What is Backwell Residents Association (BRA)?

BRA is a free democratic association of local people who are particularly concerned with the progress and welfare of the village. It was founded in the 1960s in response to local ratepayer dissatisfaction and evolved to oppose unprecedented plans for development. Over the years it has participated in various meetings and public enquiries and has developed the skill, knowledge and resources to ensure that the views of Backwellians are properly presented in all such cases. (See the ‘About’ page for a fuller account).

The Association works to safeguard and promote the collective interests of Backwell residents in matters concerning social, economic and community life and the character of the village. We support or oppose development affecting Backwell having regard to residents’ interests and the local environment.

Why is BRA needed?

Take a look at the Map that shows the areas of Backwell which are either owned by developers or on which they have purchased an option from the landowner to develop should planning permission be granted (click here to see the map). These are just the ones we know about. There may be others. At the same time, under the Localism Bill, there is in progress a radical reform of the planning system to favour development.

Whilst BRA is not “anti-development, these two factors demonstrate a compelling need for a well resourced and supported Residents Association to ensure as far as possible that developments within our village are proportionate, reasonable and sustainable.

Why Join BRA?

Developers have a single objective and vast resources which for example enables them to brief barristers to represent them at inquiries and to commission expert reports. By contrast the local resources available to oppose inappropriate development are meagre. However by joining together this imbalance can to some extent be mitigated. BRA is a well respected organisation in planning circles and has had a major influence on several important decisions. However we need the strength of numbers and to be blunt, of money, for example to purchase independent expert opinion.

Shouldn’t the Parish Council be doing all this?

BRA works closely with BPC on many issues. However we can operate without the constraints and procedures of a body which must conform to the local government protocols. This independence of manoeuvre is valuable to both the Association and the Parish Council. The BPC’s resources are also limited and in the past they have been complemented by separate BRA expenditure for example in commissioning expert advice.

For fuller information on all the above see the ‘About’ page.

Please Join Now. To download a membership form please click on – Membership Form to December 2024