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Panorama Vs Town Green debate.

November 30, 2010

Panorama won by a long way.

Andrew Jennings pressing Warner for a statement on dodgy ticket sales getting the reply ” I would spit on you if it wasn’t a waste of spit.” Classic. The Beeb cut the last bit before he got in his car. Told Jennings to ask his Mother. When Jennings said she’s dead actually, Warner left with the sympathetic parting words “go find her then”. (available on youtube)

This is a man who is executive vice-chairman of Fifa and president of Concacaf  (caribbean, central america and USA) since 1990. Sounds more like a backstreet gangster.

More revelations of bribery and corruption to make the Fifa generals squirm. They’re pretty good at that so expect them to wriggle out once more.

Town Green debate was a non-starter really. Lot of time from the panel’s on pro’s and cons of new stadium, where it is, world-cup etc. all been well covered already.

A few points noteworthy of mention:

  1. Mike Norton of BEP said that he has presented a balanced view of the stadium story even though he is in favour of the developments. Ok if you say so mike, lots of people may disagree there.
  2. Mike also let slip that before Lansdown bought the land, BCC told him (SL) to buy it and apply for new stadium there. This was jumped on by the pro-green panel as it suggests dodgy dealing in the planning process.
  3. Guy price came out with the plainly ridiculous statement that the whole of Bristol+ all politicians+all business people are in favour of new stadium. Dunno what planet this salesman lives on, but maybe he should stick to double-glazing!
  4. Final point from Simon Cook. ‘Its a very narrow law’. Talking about compromise with Town Green applicants.

Too late for that Simon and BCFC and you know it. The time for talking was way back when the plans started -the decision  to bulldoze through the plans regardless of locals has backfired. This is David against Goliath, and Simon Cook’s comments are preparing Goliath for the fall.

  1. Richard Lane permalink
    November 30, 2010 10:27 pm

    The town Green debate and application is a farce. This is the reason for opposition to the stadium and why the TVG application was made. Green party activists have helped in unifying the various groups and promoting it on their blog sites.

    This statement is taken from the Shortwood green campaign group.

    However, the weakness in our position is that decisions are about to be made in other councils in the area that will dramatically affect what happens in Shortwood. Our key battleground is now on the opposite side of the city, hence the importance of our regional alliances. We can only stop the plans for Shortwood by preventing any development on the green belt anywhere around the city. If the Green Belt is built on anywhere, then a precedent will have been set Shortwood will then be at risk and harder to protect.

    First up is the proposal to sell the current Ashton Gate football stadium to TESCO. If that is approved by Bristol City Council, then there is no possible alternative site for a new stadium for Bristol City FC than the Ashton Vale site, and that is green belt land. So we have to fight the Tesco proposal first! Secondly, there are the plans for the new football stadium at Ashton Vale.

    The site for the stadium itself is actually on an old landfill site. Even though this site is in the green belt, technically it’s a “brown field” site, i.e. it’s been used before, so it might be possible to build on it. However, Steve Lansdowne can’t afford the stadium, so he plans to build 300 houses as an “Enabling Development” to pay for the stadium. These will go on virgin green belt land. So we have to fight that proposal. Not all of Bristol City fans want it either, especially as Lansdowne, not the club, will end up owning the stadium.

    Finally, there is the 10,000 home Ashton Park development between Dundry and the City to go to North Somerset Council’s planners in the summer. The problem here is that the council seems to be the driving force behind the whole project! It’s the “Domino Theory.” If the first one gets through then the whole green belt around Bristol falls.

    Chairman: Ron Morton

  2. thebristolblogger permalink
    November 30, 2010 11:21 pm

    How dare people promote points of view at odds with the Evening Post on their ‘blog sites’. Anyone would think we live in a free country.

  3. December 1, 2010 12:40 am

    My completely unbiased opinion says Mike Norton looked a bit of a lightweight in that debate.
    Ron Morton came out with very valid points. Not least to pick up Norton on his point about Lansdown buying the greenbelt and being given the nod from the council to apply for planning for the new stadium. Maybe Norton would like to clarify this in his next editorial. Political interference in the planning law I would say…

  4. harryT permalink
    December 1, 2010 8:37 am

    Yes – the planning issue may come back alive again. It seems that BCC have yet to publish the decision to approve planning for the statium on Asthon Vale. Until that occurs, the 3 month time limit for bringing judicial review proceedings does not begin.

    Lansdown and Norton have revealed two facts this last week and a half which could render that decision reviewable:

    1. In late 2009, Lansdown was still considering redeveloping Ashton Gate – which is contrary to what the planning commmittee were told – that developing Asthon Gate was impossible.

    2. That prior to even buying the land, Landsdown was told by BCC that they would approve planning for a stadium on the land, despite it being green belt – predetermination of the planning matter.

    Contrary to what the pro-stadium gang have been crowing, the planning matter may not be sorted after all. If Sainsbury and BCFC can reject the decision of a democratically accountable planning committee, then the stadium decision is also up for grabs.

  5. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    December 1, 2010 12:53 pm

    Hi Rich. I think you are looking in the wrong direction. I know plenty of people involved in the campaign to protect the Green Belt. I know nobody who is a member of the Green Party ( I think). Being interested in the environment and being a member of the Green Party are far from being the same thing!

  6. Chris E permalink
    December 1, 2010 1:57 pm

    Point 2 has been twisted so far from the reality of events. SL was not told by BCC that they would approve planning for a stadium. He didn’t speak to the “Council”.

  7. harryT permalink
    December 1, 2010 2:16 pm


    The BEP (which always prints the truth) quotes as follows:

    “In answer to a question, Mr Lansdown said the club had an internal discussion a few years ago whether to redevelop the Wedlock Stand at Ashton Gate or build a new stadium.

    He said he went to the council and asked them whether he should redevelop the current ground or acquire the Ashton Vale site for a new stadium.

    He said he received all-party support from councillors to go ahead with a new stadium.”

  8. thebristolblogger permalink
    December 1, 2010 4:32 pm

    Norton proved what we all already knew – that he’s really thick. He was behaving like an entrant in the stupidest man in Bristol competition.

  9. Chris E permalink
    December 1, 2010 4:46 pm

    Council != Councillors

  10. harryT permalink
    December 1, 2010 5:01 pm

    Chris E

    “He said he went to the council”

    “He said he received all-party support from councillors”

  11. Still Waters permalink
    December 1, 2010 5:19 pm

    “1. In late 2009, Lansdown was still considering redeveloping Ashton Gate – which is contrary to what the planning committee were told – that developing Ashton Gate was impossible.”

    Now according to Sextoy’s comments in interviews on BCFC’s website, he claims was constantly renewing the PP (I think this was a 2007 interview) – the BCC Planning details submit that they weren’t and left to expire..

    Might be worth a look to see their true expiry date.

    “Mike also let slip that before Lansdown bought the land, BCC told him (SL) to buy it and apply for new stadium there. ”

    There are a few FoI requests around this period (see ), but none are specific to this issue – close enough to enquire further though.

    Reading what has been released so far points to potentially damaging repercussions for BCC (if anyone can decipher Cooky’s handscrawled notes that have been published – lots of redactions in them too).

  12. Still Waters permalink
    December 1, 2010 5:26 pm


    “”All they are concerned about is not letting the stadium be built and saving the green belt.”

    Same thing surely? Your own words, quoted by BEP, so it must be FACT.

  13. Still Waters permalink
    December 1, 2010 6:14 pm

    also quite interesting to note that the land vendor had a bloody good idea of what was planned for the area prior to the sale in 2007, hence the purchase price.

  14. BobS permalink
    December 1, 2010 6:18 pm


    keep up the trawl through the FOI. Can you send anything you find to Bristol Citizens.

    A challenge to the planning for the stadium may well be on the cards.

  15. Chris permalink
    December 1, 2010 6:40 pm

    That’s what a journalist says he said. I was there. I don’t agree.

  16. Still Waters permalink
    December 1, 2010 7:01 pm

    BobS, can you give me a contact point please?

  17. Richard Lane permalink
    December 1, 2010 10:10 pm

    I think you’ll find that my comment was edited.
    I said that, green party activists are unifying the various groups and providing links for their information and campaign, this is not about a town village green, it is about stopping developments on greenbelt land. By stopping the stadium they believe it will stop other developments. I believe this campaign has been organised by green party members, all they are concerned about is not letting the stadium be built and saving the greenbelt.
    Sometimes words are lost in the shorthand

  18. Richard Lane permalink
    December 1, 2010 10:20 pm

    That is a fact for some objectors. Others just want to stop the stadium because it is near their home, so they will use any means and help possible.
    Others, like Mr Morton are opposing it because it could set a precident and have an adverse affect on their own campaign.
    Others are opposing it because they are supporters of BRFC and fear their rivals will succeed where they fail.
    Others are opposing it because they don’t want a supermarket near their home.
    All these groups and I expect there are more, are unified by the various blogs and organisations willing to help each other in return for help themselves.
    Just like you did when begging members of various forums (like RSPB and Hawkwind) to sign you and your other halves petition.

  19. Richard Lane permalink
    December 1, 2010 10:31 pm

    Just as a little reminder for you all and maybe save you a little time.
    The four local councils had I believe, agreed that the area known as Ashton park new town, was to be removed from the greenbelt.
    Perhaps that is where some confusion arises in where Mr Lansdown was told to build as you claim. I believe you really are clutching at straws to think this was a done deal.
    But go ahead and waste your time.

  20. Richard Lane permalink
    December 1, 2010 10:35 pm

    You really are pushing the boundaries here.
    I get the impression you are now all rather desperate.

  21. Richard Lane permalink
    December 1, 2010 10:42 pm

    Would anyone care to make a comment about Ron Mortons statement?

    What about historical events that have followed, or will you all do as usual and ignore damaging facts about the reasons for opposing the stadium?

  22. December 1, 2010 10:57 pm

    Looks good to me. He’s protecting his greenspace, a worthy cause. Greenspace in our city is being carved up by greed merchants. Who live elsewhere and really don’t care about somewhere that is not in their back yard.
    Guy Price lives in Taunton, why should he care, apart from keeping the paymaster happy.

  23. Still Waters permalink
    December 2, 2010 1:08 am

    “Just like you did when begging members of various forums”

    And we based our postings (but less so) on BCFC ST members tactics, who posted their requests in far worse places.

    Church forums, Developers forums, in fact any anti-greenbelt/pro-development forum they could think of – now how ‘local and sympathetic’ is that? At least I stuck to BCC petition guidelines 🙂

  24. Still Waters permalink
    December 2, 2010 1:12 am

    Sorted the contact, documents and links will be sent through shortly.

    Rich, I’ll buy you a Thatchers if England win the bid (not that Gold muck, the proper job), would that cheer you up a bit?

  25. Still Waters permalink
    December 2, 2010 1:15 am


    Whut? Yer dribbling mate.

  26. Still Waters permalink
    December 2, 2010 1:37 am

    At this point in time (now the extra submissions are in), I feel obliged to inform you that the BCFC ST petition entitled:

    “Bristol wants a new stadium not a “village green”

    (We the undersigned want a new stadium for Bristol not a ‘village green’. We call on Bristol City Council to do eveything (sic) in its power to do what is right for the whole city of Bristol, and we fully support the Council in its efforts to make the stadium happen by rejecting the village green application.)

    – is actually worthless.

    Under the particular legalise surrounding TVG consideration (of which you knew all about anyway, I’m sure) the Committee cannot be swayed by any potential future use of the land, unless they want to end up in court.

    BCFC’s petition expressly states a future use of development.


    You want to break it to ’em, or shall I?

    (admittedly, a lot of the sensible supporters knew this was coming, but it’ll break WhistleHappy’s heart, bless him)

    I know the text of the petition can be changed, but that invalidates all previous signatures.

  27. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    December 2, 2010 12:34 pm

    Hi Rich. They say timing is everything, and the timing of the Ron Morton (for whom I have great respect) letter is at least 18 months old. This was before the election, before the demise of the RSS, before the demise of Hazel Blears, and at a time when the campaign to protect the Green Belt was less certain to succeed. Hopefully we have made great and lasting gains since then. We now have North Somerset Council against building the 10,000 new homes at Long Ashton, we have the Bristol City Council Core Strategy which sets out to protect the GB, incidentally voted for by Simon Cook, and a Gov. that says it will leave decisions on housebuilding to local authorities. Things have moved on and statements taken out of context really mean nothing. It may have been the previous administration that gave SL the go-ahead, but that would have been consistant with their national policy of giving up on GB protection. It would also suggest that if SL was prepared to redevelope Ashton Gate, he is not “innit” for the money as some claim. I still don’t buy your claim about the Green Party!

  28. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    December 2, 2010 12:43 pm

    And when it comes to petitions, the campaign to protect the GreenBelt had 35,000 people who responded to a Gov. Consultation. Not just signing or putting their names on-line, but actually stating why the GreenBelt should be protected. That’s alot of people!

  29. Richard Lane permalink
    December 2, 2010 10:21 pm

    It matters not when he made the statement, it was a statement of intent. His motives were not to protect the greenbelt in general, just the greenbelt at Shortwood and his village.

    Tony Dyer, Pip sheard, Tess Green, Glen Vowles, Charlie Bolton, numerous others. How many green activists do you need? The majority of people against these proposed developments come from Southville, the only area of Bristol to elect a green party councillor.
    Most people responding to the Government consultation are probably doing it to protect their own environment first and foremost, as with Ron Morton and the others in rural locations. They promote the building of houses in cities, to the detriment of others, a very selfish outlook.

  30. Richard Lane permalink
    December 2, 2010 10:29 pm

    How can you say he is protecting his green space?
    His first objective was to oppose Tesco in Ashton, then the stadium, with a petition to Downing St. Neither were anywhere near his green space of Shortwood.

  31. Richard Lane permalink
    December 2, 2010 10:44 pm

    What on earth are you gabbling on about?
    As you say the petition means little in the legal process. What it does do and has done, is highlight the situation, where a few people can affect lot’s of people, to the detriment of the far bigger group.
    It has meant that some people who might have been unaware or apathetic to the TVG application, suddenly realised the enormity of the injustice about to occur and provided more evidence.
    As for (Paul) I posted that one for paul Mizen in Bedminster Down, they just went in in the wrong order, but hey! why waist an opportunity to have a pop.

    I’d also like to point out that your other halfs petition also requests future use: “Ashton Vale will retain it’s unique identity and open spaces for the use of future generations”.
    Perhaps you’d like to change the wording.

  32. BobS permalink
    December 2, 2010 10:54 pm

    The opinion of people who live in Shortwood don’t count.

    Neither the opinion of thos living in Southville.

    But those living in Knowle. Does their opinion count Rich ?

  33. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    December 3, 2010 10:34 am

    Hi Rich. I collected names in East Street, hardly Green Belt country.
    Tony Dyer, Tess Green, Glen Vowles, never met them in my life, Charlie Bolton I have heard speak at the Council House and I have met Pip Sheard, although she would hardly know me. The GB campaign was a regional campaign, from Cornwall to the S. Midlands. Of course people are interested in their own areas, like supporters are more interested in their own teams, thats how it is, but if you think this campaign was “Southville centric” you are very mistaken. And I certainly think homes should be built within the City, and you certainly can’t accuse me of being rural. Now if the Green Party didn’t support a Green Belt campaign, that would be suspicious!

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