Ashton Vale, Ashton Gate, new stadium, World Cup, Sainsburys: the battlelines for 2010

With the city’s World Cup bid accepted earlier this week, now might be a useful time to look at what will be happening at the grassroots as we enter 2010.

First thing, the phoney war over Sainsburys at the Gate will draw to an abrupt close in the new year and fighting will break out in earnest.

Charlie’s announced on his blog that Sainsbury’s are talking about a big store on the site. 9000 sq metres in fact. By comparison the proposed Tesco there was going to be 5,500 sq metres. The existing Sainsbury is 5,126 and Asda is 4,733.

So it’s effectively a third superstore in all but name as it adds 3877 sq metres of supermarket floorspace to the area, which compares directly to the 3729 sq metres of the Morrisons superstore at Symes Avenue, Hartcliffe.

Now we’ve all finally seen the report produced by the city’s planning officers for the withdrawn Tesco application, it’s hard to see how they expect to get planning permission for this when that didn’t.

The Blogger’s planning experts say the increase in retail floorspace and the transport implications alone should see it refused and it will also blow a huge hole in the city’s planning Core Strategy.

One suggestion is that Sainsbury’s are in a win-win situation. If the planning permission is granted they get a giant superstore, if it isn’t they will have prevented any other supermarket moving into the area. And all for minimal a outlay as the club is once again paying for all the consultancy and Sainsbury’s have only committed to buying the land if permission is granted.

Meanwhile the south Bristol Labour Party are right behind the Sainsbury’s plan at present as are, of course, the Lib Dem leadership duo of Cook and Janke as well as the increasingly erratic ‘town hall fat cats’ Ormondroyd and the sidekick – that copper from Sheffield who doesn’t know where Easton is.

Latest rumours from the third floor say both the ‘fat cats’ are fast losing the confidence of their own staff as bizarre clamp downs, weird diktats and impossible demands are passed down the ranks to deliver. The duo are said to be particularly sensitive to Steve Lansdown’s needs and are very touchy about the Ashton Gate car park affair (blogger passim), which is likely to reignite alongside the Sainsbury’s plan. Both are “determined” that the supermarket gets permission we’re told.

A planning application is touted to go in late January or early February, so the fun starts soon. Pull up a seat.

Also expected early next year is the Ashton Vale town green hearing. Local residents have put in an application to have some of the Ashton Vale land protected and the Blogger learns this process has been mysteriously “fast tracked” and we can expect a hearing early in the year.

Landowners Pontin and Lansdown are said to have their lawyers primed – as will the city council – while residents are talking up their chances as “pretty good”.

Best keep an eye on this one as it may deliver surprises …

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10 Responses to Ashton Vale, Ashton Gate, new stadium, World Cup, Sainsburys: the battlelines for 2010

  1. Bristol Dave says:

    So presumably we’ll see the imminent creation of a BERASE campaign? Or was it always the chattering classes of Southville being against a Tesco rather than being against a supermarket?

  2. organiclocal says:

    BCFC have won the world cup now they want the biggest Sainsbury’s in the world.
    Very funny….the club or maybe some well paid consultants have got their heads stuck right up their backsides.
    Can’t wait for the next episode, surprises, Evening Toast BS, money laundering, dodgy bloggers rants….ha ha!

  3. Chris says:

    I’m not sure BCFC are funding this application as it is being led by Sainsbury’s, unlike the Tesco application which was led by BCFC.

  4. beratebedminster says:

    Think Chris is right BB, Sainsbos are doing the application this time, to try to prevent the basic cockups that NLP made on the last application.

    But your basic analysis is right. If we believe the figures for reduction in turnover of just under £9M, then even if the new application costs £1M (which is a pure guess), Sainsbo still make a handsome profit for every year there is no competitor store. So why not take a punt on a massive store? If the politics fall into place, and they get permission, they’ll make a killing too.

    Looks like the future of the 2018 bid is at the mercy of a major retailer with other priorities. The key question then becomes, why don’t the club go for a less risky venture, where at least a proportion of the claimed funding gap is made? The draft report estimates that the income from Ashton Gate forms only 17% of that needed for the new stadium. Why not settle for 10% with a plan that looks alot more likely to get planning permission? Are the owners of BCFC really risking all that world cup loot for “Bristol” for the sake of a few million profit?

    As for chattering classes BristolDave, yep you got us bang to rights! After their morning muesli and abit of hand wringing, the people of Southville will go off to those offices, consultancies, small businesses, media companies, not forgetting the civil service and quangos, where they will do abit more hand wringing and useless dithering, then come home for their lentil curries and abit more chattering before going off to bed and thinking to themselves, thank fuck its now a 9000m2 Sainsburies. The planet is saved! Hooray.

  5. Anon says:

    Bristol Dave // December 18, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    So presumably we’ll see the imminent creation of a BERASE campaign? Or was it always the chattering classes of Southville being against a Tesco rather than being against a supermarket?

    Dave, if they are the chattering class..what are you? Are you just happily middle class and politically active! A fine line between you and them..I’d say.

  6. chris hutt says:

    Interesting that Sainsburys are making the application.

    Since planning permission attaches to the land and not to the applicant it would theoretically be possible for BCFC to sell the land to a third party, Tesco even, with planning permission resulting from an application funded by Sainsburys. So Sainsburys must have a cast iron agreement with BCFC to ensure that doesn’t happen.

    Another odd thing about the planning permission sought is that it must somehow be conditional on the existing Sainsburys store closing and being replaced by housing or other non-retail use. Perhaps the two sites will have tio be covered by the same planning application to ensure this?

  7. Oliver Maunder says:

    So where can I sign up for these chattering classes? I really need to get better at small talk and this could be a chance to learn.

    Anyway, here are my son-of-Berate proposals.

    Bedminster Obviously Opposes Bigger Sainsburys


    Bedminster Against Landsdown’s Larger Superstore

  8. Chris says:

    I like those Oliver.
    However “Citizens Unite No To Sainsburys” also has a nice ring to it.

  9. Paul Mizen says:

    The biggest battle for 2010 will be defeating The Regional Spacial Strategy, and in so doing, saving the country’s Green Belts, returning decision making to local people, and proving that the consultation process IS worth the paper it is written on.

  10. organiclocal says:

    The phoney war has ended and the battle commenced with sainsburys, Evening Toast Goebbels and BCFC firing the first salvo of pork pies with a few festive mince pies thrown in.
    Meanwhile, veterans of the last campaign bunker down waiting for the sainsburys onslaught. The supermarket giant can only guess at what response they’ll face.
    One thing can be sure, Lansdown and Sexton will not get an easy ride as they once again put the community under siege.
    Happy new year to BB and all contributors-thanks for making this an entertaining and informative blog.

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