More news buried in the depths of Christmas . ..
It looks like Bristol City FC have submitted their revised planning application for their new stadium to meet the requirements of the planning committee meeting back in November:
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The covering letter (above) and the other files here give more details. Some of the highlights are:
The application sees the withdrawal of the refused “Southlands” residential development and the causeway road linking it to the stadium. There’s a nice little implied threat in the letter about this too:
“our client has considered alternative options such as seeking a further independent review of viability calculations but has decided to withdraw this element as a measure of goodwill and reaching an acceptable solution for the Stadium proposal”
This roughly translates as:
“You have seen through our claims regarding the financial viability of the project and we know damn well that if we challenge this it will likely end up with our financial projections entering the public domain and being subjected to a greater level of scrutiny by individuals less accommodating than Bristol City Council.
“However, we will make it look like we have a case anyway and out of the kinddness of our hearts we have decided not to pursue it, despite having implied during the original application that it would be almost impossible to proceed with the stadium if Southlands was refused permission”
The Travel Plan was another major concern at the original planning meeting but is nowhere to be found in the new application – even though there’s supposed to be a 28-day consultation period prior to the relevant planning committee meeting and the developers assure us there will be a meeting in early February 2010.
At present, Development Control South and East meetings are scheduled to meet on 27 January and 17 March. Presumably they are talking about an Extraordinary meeting then? The date of which the planning officers have arranged with the developers without telling the general public?
Moving on, the northern pedestrian link has been removed – this was a footbridge from the stadium site to Ashton Vale Road in the industrial estate.
Instead, there is a proposal for a new eastern footbridge over the Portishead railway line (and the proposed BRT route) to Baron’s Close – which leads to the Wedlock Way roundabout on Winterstoke Road – to provide the pedestrian link to the stadium asked for by Bristol City Council.
This will be subject to a separate planning application. So it’ll be interesting to see how the city council approach this. Will they insist that the footbridge is constructed before the stadium itself?
There has also been talk of pedestrian access across Winterstoke Road. But how will this be funded? Any potential S.106 developer contributions towards a pedestrian route across Winterstoke Road have already been waived and will have to come out of the public purse instead …
With no sign of the updated Travel Plan including use of Park and Ride facilities – for Long Ashton and elsewhere – and the implementation of a Resident Parking Zone (RPZ), the problem of supporters’ travel and car parking persists. This was a major cause of North Somerset’s refusal to grant planning permission for the stadium’s road access and could still present a major hiccup.
The pedestrian link mentioned above also raises the question that if an RPZ is imposed in Ashton Vale and Long Ashton, supporters may be tempted to continue to park in the Ashton Gate area and use the new pedestrian link to get to the stadium.
If this massive Sainsbury’s is built, this means residents around Ashton Gate may still have the parking problems associated with a professional football stadium plus further aggravation from traffic associated with a giant superstore.
Of course, Bristol City Council do currently have a car park at Ashton Gate on a long-term lease to the football club, which would be directly opposite the new footbridge for the eastern pedestrian link … Shame they’re so keen to build a superstore on it isn’t it?