Sharp eyed observers may have noticed that a special meeting of the Development Control (South and East) Committee of Bristol City Council is scheduled for 6.00pm November 4.
And the Bristol Blogger can confirm that this will be the planning hearing for the proposed new Bristol City stadium on greenbelt land at Ashton Vale (Blogger passim).
The Blogger can also confirm that the Tesco application on Ashton Gate will not be dealt with at the same meeting despite planning officers strongly resisting attempts to allow the applications to be dealt with by separate meetings.
Quite why our politicians allow lowly unelected planning officers such a strong say in their order of business – a key political power – is anyone guess but we’ll save that discussion for another day.
However, I suppose we must celebrate these small victories over the bureaucrats that really rule us as the Tesco application has now been rescheduled instead for 6.oopm on November 5. That’s a whole 24 hours between these two controversial and delicately entwined decisions.
Anyone out there who’s catching the strong whiff of stitch-up here may well be right, because – by sheer coincidence obviously – the closing date for Bristol’s World Cup bid to the FA is November 6 … Fancy that!
Given that to all intents and purposes the City stadium and Tesco are now done deals – and it’s a waste of time and effort to believe or act otherwise – it’s time for the various groups against these plans to have a long hard think about the tactics they might need to adopt.
Together, these two planning applications in November are the most significant for the city since the planning shenanigans over the Lloyds TSB HQ on Harbourside in the late eighties (a few of Venue’s older staffers might be able to tell you a bit about that).
And, like Llloyds TSB, the outcome is likely to affect the shape and style of this city for, at least, the next 20 years.
At present the authorities’ plan is to allow huge corporations on the scale of Tesco and gangsters like Sepp Blatter to shape our city. Is that what we want?