Protect the Green Belt and Bristol’s Green Spaces

On Tuesday 7th September 2021, at a full meeting of Bristol City Council, Councillor Richard Eddy will move a motion to: “PROTECT THE GREEN BELT AND BRISTOL’S GREEN SPACES“.

The motion – the full text of which is below – is about recommitting the city to protect the green belt (such as Ashton Vale Green belt) and also safeguarding the other threatened green spaces in Bristol, such as the Western Slopes and Yew Tree Farm (see more about these related campaigns below).

For those of us in Bristol, there are three things we can do to support this motion:

  1. Submit a public forum statement supporting this motion. See below for how.
  2. E-mail your local councillor to ask them to vote for this motion. Find your local councillor here.
  3. If you are free on Tuesday 7th September from 6:00pm consider attending the council meeting in person at the Council Offices on College Green.

Some of us fighting for SAVE, the Western Slopes and Yew Tree Farm will be there. Some of us will speak, others will just support those who are speaking.

For most of us though – feel free to just focus on 1. and 2. Make your voice count, even if you don’t attend the meeting.

In terms of submitting a public forum statement.

E-mail: democratic.services@bristol.gov.uk by 12.00 noon on Friday 3rd September 2021.

  • Responses are read out on a “first-come, first-read” basis, so e-mail soon.
  • Write your statement in your own words – why is this motion important to you?
  • Mention Ashton Vale Fields, the Western Slopes and Yew Tree Farm.
  • Include your name and address. Only your name will be disclosed.
  • Mention whether you will be attending the council meeting or not. If not – just say you are unable to attend.
  • Finish by saying: “I urge councillors to vote for the motion entitled “Protect the green belt and Bristol’s Green Spaces”
  • If you want, use your statement as the basis of an e-mail that you send to your councillors, urging them to also support the motion.

Full text of the motion

The text of the motion: PROTECT THE GREEN BELT AND BRISTOL’S GREEN SPACES.

This Council welcomes the importance placed by Her Majesty’s Government on the protection of the Green Belt and endorses the main reasons given for preserving this strategic space.

These zones are essential to check urban sprawl; prevent the merging of neighbouring towns; safeguard the countryside from encroachment; preserve the setting and special characteristics of historic areas; and assist in urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of already developed land.

The need to conserve the existing Green Belt, as well as retaining vital green spaces, remains a major priority for most people in our city. As a result, Council notes the Mayor’s recent decision to not now build housing on Brislington Meadows and to ‘look again’ at housing plans which would destroy the Western Slopes wildlife corridor.

Sadly, there are other equally significant sites which remain under the threat of the bulldozer. One such place is Yew Tree Farm, Bristol’s last working farm. The family there has been recognised by the Avon Wildlife Trust and RSPB for the huge strides made in achieving sustainable, low-intensity, organic local food production, whilst maintaining abundant and attractive biodiversity.

Considering the Mayor’s pledges around combatting food poverty and encouraging communities to grow more of their own food, Council calls for a halt to the proposed redevelopment of or incursion into any remaining productive wildlife rich agricultural land. Furthermore, the Mayor is asked to give a cast-iron commitment that he will look instead to increase the emphasis placed in the Authority’s Site Allocations and Development Management policies on re-using or re-purposing existing and emerging ‘brownfield’, previously developed or urban centres rather than continuing to erode our surrounding fields and countryside

Related South Bristol campaigns

The SAVE website has been set up to protect the Ashton Vale Green Belt from the threat of 510 houses. Outline planning permission is being applied for now by the land owner. You can still object to those plans (see here for more).

But, really importantly, Ashton Vale Green Belt is not alone. Other green areas of South Bristol are also under threat including the Western Slopes and Yew Tree Farm. In both of these cases Bristol City Council, in partnership with developers, is threatening to build hundreds of homes on these ecologically important sites. Because of these combined threats, we are forming the: “South Bristol Green Space Alliance” to join together in our fight to protect our green belt and green spaces for future generations.

For more information on SAVE, explore this website and the social media links below. Use our contact form to get in touch.

Western Slopes. See this website, Facebook group, and Twitter account for more about the Western Slopes campaign.

Yew Tree Farm. This BBC news website article and Campaign for the Protection of Rural England video explains the threat to Yew Tree Farm: the last working farm within the boundaries of the city of Bristol.