Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Planning Application

Only one application registered for Combe Down this week. This is a resubmission of an earlier application for five houses, which was withdrawn. The only difference now is that it has four houses. This in my view is still a gross overdevelopment of the site, which is close to the National Trust Skyline Walk. An example of how the Government's changes to planning regulations, classifying gardens as 'brownfield' sites is leading to inappropriate applications. We support residents in their opposition to this application

Ward: Combe Down App Ref: 07/02131/OUT
Parish: N/A
Registered: 4th July 2007 Expiry Date: 29th August 2007
Location: 37 Flatwoods Road Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AQ
Grid Ref: (E)377560 - (N)163130 LB Grade: N/A
Proposal: Erection of 4 no. dwellings and associated car parking, highways works and landscaping, following demolition of existing dwelling (Resubmission)
Officer: Rachel Le Huray
Applicant: Mr And Mrs P G Webster And Mr And Mrs D T Lindop
Agent: Savills (Bristol)

Embassy House
Queens Avenue

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Six to Fix

In the run up to the election Cherry and I made some pledges, drawn from what you had told us. Our 'Six to Fix' are the issues that you told us you most wanted us to look at and that gave you most concerns. We will keep you updated on our progress with these pledges on this Blog site and in our regular Focus news letters. Any comments and ideas are very welcome. The first update is below.

Six To Fix Progress

1. Road Safety and Congestion
– Advisory 20 mph speed restrictions will be put in at Hawthorn Grove/Sedgemoor Road and Southstoke Road. A Pedestrian refuge has been agreed to the west of Southstoke Road/Bradford Road junction and Zig Zag lines have been requested for outside Combe Down Primary School.

2. Speeding Traffic in Bradford/North Road - We have walked Bradford/North Roads with Peter Bailey from the Highways Department and we identified a number of safety measures. More on this in Focus.

3. Bus Services – we are still trying to arrange a meeting with First Group managers. We have had no response yet.

4. Fear of Crime – lighting improvements are now installed in Foxhill - more to come when funding is available. New community policeman PC Gerry Monks and PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) David Hall (grew up on Combe Down) on patrol – one more PCSO to follow.

5. Street Cleansing – Deep Clean, Keep Clean in August – to be reported on the Blog soon.

6. Youth and Community Provision – we asked Holy Trinity Church on 13th June for a meeting to discuss their plans for St Andrews, but as yet we have not had a response. During August we will ask the people of Foxhill what community facilities they would like to see on the St Andrews and Community Centre sites.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Planning Application

Ward: Combe Down App Ref: 07/02102/FUL
Parish: N/A
Registered: 2nd July 2007 Expiry Date: 27th August 2007
Location: Woodruff Cottage Shaft Road Combe Down Bath BA2 7HP
Grid Ref: (E)376687 - (N)162548 LB Grade: N/A
Proposal: Enlargement of existing single storey extension to two storey extension and addition of single storey bay window
Officer: Martyn Edwards
Applicant: Mr & Mrs M Likeman
Agent: Llewellyn Harker Architects
Woodruff Cottage
Shaft Road
Combe Down

Home Farm
East Pennard
Shepton Mallet

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sustrans back Two Tunnels scheme on 30th Anniversary

On Friday 6th July 2007 the Sustrans 30th anniversary ride came through the Combe Down Tunnel. I decided to escort the riders through Combe Down, or rather about 70 metres below Firs Field, when they arrived at the Tucking Mill entrance on route from Wells to meet the Mayor of Bath and the Rector of Bath Abbey in the Abbey Churchyard. The photos show the Sustrans riders and me entering the tunnel (by kind permission of Bath Chronicle)

The Combe Down Tunnel, more than a mile long, is a fantastic feat of Victorian engineering, which until 1966 took the Somerset and Dorset Railway (S&D - Slow and Dirty or Slow and Delightful according to your view) from Bath Green Park to Bournemouth. I remember as a child the journey on the Pines Express going on holiday at the end of July, but until Friday I had not walked or cycled through the tunnel before.

The surface is difficult, but I did cycle for part of the way and I daresay that a mountain biker could cycle the whole length of the tunnel. The Tunnel is in surprisingly good condition and the soot from the bygone days of steam is still on the tunnel lining. It is the longest unventilated tunnel on the UK Railway system and it was an ordeal for drivers and firemen alike. They used to hold a wet cloth over their mouths and noses as they passed through the tunnel because of the fumes.

In 1929 a goods train of 32 wagons loaded with coal, ran away down the incline from the west end of the Combe Down Tunnel into Green Park, where is was derailed at points, in the goods yard of the station. Witnesses said that they could not see anyone on the footplate and it transpired that both driver and fireman were lying there unconscious, having been overcome by fumes inside Combe Down Tunnel. Evidence given by fireman Pearce and guard Wagner, was that the tunnel was exceptionally hot and smoky and that after a short time in the Tunnel Pearce had to wrap a coat round his head and sit down - he remembered no more! The driver J H Jennings died from his injuries and both Pearce and Wagner were seriously injured. I noticed this account in the Avon Valley Railway's magazine - Semaphore.
The Two Tunnels project is to open the Combe Down Tunnel and the Devonshire Tunnel to provide a picuresque route with just a slight incline into and out of the City - see my post of 10th June.
Quite a cycling weekend really - off to see the start of the Tour de France in London Saturday.