Football stadium in village confirmed despite objections

PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:26 18 September 2018

The club wants to improve its academy facilities. Picture: Bristol City FC

The club wants to improve its academy facilities. Picture: Bristol City FC

Bristol City FC

A state-of-the-art football training facility will be built in a village after councillors approved the plans.

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

Bristol City Football Club will build a 500-seat stadium and three training pitches in Failand, with a gymnasium, pavilion and changing rooms also part of the plans.

The football club has shared facilities with Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital (QEH) school, in Clevedon Road, for more than 10 years and the club announced in December 2017 it had submitted a planning application to develop a separate base on the same site.

The plans had been criticised by Long Ashton and Wraxall and Failand parish councils who cited it as an ‘inappropriate development in the greenbelt’.

More than 300 letters of complaint were submitted to the council, most of which came from members of Long Ashton Golf Club.

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

The club, which is also in Clevedon Road, was concerned for the safety of players and spectators with ‘wayward golf balls’ potentially landing on the training area.

MORE: Stadium set to be approved despite objections.

Long Ashton Golf Club withdrew its objections following talks with the football club earlier this month.

It is believed the golf club will reposition two of its fairways to ensure the safety of footballers.

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.

North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee voted to approve the plans at a meeting on August 12 after members initially deferred a decision to allow a site meeting to take place.

Councillors had concerns regarding the number of floodlights and access to and from the site.

Ward councillor Charles Cave put forward a motion for refusal, which was voted down.

A poll of 125 Times readers in August found 90 per cent of voters wanted Bristol City FC to expand its facilities.

The club’s chief executive officer Mark Ashton said: “We are extremely grateful to North Somerset Council for giving this project the closest consideration and supporting the club’s ambition.

“This development will help us achieve Premier League status by nurturing young talent in North Somerset.

“It will also bring our facilities into the 21st century and provide our academy and first team with an elite performance environment.”

A spokesman for the football club confirmed to the Times no start date for works to begin has been set.

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