Proposals to build a 3,626-seater Sports and Convention Centre next door to Ashton Gate Stadium along with 510 much-needed homes on the former landfill site known as Longmoor were approved last night (Wednesday) at Bristol City’s Planning Committee.
Reacting to the council’s decision to pass both planning applications, Martin Griffiths, Chairman of Ashton Gate Stadium said:
“After four years of consultation and engagement it was great to see the support for these proposals. To have the councillors approve both sets of planning applications for the Sporting Quarter and Longmoor will provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for sport in this city.
“To be able to ensure the future financial sustainability of the Flyers Basketball team by providing them with their own home at BS3, and be able to expand on the incredible work that our community foundations already deliver is fantastic.
“The Sporting Quarter will be a catalyst for expansion and regeneration in south west Bristol. It will drive local jobs, the local supply chain and by having a hotel attached to the Sports & Conference Centre means we will be able to attract events to the city which would traditionally lose out to cities like Birmingham and Cardiff. The positive impact on the city will be enormous.”
In a meeting which lasted just over two hours, in front of a full public gallery, both planning applications were debated with members voting in favour of both of the twinned applications.
Andreas Kapoulas, Head Coach of the Bristol Flyers, said after the meeting concluded:
“This is a game-changer for the Flyers but also the sport of basketball in this city. It means that we will not only be financially sustainable but that we will be able to compete at the very highest level – including in Europe.
“It will be the third largest venue in the BBL and means we will be able to attract talent and extend our academy pathway and community provision of the sport. The Sporting Quarter will provide a minimum of an extra 40,000 hours of community sport which is huge as we know how the much desperate need there is for community access to sporting facilities.”
The Sporting Quarter will provide a new home for the Bristol Flyers, a hotel, conferencing facilities, a multi-storey car park, retail space alongside commercial and residential space.
Detailed work will start immediately on the next stage of this project. The first phase of the Sporting Quarter development will be the Sports and Convention Centre alongside the hotel, with hopes to be on site in late Summer 2023.