MEETING HEARS RESIDENTS' FEELINGS OVER £2M PLANS
More than 100 residents from Henleaze turned up at a public meeting
for a first look at plans for a new sports complex at Golden Hill -
and many said they did not like what they
The Bristol YMCA wants to revamp the site, off Kellaway Avenue, by
building an all-weather sports pitch and floodlights - which
will allow football and hockey to be played - a new pavilion with
indoor cricket nets, and a 41-space car park.
It plans to pay for the new development, which could cost up to £2
million, by setting aside two parts of the land for housing and
selling it off to a developer.
The new plans will mean that one of two cricket pitches will be lost
at the site, which has been home to YMCA Cricket Club since 1878. The
YMCA said it would make up the loss by using nearby Henleaze Junior
School's playing fields as a second cricket pitch.
But many of the Golden Hill residents who went to the pavilion last
night to view the new design said they were opposed to the
Dilys Thornton, aged 57, of Sates Way, said:
"They want to build a car
park at the back of my house. That will leave it open to burglars
because there will be no security. The plans are rubbish. I have lived here for 25 years and there is
nothing wrong with what we have already got."
Shirley Cainey, aged 65, of Twickenham Road, said the new facilities
would lead to extra traffic coming into the area.
She said: "I have lived here since 1971. I know the area - there's no
need for things to be done in this way."
Simon White, the captain of the cricket club for the past 14 years,
said he was in favour of a new pavilion, but criticised the plan to
axe one of the cricket pitches.
He said: "My main concern is that without the second pitch the whole
thing is a non-starter. We have got four senior teams and four junior teams - we cannot run
it on one pitch. The YMCA says it will use Henleaze Junior School playing field
as an extra pitch, but they have no approval from the Local Education
Authority yet. I know that the school is in favour, but without the LEA's approval
that means nothing. We have built these teams up over the years,
through a lot of hard work and commitment. We do not want it all to
The YMCA said it wanted to build new facilities at the site so it can
be used for different sports as well as cricket.
It said a replacement for the existing pavilion, which dates back to
the 1960s, could also be used by other local groups, such as scout and
At last night's meeting, many residents compared their opposition to
the new plans with the fight against the Tesco store in the early
Thousands opposed the store in Kellaway Avenue, with many taking to
the trees at the site in protest but the supermarket giant eventually
won planning permission.
Paul Blackham, chairman of the Bristol branch of the YMCA, said the
concerns raised by residents were legitimate and would be taken into
Mr Blackham said that an outline planning application would be
submitted to Bristol City Council "within weeks".
He said: "We have to get the best deal we can from the LEA about
leasing the playing fields from Henleaze Junior School. Car parking is essential because people come from far away to play
sports here. We will consider the comments from local people. We may
make amendments to the proposal as a result of this. People feel strongly. There's a lot of leftover feeling from the Tesco development, but Tesco was a commercial development - this is
about better sports facilities for the community."
Source: Bristol Evening Post,
Tuesday 13th July 2004