Opportunity to address Councillors on UWE Stadium plans

Internal view of Bristol Rovers' proposed new UWE Stadium in Stoke Gifford.

Local residents are to be given the chance to address members of the South Gloucestershire committee that is considering a planning application to construct a 21,700 seater sports stadium in Stoke Gifford.

Members of the public are invited to attend a ‘site meeting’ of South Gloucestershire Council’s Development Control (West) Committee on land between Long Down Avenue, Cheswick Village, and the University of the West of England on Friday 11th May at 11:30am.

The format of the meeting is likely to include a short presentation on the proposals by a planning officer followed by an opportunity for supporters and objectors to have their say.

The plans have been put forward by Bristol Rovers FC and UWE, as part of a scheme that could see the football club’s existing ground in Horfield being sold off to supermarket group Sainsbury’s in order to finance the building of the new stadium in Stoke Gifford.

The proposed development at UWE also includes a convenience store, gym, club shop, offices and a media study centre. Parking for 1,000 cars and 12 coaches would also be provided on the site.

A report produced by officers of South Gloucestershire Council ahead of next week’s meeting outlines the issues that Councillors will have to consider in determining the application and summarises the consultation responses that have been received so far.

From the 1,044 letters of support so far received, the report identifies 23 unique issues. Pitched against these are 77 unique issues raised in 122 letters of objection.

Stoke Gifford Parish Council and computer company Hewlet Packard, which has offices on a neighbouring plot, are amongst the objectors to the scheme, with the former citing congestion and parking issues and the latter fearing a decline in property values should the stadium be built.

DIY warehouse group B&Q, which has a store on the other side of the Avon Ring Road from the proposed site, objects on the grounds that the stadium’s parking facilities are inadequate, which it claims will lead to football fans using the B&Q car park.

The Highways Agency, while acknowledging that weekend events at the stadium will occur a time when the nearby M32 junction will be “lightly used in comparison with a weekday”, voices concerns that some of the measures proposed in the application’s travel plan are “aspirational rather than defined” and points out that there is no fallback strategy if the anticipated switch from private vehicles to other modes of transport fails to materialise.

Avon and Somerset Police are yet to make a comment, although they are said to be “in ongoing discussions” with the Council.

In their report, planning officers avoid making any recommendations but they identify the following “main issues” that Committee members will need to consider:

  • Principle of development
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Transport Issues
  • Residential Amenity
  • Urban Design
  • Landscape and Visual Amenity
  • Ecology
  • Safety and Security

A source at South Gloucestershire Council told The Journal that the exact location for the site meeting is yet to be decided. Consultation respondents will be advised of the location next week and the information will also be published on the agenda page of the Council’s website.

Anyone wishing to speak at the meeting is asked to contact Paul Johnson (Committee Clerk) on 01454 864425, so that a time slot may be allocated.

Related link: UWE Stadium (The Journal)

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  1. A message posted on the official Bristol Rovers FC website today advises fans against turning up to the site meeting:

    “Although the club appreciates the offers from those people who have volunteered to attend the visit, we believe it could be counter-productive at the this stage to have a large number of fans turn up.”

    “There is only a three minute slot in order to speak on the day, and in order for things to run smoothly, we would like to avoid a large influx of people all trying to be heard.”

    “We have consultants that will be present and speaking on our behalf, and we feel that will be sufficient. The last thing we want to do is overwhelm the committee and the local residents.”

    Read more: UWE Stadium Site Meeting

  2. You have to respect Nick Higgs address to Bristol Rovers fans not to turn up for the site meeting and respect us local residents,well done,it shows he wants this proposed development to work for ALL the community.

  3. SGC has notified us that the meeting point will be: “at the northern end of Great Copsie Way, which is off Wider Mead adjacent to the Taylor Wimpey show homes on Long Down Avenue”.

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