Archive for November, 2017

Filton Airfield plans cleared for take-off (again)

Posted on Thursday 30th November 2017 at 11:28 am by SH (Editor)

Artist's impression of Filton Airfield redevelopment.

South Gloucestershire Council’s planning committee has, for the second time in two years, resolved to approve outline planning permission for the re-development of the 143ha (354 acre) former Filton Airfield site.

A previous planning application for the site was put forward by then-owners BAE Systems in October 2014 and subsequently approved, subject to the signing of agreements requiring the developer to make financial contributions to local infrastructure schemes. However, BAE Systems later sold the site to YTL, a Malaysia-based infrastructure investor, without completing these agreements.

The latest plans, submitted by YTL Developments UK Ltd, retain the headline figure of 2,675 new homes. They also include provision for 24ha (62 acres) of employment space, three new schools, recreational areas and community facilities, a doctors’ surgery, a new railway station and a dedicated MetroBus route.

Filton Airfield is one of the largest brownfield sites in the country, and it represents YTL Developments’ first major project in the UK. The company’s ambition is to create a new neighbourhood where people can live and work, which is seamlessly connected to its surroundings and existing local communities.

Its connectivity with Bristol to the south, Cribbs Causeway and the surrounding neighbourhoods of South Gloucestershire and then beyond to London, has been an essential part of the design, which includes numerous interconnecting cycle paths and public transport options.

YTL will make a major investment in infrastructure and is preparing the site for development. It plans to develop the scheme as a single landowner, to ensure the whole site is well coordinated, well built and well connected to deliver a “thriving new neighbourhood for living and working”. It is hoped that thousands of new jobs will be created in the employment space, with a focus on advanced engineering and aerospace.

More: Construction of buildings could start as early as autumn 2018 »

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Refugee named Community Learner of the Year

Posted on Saturday 11th November 2017 at 11:24 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Cllr Ian Blair (left) and Hecham Alsaiyad.

A refugee living in Patchway has been named as the South Gloucestershire Community Learner of the Year for 2017.

Hecham Alsaiyad, 39, worked as a pharmacist back in Syria but the civil war in his country forced him to leave. He came to the UK under the refugee resettlement programme to make a new life for himself and his family.

Hecham, his wife and his three children arrived in November last year and have been living in the Patchway area ever since.

Keen to get on with his life, he enrolled on two English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses and also spent many hours studying English at home in his determination to excel as quickly as possible.

He said: “It has been difficult at times settling into a new life but I have found that the people I have met have been friendly and very supportive.”

Getting used to being in another country and experiencing a different culture has thrown up some interesting observations for Hecham. He says the things he enjoys most about living here is the sense of freedom and openness and how well traffic is managed, with everyone following the rules.

Hecham also has aspirations to go to university and is interested in researching stem cell science. In the meantime, he is continuing with his community learning courses and looking for opportunities to access an international English language testing system course.

More: Chair of council presented prizes »

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