Monday, July 13, 2009

World Cup games in Bristol: case against

A powerful case against the World Cup coming to Bristol has been outlined by the Bristol Blogger! The financial case for having World Cup games in Bristol appears to be very shaky indeed !

And of course there is the environmental case against: loss of green belt land to build the BCFC stadium that is essential to staging World Cup football in the city; stimulus to further loss of green belt land as development fills in much of the space in and around the new stadium and roads; large carbon footprint and other environmental impacts in constructing and operating the new stadium (neither BCFC not the council have fully committed themselves to the principle of any development fully compensating for total impacts); large increase in Bristol’s eco-footprint from developments that follow the new stadium. Many people in Ashton Vale and Long Ashton will be seriously impacted by a new stadium.

Can someone demonstrate net economic and environmental benefits to me?? I’d need to see this before I can support the World Cup bid. Several statements by local politicians and others would seem to presume that a new stadium for BCFC at Long Ashton is automatically highly likely and desirable. It isn’t. Has it been forgotten that building on green belt land is not really supposed to happen at all, unless circumstances are exceptional. Is it the view of all the big political parties in Bristol that the circumstances are exceptional?

Have BCFC come up with a new stadium design and construction process that is truly innovative and green (efficient, renewably powered, carbon neutral…and more), so much so that it can be quantitatively shown that most aspects of environmental impact have been fully compensated for?? Did they exhaust the options for redeveloping Ashton Gate, a ground with so much heritage value??

These are the considerations that I’ve had in mind for some time. Any administration running Bristol that considers itself green should have these considerations in mind. Have we forgotten our green capital ambitions?? Since the start of the new stadium process greens have contributed to the BCFC consultation, urging the use of green designs, processes and technologies – we will continue to make such points throughout the planning process.