Archive for June, 2013

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Open-air service to mark 150 years of serving the community

Posted on Monday 17th June 2013 at 3:46 pm by SH (Editor)

The Village Green, Stoke Gifford

Hundreds of people will be taking part in a special service outside St Michael’s Church, Stoke Gifford at 11am on Sunday (23rd June) to celebrate more than 150 years of serving the community.

The open-air service will take place on The Green (pictured above), mid-way between the church and the former Victorian school room which is now a church and community centre.

The Old School Rooms, which date from 1863, were originally built to house St Michael’s School, at a time when Queen Victoria was on the throne and Stoke Gifford had just a few hundred residents.

The school, which today has more than 580 pupils, moved to new premises in Ratcliffe Drive in 1988 and the old building is used by St Michael’s Church to serve a population of around 12,500.

Hundreds of past and current pupils and their teachers are expected to attend the celebration, which is being hosted by the church and primary school. The service will include songs and stories about school life, Victorian hymns and a prize for anyone who comes in Victorian dress.

In 1988 after serving as Stoke Gifford’s primary school for 125 years the old school building reverted back to St Michael’s Church and has continued to serve the community. The following year a pre-school was launched, which has since expanded and moved to the former Vicarage building.

More: Church’s £5.8 million construction project to start next month »

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UWE Stadium construction set to begin in September

Posted on Wednesday 12th June 2013 at 3:06 pm by SH (Editor)

Aerial view of Bristol Rover's proposed new UWE Stadium in Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

Construction work on Bristol Rovers’ planned new 21,700-seater stadium in Stoke Gifford looks likely to finally get under way in September following the signing of an agreement relating to the future of the club’s present ground in Horfield.

The club announced today that all parties have now signed the Section 106 agreement for the redevelopment of the Memorial Stadium site, where a new Sainsbury’s superstore will be built.

Once the Section 106 agreement has been ‘sealed’ by Bristol City Council, a three month judicial review period will begin, after which the club will be free to complete the sale of the Memorial Stadium site to Sainsbury’s, thereby releasing the funds needed to build the new stadium.

Writing on the club’s website today, Chairman Nick Higgs said:

“I share your frustration with the delays in concluding this agreement, however, without any further delays, we should be on site at the end of September.”

“This is another great milestone for the stadium project and one big step closer to fulfilling our dream of building a new stadium for Bristol Rovers.”

Work on the new stadium is expected to take 18 months to complete, allowing Rovers to move to the stadium in time for the start of the 2015/16 season.

Preliminary work started earlier this year, when contractors moved onto the site to drill a series of boreholes to test ground conditions.

Related link: UWE Stadium (The Journal)

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Committee to take second look at UWE campus expansion plans

Posted on Wednesday 5th June 2013 at 12:31 pm by SH (Editor)

University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol.

Members of South Gloucestershire Council’s Development Control (West) Committee will tomorrow (Thursday 6th June) take a second look at an outline planning application for a major expansion of the University of the West of England’s (UWE’s) Frenchay Campus in North Bristol.

The plans include the erection of new buildings “for academic, recreation, administration and support purposes”, a 200-bed hotel and a new public transport hub.

If implemented, the so-called ‘UWE Masterplan‘ will allow the university to increase the number of students studying at the site from the present 18,000 to 25,000. The number of students living on campus would similarly increase from 2,000 to 3,500.

Councillors on the committee first considered the application at their meeting in May, but decided to defer a decision to allow time for a site visit, which subsequently took place on 24th May.

Stoke Gifford Parish Council has raised concerns about the potential for “rat running traffic flows along Long Down Avenue” if the university is granted its wish to re-open the currently unused “south entrance” onto that road (which serves the new Cheswick Village housing development). It has also asked for the junction of Long Down Avenue and Coldharbour Lane to be remodelled in order to “address the needs of the wider community and modes of transport other than the car”.

The council’s officers have recommended that permission be granted, subject to a number of conditions.

More: Full planning application for new students’ union »

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