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Bristol Post
Bristol Post
Tristan Cork

Ashton Gate's new plans for 500 homes to fund Sporting Quarter arena and hotel

Plans to build 500 homes on the edge of Bristol to fund a new arena and hotel complex have taken a step forward.

Bristol Sport have published the first images of the new development they are calling Longmoor Village, which is on a green field site between Ashton Vale and the Long Ashton Park and Ride.

The sports organisation will build on part of the land originally earmarked for a new stadium for Bristol City, which fell in the early 2010s following a lengthy battle with local residents.

The £180 million project will see money made from the housing development will fund ambitious plans for a big venue next to the existing stadium that will provide a home for the Bristol Flyers basketball team, as well as be a conference centre and indoor events venue.

Plans for that ‘Sporting Quarter’ have been revealed before, and have since been scaled back a bit following feedback from the local community and city planners. The plans for Longmoor Village have not been revealed in much detail before, but now a pre-application has been made to Bristol City Council and artist’s impressions of what the development might look like have been revealed and issued to people living in the area.

A new round of consultations with people who live around the Ashton Gate stadium in BS3, and near the Longmoor Village site in Ashton Vale have taken place, but stadium bosses said they are still open to receive comments on the plans, which can be viewed in more detail here.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has got in touch with questions and provided feedback during the recent consultation," said Martin Griffiths, the chairman of Ashton Gate Stadium.

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive on both sites, with great excitement around the Sporting Quarter. We have taken on board many constructive observations generated from the engagement with all interested parties and especially the local community.

“There is still a lot to do but we are looking to submit the planning application in February. We’d like to stress that we continue to welcome questions and feedback as the process continues," he added.

What do you think? You can share your views and see what other people think in the comments at the end of this story.

Longmoor Village

A 500-home development at Longmoor Village will help fund the Ashton Gate Sporting Quarter plans (Ashton Gate Stadium)

The land proposed by Ashton Gate Stadium and its billionaire owner Steve Lansdown is around half of the area originally earmarked for a new stadium when, in around 2010, he began a long and ultimately unsuccessful fight to move the stadium around half a mile south onto a greenfield site to the west of Ashton Vale.

Half of the land was registered as a ‘Town and Village Green’ by those campaigning against the stadium - a move which ultimately stopped the plan, and instead Mr Lansdown switched focus to the huge redevelopment of the existing Ashton Gate stadium into what is now Bristol’s biggest venue.

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Since then, the new Metrobus road has crossed the site, splitting it in two, with the Town Green land to the south and a single green field to the north - this is where Ashton Gate want to create what will effectively be a new suburb of Bristol - Longmoor Village.

“The proposals will be submitted in outline and allow for high quality community space interspersed between buildings to create a village atmosphere and sense of community,” a spokesperson said.

The developers also pledged that the boundary of the development will be the Metrobus road - and no development is proposed on the other side of that.

Despite being a greenfield site on the edge of the city, the land was allocated for residential development in the city council’s initial draft Local Plan document last year.

An artist's impression of Longmoor Vilage, the development proposed on a field at Ashton Vale (Bristol Sport)

It has the m2 Metrobus road on two sides, a 1,500-space park and ride site next to it, and on the north-east side, the new Ashton Rise development has left space for the possibility of restoring Ashton Gate train station on the Portishead line into Temple Meads, if it is included in later phases of the 10-year West of England plan.

The developers said the new Longmoor Village will be accessed from the B3128 road, which currently links the Park and Ride at Long Ashton to the A370 Long Ashton bypass.

The tallest residential buildings on the site will be five storeys. “Whilst the layout is not fixed at outline stages, broad locations for the tallest buildings will ensure that height is located away from Ashton Vale,” said a spokesperson for Ashton Gate

Affordable housing

The developers propose ‘approximately’ 500 new homes, consisting of two, three and four bedroom units in a ‘high-quality urban village environment’ which will include affordable housing to help meet local need.

How much of the 500 homes will be proposed as ‘affordable’ - either social housing for low, council or housing association rent, or through a shared ownership scheme - will be revealed when the full, formal planning application is submitted later this winter.

Under Bristol City Council’s planning policies, 500 homes should result in 150 affordable homes, but the developers could off-set that requirement against the costs of providing facilities at the Sporting Quarter nearby, and potentially argue the 30 per cent requirement should be reduced.

The 500 homes at Longmoor Village, and the 140 flats in the Sporting Quarter plan are part of eight separate development proposals that amount to as many as 4,500 new homes either being built, with planning permission, or being proposed - all on sites within 800 yards of the centre spot on the pitch at Ashton Gate.

You can read more about the latest on those separate proposals here.

New Sporting Quarter plans

A 500-home development at Longmoor Village will help fund the Ashton Gate Sporting Quarter plans - artist's impression of the Sporting Quarter at night (Ashton Gate Stadium)

Plans for hotels, a sports and convention centre and residential blocks of flats next to Ashton Gate Stadium itself have changed a lot since they were first unveiled around two years ago.

The fourth set of plans have scaled back the size and height of the buildings, and the number of hotels, but they still represent a massive development and investment in this corner of BS3.

The plans will mean the levelling of existing businesses there, including Wickes DIY store and a aerial platform business.

Ashton Gate have now said the plans include a 4,000 seat capacity sports and convention centre, which will be home to the Bristol Flyers basketball team, as well as hosting community events, conventions and be capable of hosting entertainment.

Find out about planning applications near you - type your postcode into our search tool, below.

Attached to that centre will be an 11-storey high, four-star hotel with 230 rooms. “It will enable the sports and convention centre to attract prestigious national and international events by providing on-site accommodation,” a spokesperson for Ashton Gate said.

Next to that will be a 540-space multi-storey car park on the Wickes site next to the existing access to the stadium on Wedlock Way between the DIY store and KFC.

There will also be a new club retail shop and gym, an ‘arrival plaza’ at either end next to an ‘enhanced’ Colliters Brook.

A 500-home development at Longmoor Village will help fund the Ashton Gate Sporting Quarter plans - this is the layout of the hotel, residential, office block and sporting and conference centre at the Sporting Quarter next to Ashton Gate Stadium (Ashton Gate Stadium)

There will also be residential units and office space at the corner of Marsh Road and fronting onto Winterstoke Road. The one on Winterstoke Road will actually be the tallest building in the complex - 140 one and two-bed apartments in three buildings, the tallest block will be 18 storeys high - slightly taller than the first of the Bedminster Green tower blocks that recently was awarded planning permission.

Next to the largest residential building will be an office block with 30,000 square feet of office space.

“Our vision is to create a world-class sporting quarter for the city of Bristol, driven by our desire to use sport to change people’s lives for the better, strengthening the city’s sporting prowess from the highest professional levels to grass roots community sports,” said a spokesperson.

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