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Long Ashton Parish Council reported to Minister

Dawn Primarolo MP has written to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, questioning the decision of Long Ashton Parish Council to make up to £20,000 of council funds available towards the legal costs of a judicial review into Bristol City Council's Ashton Vale town green decision.

She wrote:

Dear Eric

Bristol City Football Club New Stadium Site

You will be aware of Bristol City Football Club’s successful application for a new stadium in the Ashton Vale area of my constituency. 

The stadium has received planning permission from both Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council.  Subsequently, Bristol City Council’s Public Rights of Way Committee (PROW) registered part of the application site as a village green, but judged that another portion of the site did not meet the statutory test meaning that the stadium could be built.  An application for judicial review of the decision made by PROW has now been lodged. 

I hope that you will share my view that we should welcome this private investment in Bristol South, which will create a significant number of jobs and be a real boost to our local economy while allowing the football club to progress.  The financial benefits of the stadium are especially important given the continuing rise in unemployment.  

I would, therefore, be grateful if you could investigate whether it is an appropriate use of public funds for Long Ashton Parish Council to set aside £20,000 of taxpayers money ‘towards legal costs for the Judicial Review for the Stadium application.’  I should point out that there is no application for judicial review into the stadium application – it is the decision on whether to register the site as a village green where a review is being sought. It would seem that the Parish Council are using the application for judicial review as a tool to prevent the stadium. 

I would be grateful for your opinion on whether the committal of such substantial public funds into preventing a stadium which has already been supported by the two planning authorities at committee is appropriate.    

Thank you for your help and I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours ever



Posted 15 September 2011

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