Memorial battle will continue

May 30 2014

THE campaigner who applied to get Rovers' Memorial Stadium listed as an English Heritage site, is not giving up the fight.

THE campaigner who applied to get Rovers' Memorial Stadium listed as an English Heritage site, is not giving up the fight.
The application, which was made by Bishopston resident Jamie Carstairs in March, was rejected by English Heritage. Approval of the application could have stopped Sainsbury's building on the ground.
Rovers needs to sell the Horfield stadium to the supermarket chain in order to fund a move to a new £40 million stadium in Frenchay.
The decision is now being reviewed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Mr Carstairs said: "It is disappointing that English Heritage have now declined to designate the war memorial sports ground.
"On their website it states that they are “on a mission to list up to 500 war memorials a year over the First World War centenary period 2014-2018” - why not list Bristol’s best?
"The Memorial Ground was intended to be 'a source of inspiration to generations of young Bristolians'. It has been, and still is, an inspirational war memorial sports ground – and, with due care, could continue to be."
He added: "The inscription on the entrance to the Memorial Ground is clear - it says: ‘THIS GROUND IS A MEMORIAL’. A Sainsbury’s superstore and a huge car park are unsuitable memorials.
"The Rovers Sainsbury’s plan represents a failure of imagination. Bristol is a great city with a great past and with many interesting and sometimes under-cherished buildings and social spaces.
"As the country commemorates the centenary years of the Great War it is shameful that Bristol is about to destroy a very special war memorial."
The application was rejected on the grounds that it did not meet the criteria for listing.
English Heritage stated that the original stand and structures, built in 1921, have been lost and that the 1980s replacements lack architectural interest. The assessor also asserted that its historic interest is local, not national.
The application to list the building as an English Heritage site came shortly after a judge ruled out TRASHorfield's objection to Sainsbury's plans.
The campaign group believed that the council acted unlawfully in granting planning permission for the supermarket.
Sainsbury’s plans include a memorial area around the entrance gates, as well as housing, green open space and over 150 car parking spaces.
According to Rovers' chairman, Nick Higgs, the development has received the approval and support of the former rugby club and British Legion.
A statement from the club said: "The club is very pleased to hear that National Heritage will not be listing the whole Memorial Stadium site as a war memorial. We can now move forward finalising our agreements with our partners."
The clubs hopes to start developments on the new 21,700-seater stadium this summer.

 Aerial of Memorial Ground