Here we go again
This is likely to be my last post for a while as I will now be in China for the next couple of months reaping the benefits of my involvement in some of the Olympic development work, and will only be accessing the internet for pleasure infrequently.
The latest information I have is as follows; I have been shown a development plan drawn up by a well-known architect's practice which is for a 50ha mixed-used development for 1500 homes and other facilities (workspace, community, leisure etc) and associated public open space. The plan includes the extension of Haws Wood along the motorway (as a sound buffer) to a possible site for a new sliproad for improvements to Junction 17 of the M5. The development itself will then be on the land bounded by this new woodland, Haws wood itself and the A4018 Cribbs Causeway. The area with detailed planning proposal (i.e streets, infrastructure, built environment) includes the Saracens rugby ground and the northern half of Clifton rugby's property but stops short of the main rugby pitch itself.
The individuals to whom I spoke assured me that the developer's agents had either ownership or have begun negotiations with all the landowners (including Saracens and Clifton rugby).
When I asked why the southern part of the outlined land (i.e the main Clifton rugby ground, and the Axa sports ground) had no detailed planning he said that the southern part was the subject of discussions regarding the nature of the development. When I pressed him and asked about the potential for a stadium, he told me that the whole area has been the subject of discussions for several years and that recently, an approach had been made regarding a stadium and nothing had been ruled out. He would neither confirm or deny that Bristol rugby or Bristol Rovers had made the approach.
On a related note, he also said that, in the light of North Somerset council's decison to put in a TIF bid to reopen the Portishead railway line for passenger traffic that they fully expect the same to happen for the Hallen-Henbury-Filton line, especially as the line is already marked for use as a diversion line for passenger trains if there are problems on the Avonmouth-Sea Mills-Lawrence Hill line.
Finally, regarding traffic congestion on Junction 17. Apparently during the weekday traffic, the junction is one of the least busy in the Bristol area. The problem is weekends where the numbers of shoppers travelling to Cribbs by car puts pressure on the junction. At present about 90% of trips to Cribbs are by car compared to about 75% for other out of town retail parks like Braehead in Renfrew and the Metrocentre at Gateshead. Reducing the car trips is not simply a matter of reducing car parking as both the other centres have similar or greater car parking spaces. To reduce car trips you need to provide an alternative. In the case of the Metrocentre there is a rail station on site which receives over 32,000 trains per year, whilst Braehead has 35% more buses, more coaches and a river bus. A 6% reduction in car trips to Cribbs would reduce the number of journeys by more than a 20,000 sell-out crowd 16 times a year, whilst bring it up to the same percentage as the Metrocentre by providing access to a rail station would take 880,000 car trips away.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 13/04/2012 18:39 by WilliamBlessing.