The term is used by different organisations, in different contexts, to refer to quite different areas. The Severn passes through both England and Wales, in some places forming the boundary between the two. Some uses of "Severnside" relate to areas on both sides of the river, and others only to one or other side.
Use of the term to cover both sides of the estuary
The term has sometimes been used in attempts to coordinate planning and environmental policy across both English and Welsh sides of the estuary. In 1971, Severnside: A Feasibility Study prepared for the UK Department of the Environment and the Welsh Office addressed the possibility of substantial development and new infrastructure in the Bristol area, south east Wales and Gloucestershire.
The Standing Conference on Severnside Local Authorities (SCOSLA) was formed in 1982 by a number of local councils in England and Wales with a shared interest in proposals for a Severn barrage, and in other matters relating to the Severn estuary as a whole.
Use of the term within England
Because there is no consensus over the term which best describes the economic sub-region centred on Bristol and which extends into the historic counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire, the term "Severnside" is sometimes used for that area. It often refers to the area administered by Avon County Council between 1974 and 1996, which some organisations now refer to as "The West of England" and others as "Greater Bristol". The Avon Valuation Tribunal was renamed the Severnside Valuation Tribunal in 1996. The Severnside Community Rail Partnership is a not-for-profit company established to help improve rail services in the Bristol area.
The term is also sometimes used more specifically to refer to the partly undeveloped area north west of Bristol, between Chittening and Severn Beach, where Imperial Chemical Industries built a large chemical plant in the 1960s, known as ICI Severnside. Various proposals for the development of industry, business parks, housing, and/or a sports stadium have been made for this area in the past. The Severnside beat of Avon and Somerset Police covers broadly this area, but also extends to the Cribbs Causeway retail and business area adjoining the M5 motorway. A number of voluntary groups in the Severn Beach area also use the term to describe their area of coverage.
In Shropshire, Severnside Housing is a social housing company which operates the former council housing stock in the former borough of Shrewsbury and Atcham. (The River Severn runs through both Shrewsbury and Atcham.)
Use of the term within Wales
Monmouthshire County Council administers four area committees, including one for "Severnside" which covers the area around Caldicot and Magor. The Severnside Forum is a multi-organisation forum for the same area. The Severnside neighbourhood policing team of Gwent Police also covers a similar area.
- Standing Conference on Severnside Local Authorities
- Valuation Tribunal Service
- Severnside Community Rail Partnership
- BBC NEWS | England | Bristol | Residents protest against stadium plans
- Avon and Somerset Constabulary - Severnside beat
- Severnside Art Club - The premier art club for the Severnside Areas
- Severnside Project | Gloucester City Council Online
- Welcome to Severnside Housing
- Severnside Forum Website!
- BBC NEWS | Wales | New £2bn airport plan dropped
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