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Lansdown’s collision course : how not to engage with communities.

September 30, 2011

The new stadium was approved on greenbelt partly because Lansdown and his team said there was nowhere else which is not true as we now know. Rovers found a brownfield site pretty quick and the existing Gate had consent to rebuild anyhow. Sure there isn’t enough space at Ashton Gate for the posh housing, burgerbars, hotel conference centre, car parks – the greenbelt consent was given under dubious pressure from the club-dangling the promised thousands of  phantom jobs and untold millions of bucks . And there you have the Lansdown Legacy of the Monster Sainsburys disaster that is due to batter the old High Streets and houses of Bedminster and the new Stadium complex due to batter Ashton Vale greenbelt and Long Ashton.

Poor old Lansdown is going to be remembered for concreting the greenbelt, setting local communities against each other and mashing up Greater Bedminster with a Giant Hypermarket. Which seems a bit unfair on the man who has supported the local team for years and splashed the cash when needed.
I still can’t understand why he has set on this collision course with local residents and communities -maybe its due to bad advice and/or being out of touch living abroad. Or it could be due to the nature of his amazing business success where big winners must have losers. And transfering the cyberspace casino gambling world to the weird real world of local residents in their funny little streets and boring little lives makes no difference.
Is there a sense of increasing bitterness  in the developers boardroom?  The Long Ashton parish council decision to JR the TVG is yet another blow – another community against the man’s plans.  And why wouldn’t they challenge him when they have so much to lose?


  1. thebristolblogger permalink
    September 30, 2011 8:02 pm

    You have to wonder whose idea it was to take a local football club firmly rooted in a community and turn it into an offshore corporate vehicle.

  2. Richard Lane permalink
    October 3, 2011 10:39 pm

    You claim (wrongly) that LAPC have so much to lose. As I see it, the parking problems envisaged by them would be worse if the existing stadium gets redeveloped. There was no travel plan, no residents parking scheme, no extra use of park and ride facilities in the redevelopment plans, there are in the new stadium plans. In fact the new stadium residents parking scheme will also benefit the local residents during other major events, such as the balloon festival and any other events held at Ashton Court.
    There will be minimal if any visual impact on the village, as everybody knows a very large embankment for the A370 with many mature trees acting as a screen lies in between the village and the stadium site.
    I don’t remember any of the residents complaining or asking for the unsightly 9 storey tobacco bonds to be removed as they were obviously spoiling their view from L A to the roofs of Bedminster and the flats of Windmill hill. As for the rubbish being spouted about noise and light impact on L A, Why was there no complaint about the lights and traffic from the park and ride, or the hooray Henry’s guffawing whilst
    playing tennis?
    Rovers site was not available until later, as this was purchased from HP by the UWE when HP no longer required it for expansion. And if you hadn’t noticed, it’s not in Bristol. You are once more shit stirring.
    I suppose you’ll be starting your crusade against them soon, how are they paying for the £40m+ development costs? Or are you going to be hypocritical and ignore those plans to crush and divide a neighbourhood into havng a monster superstore in it’s midst?

    As I’ve asked you before I’ll do it again. Are you dismissing as unimportant, any employment created, at any of the proposed developments, whether they be part time, full time, temporary, highly skilled or low skilled, not to mention all of the construction jobs created or continued? I don’t really expect you to answer

  3. October 4, 2011 8:27 am

    I’ve already commented on the Greed merchant supermarkets stealing football stadiums.
    I know the HP site well and did a sponsored 10k there many moons ago. Nice meadow then but was earmarked for expansion of a key industry.
    Flogging off the Memorial stadium to become a temple of greed and gluttony is as bad as the Ashton Gate Sainsbury stitch-up.
    Real jobs will be created with sustainable development of the many brownfield sites in Bristol. Greenfield building is the nasty but cheap option -dodgy builders will always prefer the knock-down priced land and then try to change the law. Could be argued that in principle Lansdowns Ashton Vale greenbelt squatting is no different to the Dale Farm travellers camp except the travellers don’t have plans for a drive-thru burger emporium.

  4. Richard Lane permalink
    October 4, 2011 8:23 pm

    You Say “I’ve already commented on the Greed merchant supermarkets stealing football stadiums”.
    You might have commented on these subjects, I did not ask you to comment on them.
    What I asked was: “Are you dismissing as unimportant, any employment created, at any of the proposed developments, whether they be part time, full time, temporary, highly skilled or low skilled, not to mention all of the construction jobs created or continued?”

    If as you say you know the site opf the proposed new Rovers stadium well and as you say, you “knew it was earmarked for expansion of a key industry”. It stands to reason that you also knew it was not available to consider as a site for a new stadium for BCFC. So your claim that a site was available for BCFC other than Ashtonvale, was to put it mildly a blatant untruth.

  5. October 5, 2011 6:47 am

    The employment can be created at brownfield sites such as the rebuilding of existing stadia. Ashton Gate is surrounded by empty industrial units now. Why doesn’t Lansdown buy up those and get people back to work there?
    Construction work jobs will be taken by large contractors who could be from anywhere in the uk or abroad and would only provide a few temp local jobs as you well know.
    HP is a classic example of the council bending over backwards and giving any expansion consent these massive companies demand in order to try to keep them in the locality. Only to find out later that they have changed strategy and end up moving elsewhere or closing down leaving vast areas of factory or building plots ready for the asset strippers to move in. HP land could have been available for years who knows, and theres plenty more around if you look hard enough.

  6. Richard Lane permalink
    October 5, 2011 9:21 pm

    You seem to be forgetting that this land at Ashtonvale has already been purchased, with the intention of building a stadium of 30,000 capacity. It also has the possibility to increase capacity if required which the existing site does not, cue the sarcastic childish comments. Previously the existing stadium had a capacity in excess of 40,000. It matters not how many times that capacity was reached, the important thing was that it had that capacity and on many occasions it was needed and used.
    The land at AV was due to be removed from the greenbelt along with what is known as Ashton Park new town. The local authorities were detailing how many houses could be built on this area of greenbelt, regardles of however reluctant they were to do so. In fact building work already took place on the greenbelt, agreed by the two local authorities, thus setting a precedent. Permission has been granted by the same two authorities, for the stadium, the supermarket and the access to the new stadium, you might have forgotten this.
    Who in their right mind would suggest disregarding all of the benefits of this permission, to instead, rebuild an ageing stadium at greater cost than a new build, buy even more expensive land, to build other facilities, which are only being built in the first place, to finance the stadium.
    Let someone else with more money than sense finance the plans you reccommend as the land you suggest will still be available for this purpose. Perhaps a bone yard, or pithead could be allowed, or even some red brick nine storey tobacco bonds.

    As you well know, any land for a stadium has to be available at the right price and in the right catchment area, that obviously is not the case at the UWE site regarding BCFC.The land at UWE will still be in the ownership of the UWE, if I’m not mistaken. They will be the new owners of BRFC effectively.

    I suppose if you were the council and you had the prospect of a worldwide company applying for permission to build an extension to their factory, you’d tell them to piss off.
    I think you need to apply for a job as a professor at the London school of economics with your knowledge, Job title = specialist in obtaining insolvency.

    PS, What I asked was: “Are you dismissing as unimportant, any employment created, at any of the proposed developments, whether they be part time, full time, temporary, highly skilled or low skilled, not to mention all of the construction jobs created or continued?”

    Jobs will actually be lost from the existing Sainsbury store, without the new developments.
    And if as you say there are construction employees from across the UK building the stadium, so what!, are those jobs not important? Our local construction workers travel the UK for work, it appears that you are saying they should not have that opportunity to work?

  7. October 6, 2011 7:23 am

    Lane-wrong again. Land at Ashton Vale was not due to be removed from greenbelt you tool!
    Here’s the facts once more :
    Dodgy builders, absentee landlords and greed merchants buy up green-belt at cheap as chips prices as everyone knows you can’t build on greenbelt so the non-building greenfield land is cheap as chips.
    Then using conspiracy of The Evening Toast, ‘gentleman club’ business leaders, starstruck councillors and officers, and the World Cup, the dodgy builders claim this is the last chance saloon to get the worlds greatest football event to Bristol.
    And the only place a new stadium could be built of course. Also calling the greenbelt a rubbish tip and encouraging intimidation of local residents helps. And denying that cows have grazed the meadows
    Oh and they have to build large housing estates for rich people with no affordable homes, burger drive-thru’s, hotels conference centre car parks for 1000’s of cars and a massive town centre destroying hypermarket so big it would swallow up the whole of College Green and the Council House.
    AND they have to be given large tracts of valuable council owned land. All against the local adopted plan and rejected by the majority of local residents.

    But it gets through planning with the usual mobster type threats, bluster and blackmail (thousands of new jobs?? Overtrading? No other possible site?)

    What a stitch-up! Unbelievable, you couldn’t make it up. Lansdowns legacy!

  8. burt permalink
    October 6, 2011 9:06 am

    Oh dear.

    I have heard that it has just got far worse for Lansdown.

    The Council’s s compormise deal on Ashton Vale, splitting the land in two, looked as if it might have worked. But:

    – first they go and base their decision to split the land not on a compromise but upon the basis that the dodgy new evidence shows the local residents were lying. This so angered many people that they considered a JR had to be brought to clear their name (see Crispin’s quotes on this).

    – Next the Council don’t even register as Green the bits of land they say they will register. Instead they move the line after the PROW meeting and exclude from the Green all the entrances and exits from the land, leaving an inaccesible island of town green that no one will be able to get to. A whole load of Ashton Valers turned up at the PROW meeting on 3rd Oct to hear Abrahams deny that the lines on the map ever meant anything. And that when the Commitee said they would make all land south of the BRT into Green they did not mean it and it was some sort of misunderstanding.

    It now looks like the whole of Ashton Vale and Long Ashton (except for the “BCFC 12”) are back behind the Judicial Review.

    Do you think they need a lesson on how to engage with communites ?

  9. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    October 6, 2011 4:22 pm

    I don’t think there is much doubt that had New Labour had their way with their Regional Spacial Strategy, Ashton Vale and all the land South/West as far as the water tanks at Barrow Gurney would no longer be Greenbelt. I, just out of interest, went to a public presentation by NSC officers who basically presented the new housing as a “done deal” and it was just a case of deciding exactly where they would go. Although not knowing anybody, I made a speech reminding the officers that they worked for the community and not the other way around and as it was GB that would be a way of fighting the proposals. The campaign was well organised (not by me) and well supported, but as with most things, we were helped by events. The Credit Crunch put a stop to large scale development, the housing market stalled, and most importantly, there was a change of Government. Regarding the stadium, events are again playing their part and will surely influence the outcome!

  10. Richard Lane permalink
    October 6, 2011 8:37 pm

    I suggest you put your brain in gear before opening your big mouth, YOU TOOL!.
    North Somerset and Bristol city councils drafted reports and plans, on where and how many houses could be situated within the greenbelt, including Ashtonvale. Along with South Glos and BANEs, it was agreed (reluctantly) by the local authorities to remove parts of the greenbelt around Bristol to provide housing. This was to happen at Whitchurch, Hicks gate, some sites in south Glos (Ron Mortons Shortwood Green) and at Ashton park.
    It appears you have been on un-performance enhancing drugs again, resulting in yet another diatride of hatred for those with more brains and wealth than yourself, plus another large helping of utter gibberish. Roll up roll up! come and get another load of free gibberish pie from you local retail diatride supplier.

    Hasn’t the evidence of the applicants for a TVG always been questioned? It’s always been a view held by many, that those supplying evidence for a TVG, either exagerated the use, mistook the timescale of that use, mistook the areas of use and some say actually lied about the use. Providing the new evidence did not in any way alter those opinions, it merely tried to point out that some of the previous evidence could be wrong or overstated.
    Could not the same accusation be claimed about the people putting their evidence against the TVG having their names blighted, or called liars, by counter allegations from the applicants for a TVG. I know of one person who was called a football hooligan by those applicants, in an attempt to discredit that persons evidence. There is also the case of residents being called liars because they claim they can see certain ares or access routes, plus the David Llyod employee that so say cannot see out of his window because he has blinds on it and it’s a bit small. Have they never heard of drawing the blinds, or the field of view being increased the closer you get to that window.
    I suppose all the residents supporting the TVG are untarnished by misdemeanors in their past lives and only those opposing the application are wrongdoers.

    As for the plans and lines, surely there has always been and always will be access for those bordering the fields through their garden gates and access from Silbury Road, a misplaced line on a plan will not stop access, as it hasn’t in the past.

  11. Richard Lane permalink
    October 6, 2011 9:44 pm

    Those counter accusations made by the applicants for a TVG, about the provision of new evidence were submitted in the TVG applicants response of, 30/11/2010. There is nothing new in your post, as you seem to be implying there is, it is nearly a year old. And the references to misplaced lines on a plan are also 4 months, old from the PROW meeting. Are you behind the times, or just being mischevious?

  12. bobs permalink
    October 7, 2011 7:32 am

    Since when does Richard Lane used phrases like “untarnished by misdemeanors”.

    Looks like someone else is writing your posts again.

    I have also heard about Burt’s developments. As far as I have been told, the last bit arose
    this week following the PROWG meeting on 3rd Oct. It was late July that BCC chose to move the lines. And only at the PROWG did they offer any explanation why they had done so. A shit explanation but then it is BCC.

    It seems that whoever is writing your posts is behind the times.

  13. harryT permalink
    October 7, 2011 7:57 am

    It also looks as if whoever has written Richard Lane’s posts has actually read the Applicant’s submissions. so it definately can’t be Richard.

    Just to clarify the misquotes:

    1. the reason the David Lloyd physio cannot see the Ashton Vale fields from his window is that his window looks out onto the tennis courts and a large fence stands between his window and the fields.

    2. the person alleged to be a football hooligan had details of his conviction attached to the Applicant’s evidence. But the real attack on his evidence that he and his family never ever used the fields was the 4 photos of his family at different different times using the fields (sitting in deck chairs, fishing for tadpoles, walking the dog etc).

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