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Report Objects to “Inappropriate” Stadium Plan

October 5, 2009

A report by North Somerset council has criticised Bristol City’s plan for a new stadium at Ashton Vale as “inappropriate” to be built on the green belt.

The report attacks the proposed stadium’s appearance as “bland and imbalanced”. It also claims not enough has been done to make the site accessible for pedestrians, and calls for better car parking arrangements.

It recommends that councillors formally oppose the plans when they meet to consider the report on Thursday.

The report is a setback for the club’s ambitions but is a long way from being the final word.

The report acknowledges that the main decision should lie with Bristol City Council because most of the stadium’s impact, positive and negative, will be on the city itself.

Only 10% of the land earmarked for development is in North Somerset; the rest is within the city of Bristol.

But the report warns the stadium should only be approved if Bristol City Council is satisfied there are “very special circumstances” for granting permission.

Bristol City FC has already argued that there are very special circumstances which mean permission should be granted.

It says it has tried for the last ten years to find an alternative site, looking at around 30 different locations, but that none can be found.

Club bosses also cite the stadium’s economic benefits, creating 80 jobs during construction and 400 once complete. They say it could also act as a catalyst for the regeneration of south Bristol, and act as a potential world cup host venue.

Bristol City Council will consider the planning application on November 5th.

As previously reported on Jones The News, if Bristol is “minded to approve” the plans, it will submit them to the government for rubber-stamping.

Link: the North Somerset council report

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