Councillors in Bristol will meet at 4pm this afternoon to make a final decision on the long-running, often acrimonious, bid to turn Ashton Vale into a town green.
Last week, councillors were advised to approve a compromise proposal over the row surrounding the site for a new Bristol City FC stadium.
Following the application by local people to turn the site into a town green, and the subsequent breakdown of mediation talks between them and the club, officers at the council have recommended a ‘split-site’ option.
This would involve the northern part of the site – all land to the north of and including the proposed Bus Rapid Transit route – being available for development. The southern half though would be designated for town green status, with maintained wetlands kept as part of any development.
A decision over the town green status will be made this afternoon by the Public Rights of Way & Greens Committee – honouring a commitment by the Liberal Democrat-run council to sort out the controversy within a month of May’s local elections.
Bristol City FC said last week it welcomed any plan that would allow it to proceed with its plans to build a new 30,000-seat stadium, while it was unclear if campaigners for the town green would accept the compromise. Avon Wildlife Trust, for example, has urged the council to refer the decision back to the independent planner.
It has said if the council goes against the planner’s recommendation it could mean “a lengthy and costly legal challenge that could take years to resolve”.
The council report warned a decision to share the land could lead to a legal bid.
You can watch the debate and final decision live on Bristol24-7, using the webcast above, from 3.55pm.