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SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE: Rovers clubhouse to expand

SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE: Rovers clubhouse to expand

Source: South Gloucestershire Council

Bristol Rovers have got the green light to expand its new clubhouse in Almondsbury.

The Gas won planning permission to increase the size of the freshly built brick building at The Quarters training ground after neighbours who initially opposed the expansion withdrew their objections.

 

A South Gloucestershire Council planning committee waived through the football club’s plans at a meeting on Thursday, October 28, which will see the size of the clubhouse at its new base at Hortham Lane increase by 70 per cent.

The T-shaped clubhouse was built to plans granted in 1993.

But when it was finished earlier this year, Rovers felt the 395m2 space was cramped so applied to change it into a 680m2 square building.

The club has said the extra space would allow it to create extra changing facilities and host under-18 and under-23 matches at the training base.

Three neighbours initially opposed the application, saying it would have a “massive impact” on them and make their lives “intolerable”, but they withdrew their objections after talking to the club, the meeting heard.

Many of their concerns related to aspects of the football training ground which have already been granted consent, planning papers showed.

Local councillor Keith Burchell, who brought the application to the planning committee, told the meeting he had received “numerous” complaints about noise and other matters, such as “complaints not being received in a proper manner”.

“The reasons I called it in initially have gone by the board from people talking to each other,” he said. “Nobody resident-wise, has got any complaints about this happening, as indeed I haven’t.”

Cllr Burchell, who represents Severn Vale ward and chairs the committee, said he wanted a note attached to the planning permission requesting a liaison group be set up to iron out any problems between the football club and the local residents.

“And judging by the enthusiasm of the facilities manager who showed us round, that will happen at some stage in the future,” he said.

Committee members were shown around the training ground and clubrooms on October 15.

All nine of them voted to approve the plans, which a planning officer had recommended for approval.

No one from Rovers spoke at the planning meeting and none of the neighbours did either.

The consent came the same day manager Joey Barton apologised for comments comparing poor performances by players to the Holocaust.

Barton made the analogy after his side’s defeat at home against Newport on Saturday, October 23, and apologised five days later.

The first team moved to The Quarters training ground from temporary facilities at the University of Bristol’s Coombe Dingle complex last autumn.

The creation of the clubhouse is the final stage of phase one of the project, which already has two training pitches and a gym in use by the first team.

Future phases of the project will see Rovers’ academy move to new training base.

Words: Amanda Cameron, Local Democracy Reporter


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