123 not out: Cricket stays in Bristol as stadium plans are approved

May 31, 2012

From Bristol 24-7 

Gloucestershire County Cricket Club (GCCC) is to stay in Bristol after councillors last night backed plans to redevelop the County Ground, despite fierce opposition from local residents.

The approval also means Bristol should be able to host one-day international cricket in the future, as the ageing ground will be upgraded to meet the standards required.

Members of Bristol City Council’s development control committee (north) voted seven to three in favour of plans to expand the stadium and build flats at the site.

GCCC chief executive Tom Richardson said the decision meant “it finally allows us to realise our ambitions in bringing the very best of what cricket can offer to our home city”.

The approval of a housing development on the site will mean the club, which has been based on the site since 1889, can fund new facilities including a new-look pavilion, media centre, business centre and upgrade of cricketing facilities.

Councillors rejected the club’s first development plan in January, saying the seven-story tower block of 147 flats was too big, lacked sufficient parking and would be harmful to a conservation area.

The club had threatened to leave the city, with a move to Gloucester being mooted.

But the development plans for the County Ground were revised with a one-storey reduction in the height of the flats and improved environmental standards.

However, opponents at last night’s planning meeting claimed these plans were little different and urged councillors not be swayed by “obscure threats” about international cricket leaving the city. The £25,000 cash put forward as enabling development for community improvements was “derisory”, they claimed.

Local councillor Bev Knott said that while he accepted the ground needed to be redeveloped, the plans were not a “satisfactory compromise”.

“As resident I feel the flats are wholly inappropriate to the area,” he said. “Sadly and reluctantly, I have decided I cannot support this application.”

The committee heard from the chairman of Glamorgan County Cricket Club Paul Russell – who spoke about the benefits of the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff.


Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email info@bristol-business.net for more information.