Parish councillors have announced they will object to Bristol Rovers’ plans for a new stadium at Frenchay, it emerged yesterday.
More than 1,100 letters backing Bristol Rovers’ proposed £40m stadium – built with the University of the West of England (UWE) – have been received by South Gloucestershire Council.
The 20,000-seater stadium would also include a club shop, conference and teaching space as well as a jogging track and gym. The club could be playing home matches at ‘The UWE’ at the start of the 2014/15 season if plans to build a new stadium next to the Frenchay campus are approved.
South Gloucestershire council is obliged to carry out a public consultation exercise, but Stoke Gifford parish council has already come against the proposal.
In a statement on the parish council website, councillors said they would object on traffic and transport issues.
“In view of significant concerns raised by residents regarding this planning application, Council will be objecting on the grounds of traffic and transportation issues,” the statement said.
“The proposed site would be situated in the middle of a residential area and the existing infrastructure already suffers from congestion in and around the A4174.
“The proposals would inevitably lead to congestion and parking issues which would significantly impact on local residents living nearby and neighbouring areas. The proposed stadium would also generate noise and general disturbances on a regular basis from a host of events as detailed within the application.”
The council added that residents feared for their own safety due to the crowds who would descend on the area on match days.
Bristol Rovers submitted their formal plans last month, with Chairman Nick Higgs describing it as “a hugely important step towards securing the future of Bristol Rovers”.
Yesterday, Mr Higgs told the Bristol Evening Post: “We have been overwhelmed by all the support the stadium application has received, and we would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to write in to South Gloucestershire Council.
“A significant number of those who have registered their support live in the surrounding area, which is very important.
“We will be looking at the objections that have been received to see if we can do anything to appease their concerns because if we are ultimately successful with this application, we want to be good neighbours.”
The move will be financed in part by the sale of the Memorial Stadium to Sainsbury’s which, last month, unveiled its latest redevelopment plans, admitting it has learned lessons from the planning wrangle over its controversial Ashton Gate scheme.
The plans include a 50,000 sq ft store, up to five small retail units and a ‘home zone’ with 68 homes ranging from three-bedroom town houses to flats. The scheme would create around 350 jobs.
But Green Party campaigners have vowed to fight the plans, saying the supermarket was not needed or wanted, and would “suck the life out of Gloucester Road”.