Stadium Plans On Show Tomorrow Night

August 7, 2006

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Bristol Rovers fans will have the chance to see the latest plans for the £30 million redevelopment of the Memorial Stadium at this week’s two home games, starting at tomorrow night’s fixture against Wycombe. An exhibition is being staged in the Bristol Room in the clubhouse before and after tomorrow’s clash with Wycombe Wanderers and again at Saturday’s visit from Grimsby Town, which will bring supporters up to date with the ambitious scheme to transform the ground into an 18,000 all-seater venue. All Gasheads are welcome to come and take a look and ask any pertinent questions they may have.

The scheme incorporates 558 student rooms arranged into 108 flats and an 88-bed boutique hotel. Additionally, other facilities could include a convenience store, conferencing facilities, restaurants and bars, a creche – and even a “cop shop” with facilities for local residents to meet community police officers.

It is hoped the club can present the plans to Bristol City Council later this month and are hoping for a decision by the end of the year. If the scheme is approved, work could start next autumn.

Redevelopment team member Roger Cooper said: “Work has continued throughout the summer to prepare the planning application for what is effectively a new stadium and it is now the turn of supporters to see the plans.

“During the close season the plans have been further refined to produce a mixed-use development aimed at making better use of the stadium overall, particularly looking at non match day use, and ensuring that those uses can be integrated into the local area – and that the development as a whole is a facility that Bristol can be proud of.” 

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A  consultation scheme with the local community has already been initiated, briefing local councillors and the leaders of the main parties on the council last month, and more than 100 people then attended a series of exhibitions outlining the redevelopment.

Cooper added: “We explained how the plans had changed in response to comments and concerns expressed at the earlier consultation in November and December last year and in line with the development of the business case for the regeneration scheme. We also listened to the concerns expressed this time around.

“As ever, the principal issue continues to be traffic and parking. In response to this, the football club has proposed a residents-only parking zone around the stadium on match days. This has been agreed in principle with council officers but the details are still under negotiation, including the size of the zone. This is a major step forward in the process.

“Another concern of local residents is that they will be overlooked by the student accommodation and we are now responding to that in reviewing the designs of the windows to reduce direct lines of sight between the student rooms and the surrounding houses.

“We are committed to continue this process of consulting and improving throughout the development process.”

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