The Society was formed in 1981 with the objective of safeguarding the Green Belt in the Hanham area of Bristol, together with the adjoining green fields and the Avon Valley. We strongly believe that these areas are vital to the quality of life of residents of this District as well as making the area attractive to many others. If these areas are lost, they will be lost forever and the quality of life diminished.
The Society has established links with English Partnerships, English Heritage, The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment and we are affiliated to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).
A little known fact for most people is that there are only 14 Green Belts across England. Most open spaces that people travel through in the countryside is NOT protected. However, the Society is not against development per se; our role is to ensure the preservation and maintenance of the Green Belt and Open Spaces for future generations.
We have approximately 200 members, who pay an annual subscription of £5 per household. The Society produces a newsletter three or four times a year and makes use of Facebook and Twitter to keep members advised of issues that have arisen or may require action.
The Society holds an AGM every October which is open to all members where the committee is elected and the year’s business and future issues are discussed.
We comment on relevant planning applications and if necessary address council development control committee meetings or full council meetings. We also attend planning appeals and, where appropriate, present evidence.
During our existence we have opposed many planned developments which could have seen the Green Belt significantly changed or lost. Below are listed just some of the major applications which the Society has campaigned against:
* Avon Ring Road being built over Hanham Hills:
Persuaded the Highways Authority to bury the Ring Road in a deep cutting, so preserving the views of the Hills.
Helped persuade the Avon County Council to abandon the slip roads to the Avon Ring Road from the A431
Consulted on the tree planting scheme along the Ring Road
Consulted on the River Avon Bridge design
* Proposed housing development over Hanham Hills:
Organised and submitted a petition of over 5000 signatures against the proposals
Gave evidence at planning appeals to develop on Hanham Hills.
* Opposed application for a housing development at Williams Close.
* Development of Hanham Hall:
The Society was involved in a public consultation in December 2004 and submitted an open letter asking for something special to be built on this site. The letter was included in the specification for bidders.
Consultation with the developers, Barratt Homes, throughout the planning stage.
* Development of land in Abbots Road:
This land is not Green Belt land but the concern was to keep the view of Hanham Hills, and opposition to the size of the development, which has resulted in a reduced number of houses being built.
* Vetting and commenting on relevant planning applications
* Commenting on Green papers and other Government consultative documents
* Commenting on regional, area and local planning documents and other transport and environmental papers
* Informing the membership of planning developments and issues
* Encouraging the local authorities to adopt policies to protect the local environment.
It would be pretentious to claim that all these achievements are solely down to the Society, but the fact remains that we are the main agency in nearly all of these issues and, without our involvement, we may no longer have any of the protected areas left.
If you care about this area please consider joining the Society. Our voice is stronger the more members we have.