Local MP Karin Smyth has added her support for Ashton Gate’s twin planning applications for the Sporting Quarter and Longmoor Developments alongside leaders in sport, business and tourism in the city. Her support follows the news that planning officers have recommended both proposals for approval at next week’s planning committee.
Plans to build the Bristol Flyers Basketball team a new 3,626-seater home adjacent to the football and rugby stadium at BS3, as well as a new urban village development just 500m from the stadium, were first announced in 2018.
Bristol City Council will decide whether the two site-development will be approved at a hearing on October 5th and MP Smyth, who represents the Bristol South constituency, has written to the council petitioning for the plans to be passed.
“There is no formal role for a Member of Parliament in the planning process and I do not normally comment on planning applications, however I wish to express my support for these two developments given their significance in delivering both homes and employment opportunities for the people I represent,” she writes in her letter.
“The Longmoor site is just 500m to the south west of Ashton Gate and will provide approximately 500 much-needed residential homes, consisting of 2, 3 and 4-bedroom units in a high-quality urban village environment, and Smyth believes the development will help to alleviate the housing crisis in Bristol.”
She writes: “The Longmoor development will deliver over 150 affordable properties, providing much needed secure long-term homes, which meets Bristol City Council’s affordable housing target of 30%. The site already has a fast public transport connection to central Bristol via Metrobus alongside existing good cycling and walking routes.
“Land has been set aside less than 500 metres away for a new railway station, contingent on the much promised re-opening of the Portishead passenger rail line. This location is much more appropriate for housing than other open spaces in Bristol South, development on which I have publicly opposed.”
Although Smyth is aware of the concerns about the impact of new housing on local services such as schools and GP practices, she insists: “I will continue to challenge the NHS, the Council and others to deliver the health service we need, potentially using funding from Community Infrastructure Levy from these, and other, developments.”
Smyth also highlights the impact that the successful redevelopment of Ashton Gate Stadium has had in Bristol South and says she has “no doubt” that the Sporting Quarter will deliver a much-needed Sports and Conventions Centre of similar high quality.
She adds: “The successful redevelopment of Ashton Gate Stadium has provided a venue of which the whole city can be proud. I have no doubt that this project will deliver a much-needed Sports and Conventions Centre for Bristol of similar high quality. At a time when so much investment is directed to the north of our city, Ashton Gate Sporting Quarter is a very welcome proposal which will provide more jobs and opportunities for my constituents.”
A final decision is expected at Bristol City Council’s planning committee hearing on October 5th. Work on the projects will continue following the award of planning approval, providing a huge boost for South Bristol and the wider region in times of increasing economic difficulty.