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Monster-sized dodgy land dealing- Ashton Gate Gate

September 9, 2010

How about listing exactly what the football club directors and shady landowners have conspired to extort from the residents of Bristol and North Somerset?:

1. A massive development /destruction of greenbelt for corrugated plastic stadium, monster-sized drive-thru Mcshiteburger takeaway, hotels, conference centre, car parks, roads etc etc.

2. Handing over of millions of pounds for free, of council land for petrol filling station for monster hypermarket application conspiracy.

3. Handing over for free millions of pounds of council owned allotment land for upmarket houses with no affordable housing element.

4. The waiving of massive section 106 payments that apply to any other developments of this size, to contribute to services schools, transport etc.

HAHA! Us ratepayers are being mugged by mafia like conspiracy of dodgy land deals, shady property companies, con-merchant multi-national family grocers and exiled Blofeld-like billionaire.

At some point this hypermarket/greenbelt destruction/dodgy land handover scandal is going to be revealed in all its glory. And the conspiracy of the wealthy landowners ripping off the cash-strapped council is going to be a shit hit-the-fan moment.

Here’s another thing-notice how closely John Pontin’s JT design group (in the form of Ian Cawley) have been at the hypermarket and stadiums side throughout? Have they got their eye on the ‘bigger picture’ maybe? Not for nothing the red plastic stadium and hypermarket-more like the thousand of acres they’ve no doubt got an interest in all the way up the Long Ashton bypass. Yeah, no wonder they want to ‘open up the greenbelt’  along with that bearded big-mouth at king sturge.

That’s the bigger picture and although the planning committee has dumped the first part of this scandal -the monster hypermarket -in the bin for now, how long will it be before they cave in to the threats and pressure. Then the whole conspiracy will fall into place and the money-men and landowners can cash in their winnings and retire to distant shores.

Don’t mention the world cup-that’s another con. -Its going to Spain quite rightly as they know how to play the game and they’ve nice warm beaches etc.

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25 Comments
  1. harryT permalink
    September 9, 2010 11:11 am

    Can I leave a comment before Richard Lane does ?

  2. Deano permalink
    September 9, 2010 12:36 pm

    I understand the League Against Cruel Sports have put you on their hit list.

    Lane-baiting is just as cruel to dumb animals as Bear-baiting…..

  3. harryT permalink
    September 9, 2010 5:55 pm

    It would be interesting to know if the JT group have anything to do with this …

    http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/SHALL-BEMOVED/article-2612638-detail/article.html

    It seems certain that there is a wider issue of building over the whole region south of Bristol, creating huge profts from buying green land cheap and simply turning it into brownfield sites. Any old shit built on a site will have a higher land value than green land. The whole South Bristol link road, BRT routes etc seem to be all about opening up the countryside to property developers and speculators.

  4. September 9, 2010 8:33 pm

    In b 4 Lane. Nice move.

  5. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    September 9, 2010 8:49 pm

    What you say may be true but surely out of date. Has this battle for the Green Belt not been fought and, for the time being won. This is not to say we should be complacent because, as sure as eggs are eggs, with so much money at stake it will raise its ugly head again, but for the time being, as long as you have a certain faith in what politicians say, it should be safe. Infact recent changes to the soon to be comfirmed Bristol Core Strategy, again state that all targets for new homes can be achieved without using the Green Belt and I’m pretty certain that the NS Council think the same.

  6. September 9, 2010 8:56 pm

    If it wasn’t them there’s a few others -probably bailed out now by their favourite bank (and the taxpayer)
    That pompous buffoon John Savage is another one calling for the ring road. I observed him at a meeting a few years ago raging at the nimby anti-road protesters. Like George Bush on steroids.
    He said he couldn’t care less if the traffic was bumper to bumper. Idiot.

  7. September 9, 2010 8:59 pm

    Hope so.

  8. ChrisU permalink
    September 10, 2010 8:37 am

    Paul,
    Although the planning framework of the RSS has “gone”, a house builder has launched a legal challenge to its abolition. They have asked for a judicial review

    See:
    http://www.mablaw.com/2010/08/cala-legal-challenge-regional-strategies-planning-new-homes-bonus-scheme/

    and:
    http://www.planningresource.co.uk/news/ByDiscipline/Housing/1021293/Pickles-faces-legal-challenge-regional-strategies/

    Whilst it is probably a remote possibility, my information is that the files on the RSS are now in storage, rather than the bin, pending the outcome of the judicial review.

    As you say, while there is so much cash to make and lose, those with a stake can probably afford to bide their time until the error of the Government’s way can be pointed out to them over a quiet drink down at the club. Not sure we have seen the last of green belt development just yet. Besides, the stadium was given planning permission on the green belt using existing planning guidance, rather than drawing its support from the policies in the RSS.

    2+ links was held in spam queue.

  9. thebristolblogger permalink
    September 10, 2010 8:40 pm

    Dunno about a conspiracy but the council are thinking of resorting to the world’s most stupid excuse for not releasing information about your friend Councillor Cook’s involvement in all this.

    http://bit.ly/bG5SgD

    The upside of this is that any refusal of this request must be done personally by the city’s Head of Legal Services and silly wig-wearer, McNamara.

    This moves him nicely into the frame should this whole nonsense collapse under the weight of its own bullshit.

  10. Richard Lane permalink
    September 11, 2010 6:43 pm

    Paul, Your comments are always reasoned, well thought out and unoffensive.
    Unlike the other comments made by those residing with the fairies.

    As you rightly point out this is old hat.
    These posters are trying, along with others to highlight what they consider to be conspiracies.

    Sacredspring, S106 agreements are a form of bribery/tax on developers where profit is expected. They are used to ease the planning process and line the palms of the local authority.

    In this case, the whole development is a massive benefit to the local authority. It will deliver facilities not currently available, bring many people, massive investment
    and increases rate revenue to the city.
    Remind us again why you oppose these plans.

    For your benefit once more. NO PROFIT is being made on the stadium or the roads.
    There is in fact (and you know it) a defecit. That defecit is being funded from the pocket of the person you keep accusing of theft from the citizens of Bristol.
    The truth is, that person is actually giving this to the citizens, if you or they don’t want it or need it, that’s tough.

    Heres another question you won’t answer. What has or is being extracted from the residents of North Somerset as you claim?

  11. September 12, 2010 7:40 pm

    McNamara seems to relish his Rumpole-clone persona. So his answer is something like…
    “We will not be releasing this information under the Freedom of Information Act because we don’t want to. And we don’t want to in 10 days time either”.

  12. September 12, 2010 8:10 pm

    Investment+well-favoured planning gain=massive increase in land capital values. Your benevolent bean-counter may have just noticed this.
    Not sure of the benefit to Bristol from another drive-thru junk food joint, Krispy creme donut factory or whatever, (good business for the heart /diabetes clinic).
    First time buyers and homeless might deserve a slice of the council allotment land the club has promised to use exclusively for posh expensive houses.
    Conference centre? Not a dedicated big conference centre which we need-will just draw business away from other hotels and universities.
    Gym? There’s a good cheap one at Ashton Pk school opposite. And pricey David Lloyd next door.

    Section 106? Has been known to be slightly arbitrary. Is part of the social and community responsibility of a considerate and caring constructor. There are plenty of good examples in Bristol where they have paid up and done their duty without shirking it.
    Monster Hypermarket?..don’t get me started..

    New Stadium? Good for the footy fans who don’t care about the rest.

  13. Richard Lane permalink
    September 12, 2010 8:42 pm

    S106 is a bribe, it’s paid by profit making schemes. Do the new academies pay S106 levies?

    The stadiumwill bring many more thousands of vistitors to Bristol, and they’ll no doubt leave money in the shops and bars whilst here.
    The conferance centre will have far better facilities and will attract more use than any existing venue and again revenue to the city.
    The hotel will do likewise.
    The new housing is likely to release other dwellings lower down the property ladder and increase rate revenue to the council, whilst also bringing more wealth to south Bristol.
    Then we get to the jobs, both permanently in these venues and during construction (not for me).
    Another generalisation about football fans, I care about the area and the people that require jobs and decent facilities, you obviously don’t.

    As expected you failed to answer the question about your accusation?

  14. September 12, 2010 10:55 pm

    Comparing new education academy with posh housing, fast-food joints, hotel, carparks, bars, conference centre, soccer stadium is stretching it a bit. Next minute you’ll be saying Lansdown has applied for charitable status.
    If he needs state handouts then lets get it out in the open and let the council have its share of the new stadium in return. Funny kind of private investment and enterprise at the moment.

  15. harryT permalink
    September 13, 2010 9:02 am

    It appears that Richard Lane is at cross purposes to everyone else.

    The majority are concerned about:

    a) the extensive loss of green spaces across south Bristol, such losses being permament and irreversible;

    b) the unremitting pressure from property developers to build on these green spaces, based upon the large profits they will make simply by virtue of getting planning permission to build anything on land they have bought speculatively;

    c) the unlawfulness of the council’s actions in favouring certain private property developers, so opening up the loss of all this green space and generating the profits for these certain property developers;

    d) the failures of the council to redevelop brown field sites and empty sites, whilst being happy for green spaces to be lost.

    Richard is concerned with:

    a) the football club and its shiny new ground

    b) arguments that all this loss of green space is worthwhile if it brings in some money for some people and a football ground gets built.

    He does not see how the football club’s new ground and its supporters are being used as a battering ram to destroy residential areas and green spaces and turn the whole area of South West Bristol into a vast retail park. He does not see that the whole of Avonmouth and Severnside is virtually empty and open to development for just these sorts of retail park spaces. He does not see the empty brown field sites around the Feeder and through St Phillips. He does not see that the city centre is full of empty office blocks that can be turned into houses and flats. He sees only the chance of a shiny new stadium and the premise that a shiny new stdaium will bring BCFC’s attendances up to premier league levels.

    Whilst these cross purposes continue, there is little to be gained by debate.

  16. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    September 13, 2010 4:17 pm

    Hi Chris. Thanks for that. Protecting the GreenBelt will be ongoing. It will never be completely safe. I accept that. Infact, I recognise that “events” worked in our favour this time. The “credit crunch”, the collapse in house prices, shortage of mortgages, and most of all, the election of a new government. I will be surprised if this Gov.(both parts) re-niggs on what it said pre-election about GB protection as several seats locally were decided on this one issue, and a main policy is of returning decisions to Local Authorities. But I may be nieve. As for the stadium. Surely, rightly or wrongly, it was successfully argued that this was an “exceptional circumstance” where no other site was available, allowable under GB rules. And of course, the planned housing was refused!

  17. Richard Lane permalink
    September 13, 2010 8:10 pm

    Sacredspring
    My comparison was, the fact that both types of development are non profit making.
    You are suggesting that Mr Lansdown, or another pays a bribe as a sweetener to the council, to allow this development.
    What is the answer to my question relating to your accusation, that the residents of North Somerset were being stolen from.
    Harry T
    It’s not the majority as you say, it’s the majority of people you concur with.

    I think most people would agree that we need to protect the greenbelt, if it’s properly located.
    That needs to be balanced by the very definite need for more housing (of all types).
    Most people opposed to the greenbelt developments are those that would lose out by the developments and are only interested in their own losses, such as Ron Morton and members from DRAG and HOLA. The opposition rarely starts from the majority of city dwellers, yet it is those city dwellers that must cater for more developments, whilst making their own environments worse.

    I agree that there is little to debate with a person such as yourself, that hasn’t at any point, read or properly digested the full content of my opinions. You rely solely on dissecting small passages of my posts to highlight points that seem easy to dismiss.
    Perhaps you should yourself look at how many brownfield sites have been developed.
    At how our city is restricted in developing sites by it’s boundaries, therefore putting pressure on our green spaces.
    How there are large increases happening in population, which means we require more housing.
    No housing is being built on green belt land, and I’ll say again that the stadium site should never have been designated as such in my opinion. It was done to appease green campaigners and satisfy government quotas I believe. There was or should have been greenbelt adjacent to it anyway, preventing urban expansion.

    People keep quoting the loss of land and it’s value to the city.
    Do your sums.
    If as is claimed the land (the car park) is valued at £4m but at present is not available to the council, because BCFC own the lease for 85 years, is developed as a supermarket. The increased revenue from that site as a supermarket twice the present size will double the existing rateable income for 85 years, they currently receive rates as a car park.
    The existing supermarket site once developed, will also increase rateable income, from the housing and retail/industrial units.
    The new housing on the allotments will increase rateable income from zero.
    The new stadium and adjacent hotel and retail/food outlets will do likewise.
    You claim the council will lose from this deal.
    Just for disposing of some unused allotments and a car park leased for 85 years, they will be many millions better off in terms of rates income, plus all the extra income from visitors coming to the city.
    That’s £8m for disposal of land (but they can’t) as opposed to anything up to £1m (estimated) increase in rates per Annum.
    So Harry I’m not not just interested in a shiny new stadium, as you put it.

    And this all stems from allowing development on a former tip, as was done with the David Loyd center, also the park and ride site.

  18. Richard Lane permalink
    September 13, 2010 8:29 pm

    Harry T
    You are suggesting we develop still further, land which is available at severnside. This land is so far from the vast majority of the population and only reachable by car that it would and could only produce more congestion, in an area already congested, unbelievable.
    With your suggestions about developing at severnside and sacredsprings suggestions about the council sharing the new stadium development, it could appear as if you were suggesting a stadium share with the squatters of Horfield.
    I wonder if perhaps yours and sacredsprings allegiances lie there.

  19. September 13, 2010 9:31 pm

    Krispy-creme donut award for the longest waffle yet.
    Your sums are as dodgy as the land deal. Council rates are not a cash windfall like Lansdowns share options. They almost pay for essential services which these massive building programmes will need.
    No offence, but is anybody really interested in what you think or decide what should or should not be green belt?

  20. Richard Lane permalink
    September 13, 2010 9:43 pm

    That makes a change, no offence.
    There is no dodgy land deal, it’s out in the open.It’s a deal that’s very good for the city of Bristol.
    Does anybody care what you think?
    Do the sums yourself, if you think mine are dodgy.
    Rates may well relate to services and the increase will subsidise those services, as rates always have. Your way there’s no chance of that, and no chance of increased income from what is now a car park.
    Any answers to question,s yet?

  21. Richard Lane permalink
    September 13, 2010 9:52 pm

    Come of it! the mans putting in at least £47m.
    The fans will put in £20m (from their home) Ashton gate, when the Sainsbury deal goes through.
    So no actual cash from the council. Just some redundant allotments and a car park that they can’t get their hands on for 85 years anyway.
    And all that increased revenue for the council in the future.
    Nothing dodgy there.

  22. September 14, 2010 6:36 am

    Land handover is dodgy-dealing. They could give the land to a housing association or charity if he’s not that bothered. Council land is a precious resource not to be given away to favoured friends.
    I could do with a few extra acres for my estate mind…

  23. September 14, 2010 6:42 am

    Land hand-over is exactly that – and well-dodgy. Once your man has got his hands on it he could decide that we all need a monster drive-thru Hooters.
    Don’t see what is wrong with the council getting a share of the stadium in exchange for £8million of our land. If it was your garden being given away you’d something in return (other than cheap gym membership).

  24. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    September 14, 2010 9:47 am

    Just a couple of facts to throw into the arguement. Referring to the “Land Tranfer”. “the whole agreement is subject to Secetary of State approval…”. “No transfer of land will take place untill the stadium is completed.” It’s all there to see. I was surprised by the second point because I thought the money was needed “up front” to finance the building.

  25. September 15, 2010 12:21 am

    Good point.
    And good place to end comments as that says it all.

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