Don’t leave it to someone else

February 5, 2008

[image1]Below is reproduced an article from Saturdays programme by Kirsty Pugh, the football club’s PR Officer. As you will see, in order to maximise our chances of successfully obtaining this supplementary planning permission your help is needed.

New planning permission

Fans visited the Memorial Stadium before last Saturday’s game against Port Vale to take a look at the new plans for the stadium regeneration scheme.

The new planning application seeks permission for a number of amendments to the permission granted in January 2007 (and established by the completion of the section 106 agreement signed in January 2008). The new plans were submitted to the council last month. Since the grant of permission last year, we have been developing and improving the design to the level of detail that will enable contracts to be let to appropriate demolition and construction contractors. This process involved value engineering and most of the changes result from this.

The majority of these relate to the internal arrangements of the various facilities within the development but there are also changes to the roof design, and to the south end of the ground where the basement has been deleted.   

Despite the existence of planning permission and the improvements that the amendments make to the permitted scheme, there are people who are opposed to the development and they will be lobbying the City Council to refuse the new application. We need your help in lobbying the Council to approve the new application when it is formally considered, probably in March.

It is worth emphasising that the stadium plans are fundamentally the same as they were last January – it is still an 18,500 capacity stadium. It is still funded by the enabling development, principally the student accommodation; it still has the same number of student bedrooms and broadly the same amount of hotel rooms and commercial floorspace.

However, as there is no provision in law for changes that have been made to be agreed outside the planning process they have now been referred formally to the City Council.


1) There is no change in building height except on NE and NW corners where there is a 1.0m increase. This has no impact on application of daylighting guidelines. The span of roof trusses is higher.

2) There is a decrease in accommodation (other than 127 sq m increase in commercial offices):

· 99 student flats (decrease from 105) – number of rooms unchanged;

· 97 hotel bedrooms (decrease from 112) comprising 84 permanent rooms (unchanged) and 13 hospitality boxes with a dual  use as hotel bedrooms (decrease from 28);

· 20 hospitality boxes in total (including 13 with dual use as hotel bedrooms) (decrease from 28);

· 370 sq m A1 convenience store (decrease from 375 sq m);

· 1,056 sq m A3 restaurant (decrease from 1,110 sq m);

· Standalone conference facilities removed; conference facility incorporated into restaurant area as dual use;

· 1,548 sq offices (Use Class B1a) [397 sq m decrease from ancillary & commercial offices].

3) Basement removed. Internal accommodation reconfigured.

4) Accommodation in SE and SW corners is set back by 4.5m from approved elevation, improving relationship with <st1:street w_st=”on”>Downend Road. South Stand is stepped back by 1.5m.

5) Accommodation in NW corner, northern elevation and NE corner adjusted, resulting in a slightly different shape to retail unit, building façade and configuration of the hotel. The retail unit extends a further 3m–6m northwards. The reconfigured hotel is reduced by 5m on N-S axis, reducing impact on Trubshaw Gardens.

6) No loss car or coach parking spaces, but parking layout amended with no impact on vehicle tracking. Pitch size adjusted from 100 x 64m to 100 x 66m.

7) Restaurant (1st floor) has pitch side views, owing to reduction in hospitality boxes.

8) Windows introduced on west and east elevations at Level 6, as required by fire regulations.

The Council is now seeking comments on the new application and if you agree that the Football Club’s amendments should be given planning permission this is the opportunity for you to write to the City Council to say so.

We believe that your letter should be from you personally and therefore we do not offer a standard text for you to copy.  Instead, here is a list of points for you to consider. You may of course prefer to supply your own reasons why the Council should grant permission.

You MUST however provide in your letter the reference number that the City Council has allocated to the new planning application.  This reference is: Planning Application No: 08/00061/F – Memorial Stadium, Horfield. 

The points you may wish to include in your letter are as follows:

  • Start by expressing your support for the amendments now proposed in the Football Club’s new planning application;
  • If you believe that the amendments now proposed to the permission granted in January 2007 are minor, then say so;
  • If you think that the amendments proposed improve the scheme that was granted permission in January 2007 then say so (you can see this by visiting the exhibition in the Bristol Room before and after today’s match);
  • Note the importance of the scheme for Bristol as a whole – it is generally recognised that successful sports teams (rugby as well as football) promote the image of a town or city nationally and in some cases internationally;
  • Note that the mitigation included in the scheme is extensive and addresses issues that have been raised, especially in relation to traffic and transport.
  • Note that Bristol has waited a long time for a state of the art or 21st century stadium and has been left behind many other cities and towns in the UK in terms of sporting facilities.

You have until February 10 to submit your views to the planning department. You can do this by writing to:

Kit Stokes,

Planning, Transport and Sustainable Development,

Brunel House,

St George’s Road,


BS1 5UY.

Alternatively, you can email [email protected].

More details of the new planning application will be posted on this website over the next few days.

Kirsty Pugh



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