Thursday, 8 March 2018

Magistrates Court - housing proposed for key Yate town centre site

Local councillors at the Magistrates Court site

South Glos Council is currently considering a planning application for up to 50 houses on the old Magistrates Court site off Kennedy Way. However the site access would be from Stanshawe Crescent.

There is very little available space anywhere near the town centre now. Yate Town Council has objected to the proposal, suggesting that it would be better to have a town centre use here, and put new residential units on brownfield sites in less critical locations instead.

With all the thousands of extra houses already proposed for Yate, perhaps the building could be converted as a new police station? Or will our police still have to operate out of the antiquated building in Chipping Sodbury?

Even supposing the housing goes ahead, Stanshawe Crescent is narrow, lacks a pavement along one side, and is already congested and dangerous. There is no more room for on street parking there.

The open space between the magistrates court and the current residential area is a vital buffer between the town centre and the Stanshawe Crescent community, and should be retained, together with all the trees.

You can find details of the proposals here or by searching for "Magistrates" on the South Glos planning application web page. You can submit comments until Monday 19 March.

Homes England - effectively a government department - has also given notice that they intend to demolish the Magistrates Court building anyway (details here) with a very short consultation period - you may remember a private firm doing the same thing recently at the Railway Inn site. Yate Town Council has objected to demolition because it prematurely removes a community asset.

We understand that South Glos has decided to deal with the application to demolish the magistrates court building in secret, not in open session in a meeting. Why? What's so special about this site, except that it's Government land? Has the decision in effect already been made?

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