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The Supermarket Dustbin of Bristol

March 21, 2011

something is rotten

supermarket dustbin at ashton gate

supermarket dustbin of bristol ashton gate

The once proud football citadel is set to become the Supermarket Dustbin of Bristol. The grubby money deal is done and councillors meekly vote in favour, against the local plan and all decent common sense. Don’t forget the gift of one fifth of the land which is council owned, to enable this to happen. Thanks are due to all concerned with conspiring to make the money-grubbing deal happen. You know what is good for you (and tough luck residents and everyone else that has to live with it).

  1. Richard Lane permalink
    March 21, 2011 9:21 pm


    Are you as bored writing the same old stuff over and over again as I am of reading it?

    So just to bore you. The council owned land is leased to BCFC for 80 odd years, it is of no financial value other than rental income for those 80 odd years. So with the new developments will come increased rates from those new developments. They will be greater than the rental income and the land value over that 80 year period when totalled. There will be a larger stadium, an Hotel, a Restaurant, a larger Supermarket, a larger fuel station, new housing at Moorelands, new housing and light industrial units at the present Sainsbury’s site, all producing greater income than at present and more than covering the land transfer value for the car park and the former allotments.

    The benefits are there for all to see, with a nice new supermarket close by for your personal use.

    Wow! Have you noticed the Tesco and other adverts? They must please you.
    Are they sponsoring this site? Just like some say they sponsored the so called independent traffic survey, which was submitted to the council by the Stop Sainsbury’s group.

  2. March 21, 2011 10:40 pm

    Ok lets go over old ground:

    1. Well dodgy incredibly long, very cheap lease given to the club in secret very recently.
    2. Land value enhanced massively due to planning consent and change of use.
    3. As fifth of the land is council owned then 1/5 of Lansdowns £21million bonanza =at least £4m.
    4. Monster sainsburys dustbin can’t go ahead without council owned land.
    5. Council will get rates off supermarket – as well as market value price for the sale of their land.
    6. Certain council bods in secret have done a deal to gift the land for free.
    7. New stadium team rustle up a promise of cheap gym entry and other rubbish sweeteners that no one wants, in attempt cover up the corrupt deal, and hoodwink the ratepayers who’ve been fleeced.

    Ask yourself a question: if you personally owned the entrance-way and a large part of the land for the biggest hypermarket in the South-west to be built by one of the biggest retailers in the country, would you let them have your land for nothing?

  3. Richard Lane permalink
    March 22, 2011 8:47 pm


    Where is the proof for your allegations about cheap dodgy lease, or is this another of your wild claims with no justification what so ever? I believe the lease was taken out about 15 years ago, that’s usually the case with a 99 year lease.
    The supermarket is not being built on that land anyway, it is being built on the site of the stadium. The car park remains in use for vehicles only, and has done for at least 46 years to my knowledge.
    Whether the existing land of the stadium site has increased in value is neither here nor there. That’s only because someone was willing to pay that much for it. It’s called business, it’s what businesses do, if they didn’t look after their assets they wouldn’t be in business.
    Ask yourself this question: If someone told you that you could get twice as much for your house, if sold with planning permision for flats, What would you do? Answer= you’d be down the planning office tomorrow morning and take the money.

    “Monster sainsburys dustbin can’t go ahead without council owned land”. Yes it could, there could be a transfer of the lease to Sainsbury’s and they could apply for the fuel station.

    “Certain council bods in secret have done a deal to gift the land for free”. No they haven’t, they have transferred the land in exchange for community services and the massive increase in rates from the new developments.

    Seven sacredspring statements, all wrong.
    If I owned the land and new I’d get such a good return over a long period instead of a small rental income over a long period. Then damned right I’d release it free of charge. I’d have the rental income doubled within a year, due to increased rates.

  4. March 23, 2011 7:39 am

    So what exactly is wrong with the cash-strapped council cashing in on its resources by demanding a market rate for its land? No council land=no monster sainsburys. It is obliged to get market rate for its property on our behalf and so far hasn’t had the land valued properly yet, apart from an internal valuation that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
    Subsidised entry to a crappy under stadium gym is not £4million of good value for residents.
    My survey proves that most Bristolians would prefer £2 off a pint of Thatchers than reduced entry to Lansdowns sweatbox of a gym with a few broken running machines and rusty weights.

    The rates argument is a complete red herring and is not part of planning procedure. A mixed housing and workplace development at the stadium would probably get more rates in anyhow, big multinationals and wealthy companies have ways of dodging taxes.

  5. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    March 23, 2011 5:05 pm

    Hi Rich
    This is not a case of “ganging up” but you can answer the question that I still don’t understand. At the Sainsbury application it was said that the ground needed to be sold to Sainsbury because there was no other worthwhile offer. As you say in your previous letter, its what businesses do, make the most of their assets. Fair enough, I understand that. What I don’t understand is if there was no other decent offer for AG, why have Sainsbury paid such a generous price. They are also a business, known for driving hard bargains. My only conclusion is that SL claimed without that sort of money the stadium project would be at risk and they probably realised there would unlikely be such an opportunity again to get planning permission for such a massive store in a similar situation. They, like many others in this whole episode, realise the power of football.

  6. Country Cousin permalink
    March 23, 2011 9:17 pm

    Its a good question Paul. It also raises the issue of why BCC felt it had to gift land assets to two business which patently do not need incentives to carry out their developments. Rich has said on here that it is because BCC know that the return through rates will exceed the value of the gift. whilst this might well be the case, it does not follow that BCFC and Sainsbury would not go though with the development without the incentive. Both the stadium (plus ancillary development) and the supermarket will make hefty profits which alone will incentivise them to proceed. The council could have sold the land AND had the return through increased rates. So why did it choose not to?

    For what is supposed to be a commercial venture steeped in market wisdom, both have distinctly non-market non commercial decisions at their heart. Why did Sainsbury pay so much, given that they knew another supermarket brand would not get planning permission and why did BCC not exact market value for its (our) land?

  7. Richard Lane permalink
    March 23, 2011 10:08 pm

    The reason Sainsbury’s were willing to make such an offer is because , the present site of the stadium has a density and height of buildings already on the site. This would allow them to build a comparatively large structure on the same site at the same height and density without imposing adversely on the neighbouring properties, a precident has been set.

    That is also why the stadium site is more valuble than the existing car park, which won’t have any part of the supermarket built on it. Even with it’s existing vehicle access which it’s had for decades.


    You say: “A mixed housing and workplace development at the stadium would probably get more rates in anyhow, big multinationals and wealthy companies have ways of dodging taxes”. There will be new housing as you describe, at the present sainsbury site, plus about 150 extra dwellings at Moorelands, plus the larger stadium, Hotel, drive through Restaurant, larger supermarket and fuel staion. all producing increased rates which over the same period of time will be more than the value and rental income of the car park and former allotments.
    It will also have the benefit of producing many more dwellings than keeping things as they are, something that can only be wellcomed by those campaigning against greenbelt developments for housing.

    Since when have comany’s, other than those relocating from outside the area been able to avoid paying business rates? Cue yet another conspiracy about these businesses avoiding this tax.

  8. Richard Lane permalink
    March 23, 2011 10:34 pm

    Country cousin

    I hope my response to paul helps.

    Please let me correct you. The stadium development will not make hefty profits.
    There is going to be a shortfall.
    The stadium costs are £90m plus and there are revenue gains expected from the existing stadium, of £21.3m I believe. There is income from the sale of the housing site and the site for the Hotel and restaurant, somewhere in the region of £15m. So revenue raised of about £37m. Take that from £90m and your leaft with a rather large defecit of somewhere in the region of £50m plus, where’s the hefty profit? I know these figures are not exactly accurate but they do give a rough guide to the costs.

    You may not realise, but apart from thinking only about land values, the local authority has aaaalso to think about the future of the city and the positive benefits a new increased capacity stadium and linked developments give to the the city. As well as the extra housing , permanent and temporary jobs.

    It’s a question of how the city is percieved from outside, whether people would want to come here to visit, whether they’d want to invest here, whether they’d want to live here.
    Many more people come to the city because of decent facilities. Hopefully a more successful football team, competing at a higher level will bring many benefits, as it did in the past.
    For too long I believe our city has lived in the past, we’ve been overtaken and overlooked in favour of lesser urban areas. It’s fine for those that have big cars and are wealthy enough to travel for their entertainment and those that are “quite comfortable thank you very much” do we need these things?
    The answer is yes, we need these things. We need them for all those people that aren’t able to have the things in life others are provided with by forward thinking councils.

  9. March 24, 2011 12:26 am

    This city does not live in the past, richard lane does. Cant think of any other European cities that will be impressed by this sorry tale. The investment is not sustainable for the environment or the benefit of residents. The jobs will essentially be low value supermarket and hospitality work, which suit some people but doesn’t earn enough to buy a house. Short term building contractors could come from anywhere in the country or abroad, can’t calculate how much of that will stay in the local economy.
    Hotel and hospitality industry notoriously bad as employers. They usually outsource staff as casuals from agencies with little union representation. There’s plenty of evidence of hotels employing agency staff, usually foreign nationals, below minimum wage.

    Backward thinking.

    Gifting away valuable council land is a well dodgy risk. If BCFC becomes insolvent (its making a big annual loss) then the council will be by their own admission way down the list after banks and taxmen, in fact only just above unsecured creditors (22 july 2010 scrutiny meeting disposal of land). So if BCFC go bust then its kiss goodbye to £41/2 million (council in house valuation of car park + alderman moores site). They can also default on the supposed “community benefits” or cheap gym entry with very little comeback. What a mess! And the new stadium sums don’t add up and plunge the club even deeper into debt!

  10. March 24, 2011 7:59 am

    ”why have Sainsbury paid such a generous price…”

    This is a good point from Paul. It also underlines why Lansdown keeps saying how good Sainsburys are to work with. Of course they are when they pay more than double the market rate. Makes a mockery of the free market and shows how much the supermarket greed-merchants have abused the planning system and adopted local plan using football fans loyalty to do the dirty work. No doubt sainsburys will be contributing heartily to naming rights for the new stadium as well.

  11. Richard Lane permalink
    March 24, 2011 1:08 pm


    If BCFC went bankrupt, the council would still be recieving the rates from the housing at moorelands, the supermarket, the Hotel, the Restaurant, the housing and light industrial units on the former Sainsbury site. So you are talking rubbish again.

    You seem to be suggesting that jobs are not welcome. The former government allowed the influx of foriegn nationals to take low paid jobs in favour of our own workers. Are you suggesting we refuse employment to people on the grounds that they are not from this country? Are you suggesting that none of these jobs are worth having?

    As for the good point from Paul. You refuse to accept that this site is as valuable as it is because of the existing structures. If there were a greenfield site that fitted Sainsbury’s requirements, within a catchment area as this site, then obviously that would be a better and cheaper option and they would choose that one. This is where your argument falls flat on it’s face, there is no such site in this area, which is why the one at Ashton gate is so valuable, it allows them to build the size of store they want to.
    Put in simple terms, if a two story shop was for sale in Ashtonvale and the same size plot was for sale but with a four story shop on it, the latter would be more expensive.

  12. Richard Lane permalink
    March 24, 2011 1:24 pm


    You are correct, this city does not live in the past.

    We have no arena, no decent stadium, no athletics track or stadia, no international swimming facilities, no leisure swimming facilities, no decent public transport system, very poor conference facilities. All of these things are part and parcel and expected in other cities the length and breadth of the country. You may not want or need these facilities, don’t deny them to others.

    The current administration are at least trying to help deliver some of these facilities for the citizens of Bristol, and save the people and the subsequent wealth, from leaving our city to
    seek them elsewhere. They are doing so without paying anything towards them in this instance.
    Of course there will be downsides to any development, you refuse to accept that there will be any good points though. Where else is a vast investment such as this going to come from?

  13. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    March 24, 2011 5:49 pm

    The problem is the hypocrisy that goes with the claims that the jobs will go to the unemployed of South Bristol, a claim constantly made by politicians of all parties who all know better. Remember “British jobs for British workers”, a quote from a PM who was either thick himself or thought the rest of us were. I seriously wonder if the same applies here. Still, it’s what keeps me going. As for Sainsbury seeking a greenfield site, just imagine if it were they who had puchased Ashton Vale Fields. Would they have obtained planning permission?

  14. Richard Lane permalink
    March 24, 2011 10:41 pm


    Obviously they would not have obtained planning permission. An application seeking greenbelt development approval must prove exceptional circumstances, such as no other site available for a specific development. A supermarket would hardly fall into that category.

    Any jobs created no matter who they are filled by, creates more employment. Why won’t they go to people of south Bristol? At present many people from Bristol and predominantly south Bristol are employed at the stadium by the club. Even the outside caterers and security firms employ local labour. The shopkeepers, pubs and takeaways employ locals. The same applys to sainsbury’s. Why would this scenario change?
    If the jobs created at Sainsbury diminish over time, at least they will have employed people for that length of time instead of denying those people that opportunity. Cue the claims for lost local retail jobs, well if the shops have any go out and get them, they would accept that the extra people coming to the area might be enticed to also shop there.
    If the construction jobs go to people from outside the area, that leaves gaps to be exploited elsewhere. Plus they would need accomodation,feeding and watering, plus the supply of materials from local sources. All you here from objectors are negative comments,given to portray only the most negative outlook. Logic dictates that there will be benefits from these developments as well, why won’t anyone be honest enough to admit this?

  15. March 25, 2011 12:21 am

    Lane tries to discredit greenbelt areas like they are some kind of Fukushima nuclear disaster-the man is so far off the truth.
    He also loves to knock his own city when it is rated fourth in the top twenty uk cities by forum for the future amongst others. Based on sustainability-it’s the stupid massive hypermarket dodgy deals and greenbelt exploitation like this that will surely push the city way down the list. It is backward negative thinking that a massive hypermarket and concreting over greenbelt with hotels and fast food drive thru’s is some kind of progress. The sustainable progress would be none of this but the renovation of the existing stadium in its rightful place, and not bulldozing a perfectly good supermarket that has only just expanded and is sufficient for the communities needs. This whole deal is a rotten conspiracy by a greed-motivated multinational store and an out of touch, out of country stock market oligarch. Its not the adopted local plan, its not progress, its not something local residents want, and logic dictates that this is whole conspiracy will be a traffic and environmental disaster.

    Lane and others like to compare Bristol to Cardiff that has all the desirable stadia arena and other chav features he craves for. Well take a look at this:

    As well as greenest city, Newcastle was the overall most sustainable, beating 2008 winner Bristol into second
    Meanwhile, Cardiff fell from fifth to 10th in the league table and dropped from third to 18th on environmental performance.

    (2009 Forum for the Future survey: sustainability of the 20 biggest uk cities, measuring factors such as air quality, wildlife and quality of life.)

    If Lane doesn’t like it here so much he can always move to join fellow moaners in Cardiff with its chav arena, languishing bottom of the pile.

  16. March 25, 2011 12:44 am

    A diverse and consistently buoyant economy is evidenced by the fact that Bristol has the most competitive and productive economy of any large English city outside of London according to the UK Competitiveness Index 2010 and ONS

    World class companies established here include Airbus UK, Rolls Royce, Aardman Animations, BBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Halifax Bank of Scotland, AXA, Toshiba Research Europe, Lloyds TSB, Bank of Ireland, Orange, Hewlett Packard and Garrad Hassan.

    “Bristol is developing the creative people and networks critical to economically successful city-regions.” Stephen Peacock, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at SWRDA.

    Bristol is internationally recognised as a premier UK city-region and capital of the South West.

    The city ranks amongst the most attractive, successful and culturally prestigious cities in the UK and enjoys a rising profile within Europe, USA, China, Japan and other countries.

    This is due to the City’s world-class knowledge economy based on aerospace, defence, engineering, ICT and electronics, financial services, media, creative and environmental industries, and the global reach of its four outstanding universities.

    The Bristol economy has been relatively resilient during the recession and will return to growth quickly as a centre for those sectors of the economy set to blossom in coming years. The significance of Bristol’s contribution to future UK economic growth is highlighted by the fact that, outside of London, Bristol produced the highest level of private sector employment growth in England between 1998–2008 (Centre for Cities, 2010).

  17. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    March 25, 2011 4:53 pm


    “Obviously they would not have gained planning permission.” I agree completely, which makes me even more convinced that the reason Sainsburys were prepared to pay over the odds for AG, was because they realised the opportunity to build a giant supermarket in this location anywhere else was remote, greenfield site or not.
    As regard the jobs. I did not say they would not go to people from SB. I’m saying the inference from politicians and others that they will is false. It cannot be guaranteed and they know it, hence my comparison with the words of Gordon Brown, although in his case he may not have known! Actually, I do think it matters if the jobs go to locals, for reasons too many to express here. Others must also think the same, othwise they would not keep making their false claims.

  18. Richard Lane permalink
    March 25, 2011 8:42 pm


    You have your head in the sand.
    It all depends on whose opinion you seek. If you seek the opinion of a tiny group of people concerned about how sustainable a place is.
    If you asked the masses, they’d ask if Bristol was still in Wales.
    I am a very proud Bristolian that wants the best for our city but not at the expense of pandering to the minority groups that seem to get their way more frequently than is justified, those who have infiltrated or hoodwinked the administrative structure to achieve their aims.

    I have never made references to greenbelts in the plural. I have only talked about the specific ludicrous greenbelt of Ashtonvale. This was made greenbelt to comply with government demands, in a city with little chance of expansion due to costraints of the boundaries. This greenbelt area was due to be taken out of the greenbelt and had been agreed by the four councils of the area.

    It is the likes of you that are not in touch with reality and what people want, due to your blinkered approach and utter refusal to accept a difference of opinion.
    As a measure of this opinion, you might want to compare the two petitions currently running for and against the TVG. The pro TVG petition has 1,231 signatures including many from outside the area, the anti TVG has 30,130 signatures with the overwhelming majority from the area not Brighton. Consider the number of people supporting the TVG when you take into account the media coverage of the subject, it is pitiful. It sums up the actual level of support across the region from like minded people in a minority group.

    You rightly point out some of the areas outstanding abilities that we have in Bristol. I would suggest that because of those, scant regard is paid to the lower end of the spectrum, where people are desperate for something to be proud of and have an alliegence with.
    For all those top class comapanies and expertise we also have some of the most deprived areas in the country that have to pay the same prices as those employed in those specialist companies on higher than average earings. Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones with reasonable earnings, that enable you to snub and mock the lower paid employees and the jobs being created for those people.

    I do not compare Bristol to Cardiff, I compare the lack of facilities we have to places like Cardiff and other smaller urban areas across the country. Now you refer to people as chavs because they want an arena! What a lovely person you are.

  19. Richard Lane permalink
    March 25, 2011 8:54 pm


    Your comment: ” I agree completely, which makes me even more convinced that the reason Sainsburys were prepared to pay over the odds for AG, was because they realised the opportunity to build a giant supermarket in this location anywhere else was remote, greenfield site or not”.
    So we agree that the site of Ashton gate is more valuable than other sites which aren’t available anyway? This is what I’ve been saying all along. If the site only had small structures they would not be able to build the planned store.

    As for the jobs going to locals or not to locals. If they are to be low paid jobs, are people going to pay travelling expenses out of their meagre earnings to get to those low paid jobs? I would have to question the economics of those deciding to apply for those jobs and the hope the employers have of keeping the staff if they were not local.

  20. Deano permalink
    March 25, 2011 9:13 pm

    “This greenbelt area was due to be taken out of the greenbelt and had been agreed by the four councils of the area.”


    And when did they agree that? Presumably you can supply a link to where this has been agreed by all four councils to back up this claim? Personally I will be interested to know why BANES or South Gloucestershire would be making any decisions about changing the status of a Green Belt area on the border of North Somerset and Bristol but as you insist you always tell the truth I am sure you will be able to provide a link to back up your claim.

    Based on previous experience, I won’t be holding my breath……

  21. March 25, 2011 11:02 pm

    Green belt is green belt. Lane thinks he can redefine it, pure arrogance.
    The council should have been upfront investing our money in upgrading the current stadium-just like the colston Hall and Museum. The people would naturally have a proper legal share in it, instead of the grubby money changers dodgy handover of assets. No chance of that happening with the arrogant football owners putting their own interests before that of the community. The hypermarket is not aspirational for this region or anywhere. Its just a dustbin full of cash for the current owner and chairman, forget the tear jerking lies of thousands of jobs at stake.

    Look at the sorry response of the home nation FA’s towards sending a team to the London olympics then realise that the nations favourite sport does not belong to the people but is a plaything in the hands of a selfish wealthy elite, controlled by political opportunists.

  22. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    March 26, 2011 6:23 pm

    Hi Rich
    Your opinion on a City matter. The Chairman, to the surprise of most, decides to stand down, a decision that evidently was made months ago. He admits to mistakes in the past, especially with regards the amount spent on recruiting new players who were basically not good enough, and says any future transfers must be value for money. He also says that at present he is not looking for foreign investors. The Chairman in waiting states that the club will be run on a firm financial footing and must make ends meet. The manager states that his squad is far too big and he would like a small squad suplimented with players from the Academy. He adds that in future the club would look to produce it’s own players from that Academy instead of making expensive signings. All these thing make sense to me but does it not sound as if there is not going to be much money around in the future. It does sound like a process of gently breaking it to the fans. As for local jobs. How about a team made up mainly of local players, as in the past. Now that would bring back the crowds. I might then join you in the Williams!

  23. Richard Lane permalink
    March 26, 2011 7:11 pm


    I thought the rules stated no rants, that’s all you ever do.
    If you want to see what arrogance really is, read your posts where you tell BCFC what they should do with their own stadium. Unbelievable.

    I don’t want to redefine greenbelt.
    I actually think greenbelt has been counter productive in many cases but good in others.
    Due to a number of reasons housing was required in this area over the last 5 decades. Because of the greenbelt it could not be built in or around Bristol. Instead it has been built in such places as, Yate, Nailsea, Thornbury, Yatton, Keynsham, South Gloucestershire, Weston super mare, Portishead and Bradley stoke. All of these areas rely on Bristol for employment and leisure, some to a greater degree than others. They are all in the large urban zone of Bristol, as defined by the EU. I believe something like 60% of Westons working population travel to Bristol for employment. The effects of this vast urban expansion has been detrimental to the region as a whole in terms of traffic and the polution from it with the local transport unable to offer an effective solution. If Bristol never had those constraints imposed on it, then perhaps some of the demands for further housing could have been met more closely and reduced the congestion and other problems that have been caused as a result of these piecemeal spread out developments.


    I’m not going to give you a link, do it yourself.
    The four councils that made up the West of England partnership, covering the former Avon area made a joint structure plan. In that plan were certain areas defined for urban growth. Ashton vale and the area towards the A38 and bordered by the A370 was defined as the south Bristol urban expansion area.This was agreed as part of that plan along with other areas which covered the former Avon area, councils had a say whether it was within their district or not because it was an alliance. It was called the west of England Partnership.

  24. Richard Lane permalink
    March 26, 2011 7:24 pm


    Hi, I think that with SL at the helm, clubs made higher demands for their players and those players agents also made higher demands. It’s a bit like the personal attacks he’s had from certain quaters. If he takes a step back and people have to deal with others at the helm, it might be better for the club. I don’t think for one minute that if a player was needed he would not cough up the spondies. I think that other people will be more careful with his money when they have to justify the spending themselves, rather than asking him for it.

    As for local players, have a look at the amount of locally born players playing top flight football. If you wanted to watch fourth rate football then I’d suggest playing all locals in the team. That’s not to say that we don’t have to develop our own and supplement them with a few additions from elsewhere.

  25. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    March 27, 2011 10:17 am

    Remember the First Div. days. Cashley, Merrick, Rodgers, Collier, Tainton, Fear, Garland, Cheesley, and thats just from memory. Sure to be others. It can be done!

  26. Tony Dyer permalink
    March 27, 2011 10:28 am


    Your claim that all four councils agreed to land at Ashton Vale being taken out of the Green Belt is incorrect.

    As part of the previous government’s top down approach to spatial planning, the South West Regional Spatial Strategy had proposed a review of the Green Belt designations in the Ashton Vale area as part of draft proposals to build an urban extension to SW Bristol.

    However this proposal was driven by the South West Regional Development Agency not the four local councils either independently or as the West of England Partnership. The two councils that expressed a view on the SW Bristol urban extension (North Somerset and Bristol City) have consistently opposed changes to the Green Belt in the Ashton Vale area.

    Responses from North Somerset Council;

    “The Council have opposed the urban extension and the resulting change to the Green Belt, both objecting to the emerging RSS and through its draft Core Strategy”

    “North Somerset Council is opposed to the proposed urban extension and any change to its
    Green Belt and as a result of the continued uncertainty over the RSS and mounting opposition to the proposals has decided to progress its own Core Strategy planning
    document without making provision for development at South West Bristol.”
    North Somerset Council newsletter, Jan 2010

    North Somerset Council is opposed to the principle of development in the Green Belt at SW Bristol”
    North Somerset Core Strategy, Consultation Draft.

    Meanwhile Bristol City Council is adopting a Core Strategy that states as one of its policies; “Countryside and other open land around the existing built-up areas of the city will be safeguarded by maintaining the current extent of the Green Belt”
    Bristol City Council, Core Strategy Publication version, Nov 2009

    You say that “The four councils that made up the West of England partnership, covering the former Avon area made a joint structure plan”

    Indeed they did, it is known as the Joint Replacement Structure Plan and was adopted in September 2002. It can be downloaded here;

    It does not say what you claim it says. What it does say is;
    “Bristol is tightly surrounded by Green Belt, or by existing urban development in adjoining authorities. No scope therefore exists for urban extensions within the City Council area in advance of a Green Belt review.”


    “no locations would meet the Structure Plan criteria for acceptable greenfield development, because of Green Belt designation over much of the area including those parts adjoining

  27. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    March 27, 2011 8:03 pm

    Hi Tony
    “driven by the SWRDA” Surely Ned Cusson of King Sturge played his part. Among his wackier ideas were Bristols own Silicon Valley, stretching from Ashton Vale to Nailsea, and a dam across the Avon so a riverside development could be built between Pill and the city. Ned spoke at the Sainsburys inquiry, bestolling the virtues of a supermarket at Ashton Gate. What a closely knit lot the Bristol Business community are!

  28. Richard Lane permalink
    March 27, 2011 10:49 pm


    It’s nice to know your there to correct my terminology and specific points.

    The core strategy was just that, a strategy. It was constantly being changed and reviewed since it began life in 2002 until more recent times. However that did not stop the councils Of North Somerset and Bristol carrying out assessments of that greenbelt land to calculate the amount of housing it could accomodate after pressure from the Rss and agree to even if reluctantly that housing will be developed there. Many things happened since its conception and the more recent qoutes from the councils about protecting the greenbelt, such as the demand for housing in the former Avon area increasing to 115,000 new dwellings with 10,5000 at Ashton park.
    The Rss has now been disbanded but the demand for housing has not diminished, so we can still expect this development to go ahead even if on a smaller scale and not immediately.

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