Hello Manor Farm, I realise it is now a year since the first public consultation ran by Bristol City Council (BCC) at the school to reveal the plans for the St. Peters’ site, and indeed, nearly 6 months since the last consultation, so it time for an update on what has been going on as we continue to work for our community behind the scenes
Planning application for building works
The formal full planning application has now been submitted and residents in the immediate vicinity have now received letters informing them of this. The Planning Application (PA) number is 19/04101/FB. All written comments should be sent back by the 8th October. The PA also includes the demolition of number 45 Bishopthorpe Road, which we are assuming is the current Children’s home. Since the last consultation, a four bedroom house on the development has now been allocated as a children’s home and 4 properties are going to be co-ownership. MFCH were unaware of these changes from the last consultation. Contact should be either online at www.bristol.gov.uk/planningonline or Citizens Service Point, 100 Temple Street, Bristol BS1 6AG. The Planning Case Officer for this development pa is Conrad Rodzaj.
New legal status
In order for us to be an official body with the legal capacity to enter into an agreement to run the community building, we have to turn the group into a CIC – Community Interest Company. This is something else which is entailing quite a lot of input in terms of on-line form filling, but I am glad to report we are making good progress with this now – watch this space for a further announcement of our new community company identity! New Volunteers to help with fundraising, finances and many other functions of the MFCH Group We have for a while been on the lookout for people to join our Core Committee, in particular to help out with the more specialist fundraising and finance aspects and I am pleased to say as a result of advertising in lots of places over the last few months, we are now in touch with 2-3 people local to the Manor Farm/Horfield area who should be able to join us. We will look forward to welcoming them aboard very soon. However, we still need more new members who are able to help in other ways and your support would be extremely welcome as we still have vacancies in the core group for general committee members, since there will still be plenty to do as we continue negotiations with the council. We also want to start building a volunteer bank to help with the practical running of the hub and community events in the future so please get involved to support YOUR community.
Good news on Green Spaces
There are two things to report here – firstly, BCC’s Parks Division has pledged to let the community facility have some land at the back of the building which will be taken from the top of the park. This will be good to use for outdoor events and groups to use in good weather. Secondly BCC have now finally (after much persistent emailing over the months!) found the £ 1000.00 that was promised to our community over 2 years ago as compensation for the removal of the MUGA. After meeting with Parks Officers a few weeks ago we are now waiting for a quote for a bench and for some new trees to be planted in Maskelyne Avenue Green Space. We look forward to working with children at Horfield C of E Primary to do this which means Operation Wild-It (the project created by the children at the Love Horfield Schools Conference in 2018) can at last become reality!
Looking ahead to managing the Community Facility
After the planning application has gone in, MFCH group, which aspires to run the facility, will have to work with BCC to undergo a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) process which will assess our capability to take over the management of the facility efficiently, responsibly and for the benefit of everyone locally. This will be when we will need lots of goodwill from the community – which we know we can bank on ! - and both moral and practical support in all sorts of ways. So now is the time to start thinking about what you would you like to see the centre used for and how could you possibly contribute to making it happen? We will update as and when the process is due to start but in the meantime please get in touch with your ideas/offers of help
Voscur offer a range of valuable courses about all aspect of community work, funding, finances, being a Board/Committee member, etc. Our core group members attend those which seem relevant to the stage we are currently at and we will post links on the page of any we are planning to attend and which you, as members of the local community, take advantage of. If you have any questions or comments at all please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of us either via a quick comment on here or using the contact details on our website www.manorfarmcommunityhub.og.uk