Hewlett Packard criticises Bristol Rovers stadium plan
A multi-national firm has said the planned Bristol Rovers stadium on university land is likely to be a "bad neighbour".
Hewlett Packard (HP) has submitted its views to South Gloucestershire Council as part of the planning process.
The club wants to build a 20,000-seat stadium on land owned by the University of the West of England (UWE).
HP said it was having a "positive dialogue" with both parties to address its concerns over the proposals.'Club's aspirations'
A spokesman for HP said: "HP is not objecting in principle to the new Bristol Rovers stadium.
"We have asked for reassurances around the detail of how Bristol Rovers will act as a neighbour to ensure HP's business operations are not compromised.
"We continue to have a positive dialogue with UWE and Bristol Rovers and are pleased with the progress being made to address our concerns."
The eight-page submission has highlighted a number of areas:
- The land in question has already been zoned for employment use by the council
- No study has been made to show whether the employment land is required
- No evidence to show why the stadium needs to move, as the highest gate was 8,427 in 2011-12 at the Memorial Ground and would be 27.5%-39% of the proposed new 20,000-seater stadium
- The stadium could be a "bad neighbour" because it could the devalue neighbouring commercial properties
- No noise level studies have been made
- No proof over whether the stadium would regenerate the local area
Nick Higgs, chairman of Bristol Rovers FC, said 90% of the issues had now been addressed since the document was submitted to the council at the beginning of April.
"We intend to be a good neighbour. We've gone through all the issues they've raised, some have been planning issues, some have been operational and some have no relevance to the plans [for a larger stadium], as they're part of the club's aspirations."
The operational issues include congestion on match days, lighting and litter, which the club has said it is addressing.