Development Control (South and East) Committee (part 1)

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?

This entry was posted in Ashton Vale, Bedminster, Bristol, Bristol South, Developments, Economy, Environment, Local government, Planning, Southville, World Cup 2018 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Development Control (South and East) Committee (part 1)

  1. Chris says:

    In response to your closing, yes it is indeed what I want.

  2. Jon Rogers says:

    These two applications are both major and detailed. They both need to be considered on their respective merits under planning law by the Planning Authority.

    The decision to hold them on separate days does seem sensible.


  3. SteveL says:

    Are the stadium team also hoping for cash from the lottery by way of sports england? truckloads of that money went into Wembley Stadium, didn’t it?

  4. Tony Dyer says:

    If I remember correctly the new Wembley Stadium, at one point included the following funding;

    £120 million from Sport England,
    £20 million from the Tessa Jowell’s Dept of Culture, Media and Sport, and
    £2o million from the local development agency

    I think that was even before the overall costs spiralled up to a £1 billion (including £800m for the stadium itself and the rest on transport infrastructure and costs of financing). The stadium architects by the way are the same guys contracted for the proposed BCFC stadium.

    There is an on-going court case regarding a sum of £235 million which is keeping a lot of lawyers happy.

  5. overayard says:

    Don’t the Bristol Rovers thing (just a bit of scrub clearance done so far, plus considerable criticism from the Ombudsman) and the cricket club ideas – both featuring massive student flats complexes – feature on your radar, then?

  6. The Bristol Blogger says:

    Thios blog isn’t against sports teams developing their stadia on principle.

    There is some stuff on Gloucester CC’s expansion and car parking proposals here, however:

    The Rovers stadium debacle predates this blog. The Ombudman’s report into it is here:

  7. roomaroo says:

    I might be missing something here, but isn’t it a good thing for the stadium application and the Tesco application to be dealt with separately?

    From a planning point of view, they should be two independent matters. Looking at the Tesco plans on their own should avoid some of the World Cup propaganda.

  8. dreamingspire says:

    Thanks for the links.
    Neither am I against “sports teams developing their stadia on principle” – as long as its overwhelmingly for sport and closely related matters, and can be properly serviced. Cloaking the stadium with 400+ students is well over that horizon. And in a primarily residential area with no high capacity traffic route within a mile is also out of order. Glos CC is, however (and despite the problem with the Council that you blogged), likely to have quite a bit of car parking space, unlike the Memorial Stadium.

  9. Jozer says:

    The thing about the Rovers stadium is that it is never going to happen, so there’s no point anyone getting worked up about it.

  10. Pete Jordan says:

    More important than when the planning hearings are held is what their terms of reference for making decisions are (and who decides what they are).

    Witness the Friendship Inn carpark decision where the terms of reference were drawn so narrowly that the context of Tesco’s application couldn’t be taken into account at all.

    My expectation is that much the same will happen with Tesco Ashton; effects on local traders, traffic impact, and objections from local residents, users of North Street shops (like myself) and even the Red Trousered One will be deemed irrelevant to the decision.

  11. Paul Mizen says:

    Nov 2009, planning application submitted for 30,000 stadium. Dec 2010 result of World Cup bid announced. If by some stroke of luck Bristol should be involved, am I right in thinking a new planning application for a 42,000 stadium would be needed? So why would the developers start the first stadium when within such a short time the “goal posts” could be changed? And as they are struggling to raise the finance for the first stadium, what happens if they cannot finance the extention, considering there is a World Cup at stake? As the stadium and the World Cup have been so closely linked, would it not make more sense to postpone any decision untill Dec 2010.

  12. Gary Hopkins says:

    The Tesco at the Friedship was not the choice of local planning officers. It is the bizarre national rules that allow pub to shop without any change of use.
    Whatever the outcome at Ashton the rules will be different.
    The applicants will of course try to tie the stadium and Tesco bid together. The opponents of Tesco will need to separate them.
    Although only a day apart having them in separate meetings does give some chance.

  13. Jozer says:


    The Ashton Vale plan is for a 30,000 stadium which can be increased to 42,000 temporarily by putting extra decks of seating on the end stands.

  14. Paul Mizen says:

    So the stadium will revert to 30,000 after the World Cup? I’ve not heard that before! So all those fans talking about 40,000 when City are in the premiership will be dissappointed.

  15. paul smith says:

    the design allows temporary seating to be added to increase numbers

  16. Gary Hopkins says:

    I seem to remember a temporary flyover.

  17. Tony Dyer says:

    The seating might be temporary but a Tesco is not just for World Cup Christmases, it is for ever.

    The planning application submitted for the superstore at Ashton Gate openly decribes itself as “Enabling Development” for the proposed new stadium.

    It then explains that Enabling Development ” is a town planning concept where it is acknowledged that the “public” accept some degree of “disbenefit” as a result of a planning permission being granted, in return for a greater benefit that can only be achieved with the funding which arises from that consent(s)”

    So there you go, Bristol City FC are telling the residents of Southville and Bedminster that their “disbenefits” are outweighed by the benefits of Bristol City fans being able to watch their team in an even more empty stadium than they currently do. Just 14,600 odd attendances for the first two home games of the season which is 25% percent below the 19,332 recognised as the effective capacity.

    Bristol City Council are adding their weight to the argument for the new stadium by conjuring up some mystical £100m (I forget now if it is income, investment, economic impact, or whatever) that will apparently come to the City IF England win the World Cup bid and IF Bristol is selected as a host city.

    Meanwhile Mr Wray, the employee of the council who came up with this figure of £20m per game from the World Cup has still failed to tell the public what formed the basis for his calculations.

    Do any of our councillors know?

  18. woodsy says:

    Enabling Development ” is a town planning concept where it is acknowledged that the “public” accept some degree of “disbenefit” as a result of a planning permission being granted, in return for a greater benefit that can only be achieved with the funding which arises from that consent(s)”

    Isn’t this what is commonly known as a ‘bribe’?

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