Portishead - 47 days to save council farm from sell-off
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Fri Apr 2 00:28:32 BST 2010
This is a weird one - an historical anomaly - a farm in North
Somerset owned by Bristol City Council
Good news for farm campaigners
Weston Mercury - 28 March 2010
NEWS that council chiefs are unlikely to allow any new development on
an historic farm site in Portishead has pleased campaigners.
The Court House Farm, which local historians say dates back to the
1400s, is set to be auctioned in London on May 10 and members of the
community fear the town could lose another part of its heritage if it
is bought by developers.
Campaigners warn: We have 47 days to save farm from sell-off
Thursday, March 25, 2010, 07:00
Campaigners fighting plans to sell off one of Portishead's only
remaining High Street farms have warned residents in the town they
have just 47 days to save it.
Dozens of people packed a public meeting last night to discuss ways
to stop plans by Bristol City Council to sell off Court Farm and
Springfield Farm at auction on May 9.
Members of the Save Court Farm campaign want the city council to open
up talks with them about the possibility of setting up a trust to run
the site as a community farm and heritage centre.
Campaigners are now drawing up options for the site and plan to
launch a fighting fund to raise cash to appoint a planning expert to
help them stop the sale. People across the town will be asked to
pledge either money or their time to the drive.
Campaign leader Rita Baker said: "The people of Portishead need to be
aware that we have just 47 days to save Court Farm. Our most pressing
objective is to stop this sale in its tracks.
"We need the community of Portishead to get behind us and fight to
stop Bristol City Council going ahead with the auction."
A steering committee has now been set up to look at viable options
for the site. Mrs Baker, a 37-year-old mum of two who lives in the
town, said: "We need to come up with real alternatives to the farm
being sold off.
"We have to propose a practical solution which is realistic,
researched and has the support of the community.
"We need help from all sections of the community to make this happen
and are appealing to people with different skills to join us, whether
it is people who have knowledge of planning and conservation or fundraising."
Residents said they were keen to see the farm, which is Grade II
listed, retained for future generations.
A number of the town's High Street farms have already been sold off,
despite huge opposition, and used for housing.
Resident Tina Martin, 38, who grew up in Portishead, said: "I used to
live around the corner from the farm and visited it on a daily basis.
"It is one of Portishead's only remaining green spaces and if this is
swallowed up by development, there will be nothing left at all."
Ian Coles, 47, of Portishead, said: "Court Farm is a unique resource
and it would be criminal to see it turned into houses."
The meeting heard that Bristol City Council had been planning to sell
the site since 2005, although news of it going under the hammer only
came to light this year.
Campaigner and resident, Alexis Ward, said: "We have less than 50
days to save this farm and make a difference. We have to act now to
save this unique site for future generations of Portishead."
Campaigners have already handed a 3,000 name petition to Bristol City
Council chief executive Jan Ormondroyd objecting to the sale.
The farm, which is rumoured used to be lived in by a Lord and was
once part of a wider estate in the town.
The campaign received a boost earlier this month when North Somerset
Council said it was 'unlikely' to allow any major development of the
site on the grounds it was important to the town's heritage.
Under planning guidance issued by the Secretary of State, it also
says that buildings of such historical value should only be developed
in line with their original use.
Anyone who wants to get involved with the campaign should email Mrs
Baker on tootsie1972 at tiscali.co.uk.
+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which
alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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