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We have objected to an application from Bristol City Council to site an ice-cream van on common land at Clifton Down, Bristol.
The council has applied for consent for works on common land, under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, to construct an asphalt surface, on the corner of Observatory Road and Suspension Bridge Road, near the Clifton Suspension Bridge, to accommodate an ice-cream van.
We have pointed out that the whole common is governed by the Clifton and Durdham Downs (Bristol) Act 1861 which requires the downs to be maintained as open space for public recreation. An ice-cream van is a commercial venture, and should not be sited on common land. It is an unwelcome intrusion in this much-visited and beautiful landscape.
In any case there are other locations nearby which sell ice cream so it is unnecessary to site a van on the Downs.
The Downs are one of Bristol’s greatest assets and the Suspension Bridge its best-known attraction. This area should be protected and enhanced.
The Friends of the Downs and Avon Gorge have also objected, for reasons which include the net loss of downland and the dangerous precedent. Says Jack Penrose, chairman of the Friends: ‘Many questions remain unanswered.’