EXCLUSIVE: New ideas put forward for Bristol's Memorial Ground

December 06 2013

PLANS have been unveiled for a velodrome or a school at the Memorial Ground in Horfield rather than a supermarket.

PLANS have been unveiled for a velodrome or a school at the Memorial Ground in Horfield rather than a supermarket.

The proposals, which have been passed to Bishopston Voice, are said to offer an alternative solution to a Sainsbury’s in place of the Bristol Rovers football stadium.

Both schemes, like the store plan, include housing but the mystery resident behind them claims they have advantages over building a large supermarket on the site.

The football club wants to sell to Sainsbury’s to raise £29 million towards a new stadium at UWE.

The individual behind the alternative proposals says a Memorial Velodrome would generate £17.8 million while the Memorial School would bring in £15.2 million.

The figures are an estimation, but have been based on similar developments sourced from public documents. The plans drafted for the apartment blocks are based on Gloucestershire County Cricket Club's model.

The alternative plans state that the funding shortfall is a "small sum for BCC to secure the continued health of a community and its high street".

The 200m velodrome and cycle sports centre would support Bristol’s Cycling City initiative while the school would provide much-needed places, it is claimed.

The source said: "There is a need for school places. There are children around Filton Avenue who can't even get into the school down the road.

"If you build housing, you have got to build a school provision.

"I think these are a sensible options. Rovers has provided no plan B and has suggested nothing more than a supermarket, which can give them the money."

Surrounding the proposed developments would be up to 200 apartments and 90 three to four bedroom houses.

All buildings are designed to be lower than those in the Sainsbury's development.

The person behind the alternatives says they would have zero retail impact, whereas a supermarket could severely affect the shops on Gloucester Road. Other benefits would be negligible traffic and air quality impact, a worthy memorial aspect to the development, no houses demolished and no mini-roundabout on Filton Avenue.

The Sainsbury's supermarket would be a mixed-use development, providing housing, a memorial garden, green open space, and car parking for Gloucester Road. 

Bristol City Council has already granted planning permission for the Sainsbury's scheme but the club's plans to relocate have been delayed because the High Court has granted the campaign group Traders and Residents Against Sainsbury's Horfield's a judicial review into the decision. The hearing is due in March.

It is not yet known if the alternative plans have been discussed with Bristol Rovers or the council. 

Memorial School

Memorial Velodrome