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Joe Kilker

TETRA meeting, 6:30pm this evening

19 posts in this topic

This meeting probably won't be well attended (with this post arriving a little late to help), because all notices have been taken off the noticeboard outside the Co-op on High St, but I hope residents of Tredworth who have been alerted on Facebook (Bartonites are barred) will assist Brenda Wiggall in seeking volunteers (and maybe funding?) to restore the public garden by the city farm to what it was, two years ago.

Technically, yes, this is the farm's responsibility, and therefore the Friendship Café's. Perhaps GFC would like to comment on that, though I haven't seen Reyaz Limalia on these boards for some time. A bit of elbow grease in the garden would make that shiny new donated SUV feel more earned, I'm sure.

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Hi

How'd it go?

Thanks

Paul Harries

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Have you met Tony Ward? He has made it very clear he doesn't want Bartonites, and especially me, attending his meetings. Or even Tredworth residents, to be honest. He'd just like to hold committee meetings, and never be challenged on anything.

Try. Email him with a request for minutes, or support for tidying the garden.

I was at Brockworth Community Centre this morning, with my daughter. It is nothing like our so-called 'Barton & Tredworth Community Centre'. Our councillors, and council hopefuls, should feel ashamed by their lack of commitment to the welfare of residents.

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Hi

Sounds like Brockworth have something going for them.

We used to have a meaningful working support organisation here, years ago. Since Community Counts everything gone downhill.

What does TETRA stand for anyways. Sorry, don't know.

Paul Harries

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Maybe they have Tewkesbury Borough Council going for them.

TETRA is Tredworth Estate Tenants & Residents' Association. Tasked by their constitution with keeping Tredworth informed of their activities, but not in practise.

The community garden was cleared of weeds a few days ago, and some plants supposedly put in, though not as far as I could see this morning. I did, however, chance to meet GFC, or rather, just catch him before he left in his Fair Shares van. He claimed that the Friends of St. James' Park haven't existed for years (much like Ismael Rhyman hasn't been involved with the partnership for years?), and when asked who had been in charge of the group, said '[Inspector] Tim Wood'. This quite surprised me, given how the group seems to have vanished without fanfare, but it's consistent with his 'dog in the manger' attitude to people who want to make a difference in the community. I've sent Wood an email (Timothy.Wood@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk), asking for details of the group's demise/replacement. He's away til the 14th, but I don't expect much of an answer.

Reyaz Limalia also denied that there were any plans to extend the riding arena, despite the addition without planning permission of stables, and an email (unreadable on the council website*) seeking permission to discharge an obligation to abide by clause 9, which requires two trees to be replaced on the southern side of the arena after construction is finished (which would then be an obstacle to said extension). So, if he's being truthful, it will remain a dismal little arena that one could barely swing a colt in.

*http://glcstrplnng12.co.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=externalDocuments&keyVal=MY5SYZHMC0000

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I got a reply to my email, sent to the city council yesterday. No mention of the 404 error, and there are at least two assertions I would (and will) take issue with. Anyone care to guess what they are..?

 

Dear Mr Kilker

I am writing to advise you that having looked into your enquiry regarding the erection of the stables block I subsequently advised the proprietor that planning permission was required (retrospectively). As a result an application was submitted on 1st August reference 17/00833/FUL. The stables were erected ancillary to the construction of the riding/schooling arena and I believe the proprietor did not think that ancillary buildings would require planning permission – it goes without saying (but I will anyway) that the stables are required to accommodate horses kept at the City Farm.

If you haven’t been notified yet I suspect that you and other interested parties will be informed shortly and will have the opportunity to make any representation regarding the application before it is determined.

Kind regards

 

Rick Crombie

Consultant – Planning Enforcement

Planning

GloucesterCity Council

Herbert Warehouse

The Docks

Gloucester, GL1 2EQ

 

01452 396222

 

rick.crombie@gloucester.gov.uk

www.gloucester.gov.uk

From: Development Control
Sent: 10 August 2017 08:08
To: Rick Crombie
Subject: St. James' Riding Arena

Hi

As discussed

Thanks

Julia

 

From: Joe Kilker
Sent: 09 August 2017 17:22
To: Here to Help
Cc: Development Control; Wendy Jones; kayvpowell; Ahmed S. Hansdot
Subject:

 

I am still waiting,since early May, for an answer to the question of why stables have been erected at the St. James' Riding Arena, even though such a structure was never part of the application submitted, without any apparent concern on the city council's part. While you continue to deliberate on this, can you fix the 404 error which prevents me from reading why a request was belatedly made to seek a discharge on condition 9, the replacement of two trees on the arena's southern side (an obligation which would interfere with any later move to extend the arena further into the park, and eat up even more of the ward's severely limited public space?

http://planningdocs.gloucester.gov.uk/default.aspx?custref=13/01311/FUL

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As an afterthought, it's interesting that the reply contained no proscriptions about who may read the email besides the receiver. That is all of the text. Has the city council finally got tired of secrecy, now legal whuz Sue Mullins has moved to Stratford District Council?

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As promised...

I'll take issue on you with two assertions you've made below. Firstly, planning permission was not 'required (retrospectively)', it was required before the stables were built. Of course, it will probably be granted retrospectively, but that's not the same thing.

Secondly, regardless of what you believe the proprietor thought or didn't think, it certainly doesn't 'go without saying' that stables were required for the horses being used in the arena, which is why stables were not included in the original application. The original plan was for the horses to be transported to the arena from several miles away as required, and taken away when not*. You may not 'believe' this is very practical. I don't either, and I note that there is no mention in the 'Design and Access' statement from the application of either transporting or stabling the horses, though this evidently didn't trouble the planning committee.

Nevertheless, stables are an addition to the arena, which has obviously reduced what was already a pitiably small area in which to exercise the horses, let alone give riders lessons, compared to what they would have had if this arena had been sited at Robinswood Hill instead. If the proprietor (Imran Atcha?) feels he can make this addition, what will be the next addition that 'goes without saying'? The stables have a large door on the southern side, facing the park, but squeezed in as the stables are, the arena's fence is too close for this door to be opened adequately. Will it then go without saying that the fence should pushed a couple more metres into the park, or further, to facilitate the stables that were never included along with that fence in the plans? If not, what was the purpose of this door in the first place?

As I've said, I know that the permission for these stables will be granted, whatever I or anyone else say (and regardless of the welfare of the horses?). I 'believe' that should only happen, though, after the proprietor has given his word that no more of the park will be eaten up by the arena (as Reyaz Limalia promised verbally just two days ago). The buildings and gardens between the arena and Upton St, which I suspect Gymnasian are eyeing up, that's a different story, but the park should be left alone now.
 
*Presumably to Hartpury College, see six links down, though the original article is lost, because the Citizen can't stop revamping its website:
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=hartpury+college+st+james+farm+horses&ei=LLuNWdf2CMHMgAbzh53QDg&start=0&sa=N&biw=1360&bih=659


(Ahmed Hansdot cc'd because as well as being our local councillor, who seems to know next to nothing about this matter, [he] apparently represents the Environment on Gloucester Labour Councillor's 'Shadow Cabinet' https://www.facebook.com/GlosLabourCllrs/)

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I just noticed that I completely reversed the words, 'with you on', above. That's new and worrying.

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Hi

Joe. did you know that you can ask to be copied in on all the planning applications, getting a published list every Monday?

Thanks

Paul Harries

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Yes, I started getting the list at the same time that you did, for all the good it really does. I'd paste the B&T relevant part of the list onto the news section of the partnership site some people said I had no right to create or manage. It's still there (if little used), while the partnership is gone, to paraphrase Bruce Springsteen... http://bartred.webs.com/news.htm

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The planning application (6 floodlights, plus 'Retention of timber clad stables already built') is online now. Despite a promise to include them, my remarks above are currently noticably absent. Extra stables are also cited as being required ('New proposed stables in addition to that on site'), without any adequate explanation of where they will go, without either taking up more space in the arena, or more likely, the city farm. It may be that these 'new' stables are the ones already built, the application is vague on this point, and clarification is required.

Inasmuch as it makes grammatical sense, this, from the design & access statement, suggests the riding arena/school will be expanded, at the expense of either the farm or the park, or both:

'To take the riding school forward we must now make strides to further develop the project with increased capacity for locals to use this invaluable community service compounded by our endless requests for lessons from the local public.'

http://glcstrplnng12.co.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage

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The application still awaits the promised inclusion, so I'm adding this new one, using the planning site's software:

I think I have to pick 'Object' as my stance, for fear that the following comments on Gymnasian's inconsistent approach to 'improving the tired and dilapidated farm site in the heart of Tredworth' won't be recognised as a critical view. In fact, I don't think any objections will make a difference, I just want to highlight the fact that two years of failing to maintain the community garden (or even replace stolen/vandalised benches as promised two Septembers ago), don't signal a 'commitment to rejuvenating the much loved Farm within inner city Gloucester', in the hope of evoking a belated pledge to start giving the garden half the attention the arena gets. Vandal-proof benches are a tiny effort by comparison to the donation of £25,000 SUVs.

That pledge, and an explanation of why 'condition 9' from the original arena application wasn't kept, and trees replanted on the park side of the arena, as promised. The 'email to discharge condition 9' document added to that application continues to throw up a 404 error, despite weeks, if not months, of requests to provide the text. If the discharge of that condition is for the purpose of making a further expansion into the park easier, we should be told.

I added this:

I should also point out, if the comments I have made by email, and which the planning department has promised will be 'appended' to the application ever do appear, that although the stables were crammed into a very small gap between the farm and the arena, this hasn't greatly reduced the size of the arena as planned. It's still the case that the arena is far too small, without that expansion I suspect is planned, and that Reyaz Limalia personally denied would happen.

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I think some progress was made on this yesterday, with the following exchange:

Sent: Thu, 31 Aug 2017 14:12
Subject: RE: 17/00833/FUL - St James City Farm Albany Street Gloucester GL1 4NG

I have verified that Condition 9 details were submitted and approved but the 2 x trees had not been planted. That is being attended to now and trees will be planted during this planting season (before the end of November).

Rick Crombie

Consultant – Planning Enforcement

--------------------------------------------------------------

That's good to know, but what I also still need to know is on what grounds Gymnasian attempted to 'discharge' condition 9, give[n] that it seems to have a bearing on the stables that Gymnasian failed to seek planning permission for, just as they have failed to replace the trees whose presence would prevent the arena fence being moved away from the currently blocked stable door.

Both these 404 errors need to be dealt with, and I doubt they're the only ones that exist on the planning site.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Sent: Thu, 31 Aug 2017 19:06
Subject: RE: 17/00833/FUL - St James City Farm Albany Street Gloucester GL1 4NG

I will confine my response to planning (and enforcement) matters. Condition 9 had not been discharged, as previously explained it was only part implemented in that they had submitted details and had them agreed as required by the condition, the second leg of the condition required those trees to be planted and they weren’t – now they will be, and the condition will be discharged.

I do not intend to speculate on any ‘attempt’ to discharge a condition – any attempt to do so would (should) require confirmation, in this case, that the trees had been planted. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

I’ve no idea about the 404 errors but have included our business support manager in this response, he will look into it.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Thank you. If I have previously misunderstood the meaning of 'discharge' in this particular instance, you'll appreciate that it is in the context of long efforts to have the relevant document displayed, combined with a condition that has gone unfulfilled for two years, and aggravated by the oddly positioned stables. This wouldn't be the first time that what looked like questionably partial practises turned out to be just extreme inattentiveness to details and a prolonged failure to answer simple questions (with local city councillors ignoring this resident's requests for assistance).

One of those questions still remains how the retroactively applied for stables can be validated in their current proximity to a fence that isn't going to be moved, and the explanation for this should have been included with the application. It's still not too late for this to happen, which is why I'd like this comment added to the current application, in the hope that Gymnasian will respond appropriately.

My only other hope, as previously expressed, is that the Gymnasian which has made this application, citing '
great strides in improving the tired and dilapidated farm site in the heart of Tredworth', will confirm its good intentions for the city farm by finally restoring the community garden. As with condition 9, a promise to replace stolen/vandalised benches has been left unkept for two years now, and it's not much of a community garden if people can't sit in it. There are benches left in the locked up and unused allotment area, besides the fact that woodworking classes which do occasionally take place in that area could easily provide a few benches. If Gymnasian still harbours doubts about providing fresh seating, they should seek the views and assistance of residents, rather than posting acerbic notices blaming those residents for the damage, and threatening 'any people caught in this area' with prosecution.

The fulfillment of this promise would clear up any confusion about the charity's present commitment to this '
shining model of sustainability within the City'.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Hopefully this exchange will lead to some new documents in the next week, or at least old ones being readable, finally. I've done what I can to make a charity accountable in a ward where accountability is rare, and getting rarer. 

 

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I should have known better, because, a whole week later, nothing's changed...

Comment sent to the application page, just now:

There should be at least two comments by me about this application. Currently there is still only one, it's been on the site for about a week, but it can't be read due to a '404 error', and in spite of both emails and tweets, the council have not responded to this problem. Therefore I have to comment again. If you have been restricting all comments to that one post, please keep this one separate, and answer it with an explanation for the failure to make my comments viewable.

Also clarify if you are really going to leave the deadline as 21 days after August 22nd, when there are still unanswered questions about this application?

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Just added this, as well as emailing it to those concerned...

On this day, 15th November, over a month since my last comment, no comment has been made by Gymnasian to give assurance that the wild cherry and Common Oak they have neglected to replace for the past three years will be planted before the end of November (the latest they can be planted this year, according to Rick Crombie, of the planning department:

'I have verified that Condition 9 details were submitted and approved but the 2 x trees had not been planted. That is being attended to now and trees will be planted during this planting season (before the end of November).'

I've said previously that I'm perfectly happy to help dig the holes for these trees (or do all the work if need be), but I can't provide the saplings themselves, or the protection from vandalism promised. I will email this comment to  Habib Patel, who gave the undertaking on 4th September, 2014, to replant the trees, and Imran Atcha, who runs the riding school (as well as cc'ing Mr Crombie), in the hope of getting an acknowledgement, here or by email, before the end of this month.

Footnote: I see from another email sent on 15th September that Mr Crombie expected 'the replacement trees to be planted between now (or Nov 2017) and March 2018.' Since re-planting was *supposed* to 'take place between November 2014- February 2015', and 'photographic evidence' was to be 'sent to the GCC tree officer once planting is completed', are we really expected to wait 4-5 months more for this to be settled? If so, Gymnasian *really* should state this publicly, on this page.

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Is anyone in charge of dealing with spam now?

So, not long after my post last November, the trees were planted. Near the end of the long hot spell, though, I noticed that they appeared, if not dead, close to death. Newly planted trees have to be watered every day for the first two weeks, then every week for a year. Twice a week in hot weather, as I recall a previous search revealing.

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/watering-newly-planted-tree.htm

I doubt these trees were watered at all during the long heat, if ever, so I'll be very surprised if they don't need replacing, by the people who had an obligation to care for them. Or did they think planting the trees was the end of their commitment?

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