Campaign to stop Ashton Gate Tesco plan beginsJuly 3, 2009
A campaign to stop Bristol City’s Ashton Gate stadium being redeveloped into a Tesco store begins this evening.
The inaugural meeting of BERATE, Bedminster Residents Against Tesco Expansion into Ashton Gate, will be held at the Southville Centre on Friday night.
The campaign aims to get the city council to refuse planning permission for a Tesco and propose instead a mixed use housing and sports development.
Bristol City bosses claim selling the ground to Tesco would generate £20m towards the cost of a new stadium at Ashton Vale, would create jobs and would enable them to be part of England’s bid to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022.
But BERATE founder Chris Uttley claims it is entirely possible to bring the World Cup to Bristol without selling Ashton Gate to Tesco.
He said: “We think that’s a cynical argument, to be honest. No-one I’ve spoken to is opposed to redevelopment at Ashton Gate.
“Lots of people are infavour of a new stadium and in favour of the World Cup bid. But cynically linking that to a Tesco is the wrong thing to do.”
The club had initially planned to sell the land to housing developers, but the recession means that is now less lucrative, and would generate only £5m, compared to the £20m Tesco would pay.
But for Chris, the price is irrelevant compared to the impact on the local community.
He said: “People in this area don’t want to be left with a superstore which could cause the closure of lots of local shops, cause more congestion and possibly have an impact on the nearby park that we all use.
“The cynical linking together of these things is done to create the impression that anyone who is against Tesco is against Bristol City and that is not the case.”
Audio: Martin Jones interviews Chris Uttley from BERATE