Tesco Plan “Essential” For New City Stadium

August 18, 2009

Bristol City FC Chief Executive Colin Sexstone claims getting planning permission to sell Ashton Gate to Tesco is “essential” to the club building its new stadium at Ashton Vale.

He describes alternative plans for Ashton Gate as “laudable” but says no realistic alternatives have been put forward.

His comments come as the club formally submits its planning application to Bristol City Council, which it did on Monday.

Citys stadium plans

City's stadium plans

He told Jones The News: “Stadiums are expensive beasts, and it appears there is no public money available for this – as there might be on the continent. So it must be funded by Bristol City.

“The only asset we have is Ashton Gate, and we must raise as much money as we can. The difference between using this for food retail and a mixed use site could be as much as fifteen million pounds.

“If someone else can suggest how we could raise that money, we’re all ears. But no-one has suggested anything else as yet.”

The plans have only been submitted as outlines at the moment, but it’s thought the proposed store could be as big as 8,400 sq metres, about a third bigger than the nearby ASDA store in Bedminster. Tesco also estimates the supermarket would see a car arriving approximately every five seconds.

Colin Sexstone does not believe any alternative uses suggested for the site, such as housing or sports facilities, are feasible.

He added: “Unless someone can raise the money, they’re not feasible. If Bristol City Council want to raise £20m or so they can do what they like with it.

“But none of the suggestions that have been made – laudable though they are – can help us build the new stadium. The new stadium will be a fantastic community facility.

“The alternative is that, if we don’t raise that money, we will stay where we are.”

Campaign group BERATE, who oppose the Tesco plans, say on their web site: “This community has hosted and supported the club for 100 years and we believe that the club should leave an alternative legacy, more in keeping with the original use for this site.

“We propose that the site could provide new sports and play facilities for the community along with new housing. These will increase participation in sport and play, and provide much needed housing in this area.”

Audio:  Martin Jones interviews Colin Sexstone



  1. […] Sextone claims that the “silent majority” are pro-Tesco Jones The News interviewed Colin Sextone today, hear the audio on his blog here […]

  2. Martin,

    You have your car figures WAY out. 5 per second would be totally impossible for a start…they’d have to be on top of each other!

    The transport assessment accompanying the application states that in the very busiest hour of the entire week there will be 11 cars per minute. This INCLUDES traffic diverted from other stores (cars that would otherwise go to Sainsbury’s or Asda) and pass-by traffic (cars that are heading past the store and pop in as they pass) and I believe that these journeys are actually a significant majority of the 11. So in the very busiest time of the entire week there may be just a few extra cars per minute. Furthermore the plan includes upgrades to the road network and junctions – so any congestion will be level with or better than currently.

    I should point out that I am a very keen environmentalist and live my life as green as possible. I rarely use supermarkets (perhaps every three to four weeks to buy some vegetarian options) but back the plan for a new Tesco at Ashton Gate.

    Far worse could become of the site and I have no doubt that the development (and the one at Ashton Vale) will have many environmental, community and economic benefits to an area that I love.

    Sarah Owens

  3. You’re right, I have made a mistake. The figure is supposed to be one every five seconds, not five every second. Apologies.

  4. Hmmm… Sarah, a friend has asked me to ask you how you square being a “keen environmentalist” with stating that a new supermarket on the site will have “many environmental benefits”. In fact, my friend has suggested you are a representative of Tesco! Can you put her mind at rest?

  5. […] City’s Chief Executive Colin Sexstone has said the world cup bid relies on the new stadium. The new stadium relies on the Tesco bid getting […]

  6. […] 10, 2009 Colin Sexstone told me today explicitly that no new stadium meant no world cup. He has previously said that no Tesco would mean no stadium and Bristol City would stay where they were. So, no Tesco = no […]

  7. […] Bristol City Chief Executive Colin Sexstone has previously said one of the strengths of the stadium plan was that it was funded completely by private investment and that this was something Bristol should be proud of. He has also said there is currently no public money available for the stadium. […]

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