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Land Grabbers call in favours.

October 1, 2010

Although clearly now the law has said that the green belt at Ashton Vale should be ratified by the council as Town Green and never be built on, the land grabbers are not going down without a fight.

Not a day goes past now without the ridiculous Goebbels-like propaganda machine that is Lansdown/Sextons crew and the Evening Lost puffing up an anti-town green campaign ‘news’ item. ‘A handful of dogwalkers on a landfill tip’ is the favourite insult. With no attempt to put an opposite view or opposing argument. The comments sections to their shoddy news releases shows that their are plenty of other views on this subject. Mike Snortin the lightweight editor of this increasingly discredited rag needs to get a grip on this before he goes down with the sinking ship that is the Green Belt Land Grab-World Cup Con-Monster Sinsburys Greed Merchant conspiracy.

This whole fiasco of concreting over the green belt for a stadium, carparks, housing estates, drive-thru burger joint, bars restaurants, conference centre etc etc has been presented from the outset as essential and inevitable ‘opening up’ of green belt. The inevitability of it was never really questioned at the time as Lansdown’s well paid team was already rolling with the media in the pocket of the 1/2 billionaire tycoon. Being presented as an unstoppable driving force of so called development for an area of the city that has so far escaped the urban sprawl inflicted on the rest of the city and is desperate for investment. Poor jobless people desperate for the minimum wage jobs of the entertainment and supermarket industries.

As the rent-a-mob business chiefs have told you ad nauseum Bristol will be consigned to the European dustbin if this massive land grab does not happen. Yes, really. That’s the doomsday rubbish they would have us believe.

BUT the city does not have to continually sprawl outwards with unsustainable development. Green Belt encroachment on this area  has now been tested by the law should be protected by the law. The Ashton Vale meadows and wetlands were damaged by unfortunate decisions 25 years ago but have mostly recovered. Apart from Lansdowns recent illegal bulldozer frenzy of the hedgerows.

The debate has never been fully explored as to why a new stadium should not be built on The Downs or Ashton Court, Blaise Castle or Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetland Trust. Stupid question but why shouldn’t the unique and species rich flooded meadows and wetlands of Ashton Vale fields subject to a nature and scientific interest status not be held up and lauded as of major benefit to the city like our other protected green spaces. We are a city that is known for respecting and nurturing the public green spaces we have inherited. Which is why we have a ecological legacy that deserves protecting and needs protecting. And which is partly why the city is so desirable to live in and invest in, and recognised throughout Europe for this.

Far from Town Green status being a disaster for business the opposite is the case. Turning Ashton Vale fields into a concrete and tarmac desert for the expedience of a wealthy developer will make Bristol a laughing stock throughout Europe. The red dustbin of a stadium will shine like a festering abscess for generations, a sad reminder of the days when political favour could be bought with false promises and green belt destroyed to satisfy the insatiable greed of the money-men.

This rant is not anti-stadium for all you lovers of the round-ball game. I’m anti-money men and land-grabbers using football to do the dirty work for their ambitions over thousands of acres of greenbelt. The stadium could and should be built on brown field, we’ve plenty of that. Greenfield is cheaper land of course, but if it takes our council money to make this stadium happen so be it. As a city-wide share in a new stadium, not a gift and destruction of our natural legacy to one man and his dog.

  1. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    October 1, 2010 1:26 pm

    Brilliantly put.

  2. harryT permalink
    October 1, 2010 3:32 pm

    Your posts are a welcome relief. Especially now Stephen Williams has joined the propaganda machine.

    A few other points for those defaming the land. The reason why there is 6 acres of land fill on the 42 acre site was (according to the landowners planning application for the waste license) to level up the land with builder’s rubble and improve its use for agriculture. Check the application. Its there in black and white.

    The reason why the 6 acres of former landfill is now so bumpy is because of Lansdowns borehole drilling in 2009 which dragged the rubble back to the surface, where his contractors left it to grass over. Prior to that, it was good grazing land for dairy herd and the farmers took the grass keep each year.

    And it is worth repeating to counter the slander repeated by Williams MP, 30 acres of the site has been SNCI wetlands since at least 1982 (earliest survey available from records which have been largely lost). The club does not intend to landscape wetlands as it claims. It will flood the wetlands with displaced water from the stadium site and then dig out huge parts of the wetlands for drainage channels. They will destroy wetlands. They will not create them.

  3. October 2, 2010 12:55 am

    Hard to believe that even intelligent MP’s have been swallowing the propaganda. Classic example of the bad idea virus-say it loud enough and long enough then people believe you.
    The Avon Wildlife Trust stated that the current wetland ecosystem would be destroyed and they did not believe that a newly created site would compensate.

  4. World FuCup permalink
    October 5, 2010 8:04 am

    Funny, the Supporters Direct website link with the fancy video, and crap self-justifications seems to not be working.

    Have they just realised they were shooting themselves in the foot there?

  5. October 5, 2010 6:50 pm

    Searching for the charm offensive video on u-tube would get you a lot of Bristol City fans aggro & punch-up videos as well (a lot of them old ones to be fair)

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