Locals ‘weren’t heard’

Residents expressed their dismay following the planning committee’s decision to grant permission for the South Stand and councillors said they were disappointed in Bristol Rovers for failing to engage the community about the club’s plans.

In a statement after the meeting, Rovers acknowledged that they had initially failed to consult local people and said they would engage regularly with residents in future. The club said the stand would improve the “safety and matchday experience” for fans.

Two residents, who did not wish to give their surnames, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the loss of light and the impact on parking had not been properly considered. Jade said: “I’m furious. We haven’t been heard and Rovers have been pretty appalling throughout this process. There’s lots of things that the report has made assumptions on, which have made them come out with a better view on the light.

“It’s fine if people park legally but the majority of people, particularly around match day, don’t park legally.”
Hannah added: “I don’t agree that the effects on residents are minor. I have no trust in the club moving forward at all. The structure is just incredibly large and the visual impact is huge and it’s changed the way the street looks and feels”

Green Party ward Cllr Emma Edwards said: “I am happy for the club and the fans at this decision, especially the increase in capacity for disabled supporters and improved accessibility the new stand will provide.
“However, while there are clear benefits, as a ward councillor my primary job is to represent residents, some of whom have been treated appallingly throughout this process and whose valid frustrations have been used to score cheap political points.”