Shirehampton’s Daisy Field.
Cllr. Kennedy-Hall’s petition against building on the Daisy Field and Lamplighters Land is still open on the Council petitions website.