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Now we’ve all finally seen the report produced by the city’s planning officers for the withdrawn Tesco application, it’s hard to see how they expect to get planning permission for this when that didn’t.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