Safety fears raised as parish councils oppose Bristol City academy growth

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:47 23 February 2018

An aerial view of the proposed development. Picture: Bristol City FC

An aerial view of the proposed development. Picture: Bristol City FC

Bristol City FC

Plans to build a 500-seat football stadium in a North Somerset village have been opposed by parish councils which fear it will have a ‘significant impact on the openness of the greenbelt’.

An artist's impression of the proposed development. Picture: Bristol City FCAn artist's impression of the proposed development. Picture: Bristol City FC

Both Long Ashton and Wraxall and Failand Parish Councils failed to support Bristol City Football Club’s proposal to build a training facility in Failand as it is deemed to be ‘over development’.

The football club, which shares facilities with Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital (QEH) school, in Clevedon Road, wants to increase the size of its facilities by building a further three training pitches, a pavilion and a 500-seat stadium.

MORE: Bristol City unveils plans to expand academy.

More than 200 comments have been submitted to North Somerset Council, most of which come from members of Long Ashton Golf Club, also in Clevedon Road, who are mainly concerned for players and spectators safety with ‘wayward golf balls’ potentially landing on the training area.

Both parish councils listed a number of conditions for North Somerset Council to adhere to if planning permission is granted, including sufficient parking and the retention of a public footpath.

Speaking at a Wraxall and Failand parish council meeting, councillor Ian Malpas said: “This is one of the largest areas for a new structure we have ever had in the parish.

“The facilities will be impacting the area substantially – Bristol City are a hugely profitable organisation who should contribute to the community.”

Parking provision was deemed ‘inadequate’ by both parish councils, and with Bristol Grammar School’s pitches also in Clevedon Road, the entrance and exit from the site is viewed as ‘not a safe proposal’.

How Bristol City expect the floodlit pitch to look. Picture: Bristol City FC.How Bristol City expect the floodlit pitch to look. Picture: Bristol City FC.

The stadium could also be used for under-23 or woman’s team fixtures, not just training, which would considerably increase traffic.

Tony Jay, Wraxall and Failand parish council clerk, said: “The facility will result in a considerable increase in traffic movements in the vicinity of Failand.

“The parish council has been working on a number of road safety improvements in the area including a reduction of the speed limit.

“In view of the impact of this development on traffic, a section 106 agreement is appropriate to fund the safety improvements.”

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