Planning application for Sainsbury's delayed
THE planning application for a new Sainsbury's supermarket on the Memorial Stadium site will not be dealt with until next year.
The delay will allow council planning officers to seek further information about the proposal's impact on traffic, highways issues and air quality in the Horfield area, the city council said.
One of council's development control committees had been due to consider the application next Wednesday. The hearing was initially postponed until 2pm on December 5, which would have meant concerned Gloucester Road traders may have had to close their shops to attend and make representations.
Now the plan is due to be discussed in January, on a date to be confirmed.
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Bishopston ward councillors Dr David Willingham and Bev Knott (both Lib Dem) are concerned for the future of independent businesses in their ward.
Mr Willingham told fellow councillors that a report independently commissioned by the council into the effect of the proposed supermarket stated that if the scheme went ahead, sections of Gloucester Road will suffer a 19 per cent drop in retail turnover. He urged the local authority to abide by its previous promise to "protect small traders from large retail chains".
As previously reported, Bristol Rovers have already won permission to build a new £40 million stadium at Stoke Gifford but the project depends on consent being given for the supermarket at the current ground to offset the costs.
Chairman Nick Higgs told The Post the planning delay was a piece of "unwelcome news".
He said: "I know that this delay is disappointing and I share everyone's frustration that we now face another period of waiting, but it is out of our hands – this is not our application.
"However, it is vitally important that Sainsbury's get this application right before it goes in front of the committee. They have to make sure they get all the technical details right and that there are no issues outstanding before decision time is reached.
"It is now unlikely that we will be able to build the stadium to our original time frame, which would have seen us move into the UWE Stadium at the start of the 2014/15 season, but we will be looking at ways to keep the delay to a minimum."
A Sainsbury's spokesman said: "This is a large and complex scheme covering both retail and residential development. We have had a positive and open dialogue with Bristol City Council as the proposals have developed during consultation and are now working closely with officers on a number of final technical points.
"This work takes time and we understand the desire of the council to define these points before the application reaches the development control committee."