Ashton Gate arena plans submitted to Bristol City Council

Plans for a new sporting quarter next to Bristol’s Ashton Gate stadium have been submitted to the city council, with fresh details having also emerged for the proposed 17,000-seat YTL Arena in the city.

The centrepiece of the sporting quarter will be a 4,000-seat sports and convention centre, which will serve as the home of the Bristol Flyers basketball team. The Flyers will join Championship football team Bristol City and Premiership rugby union club Bristol Bears on the Ashton Gate complex.

The submission of a planning application for the project comes after new designs were released for the arena back in February 2020. Plans for the arena were first revealed in September 2018.

As well as the 4,000-seat arena, the sporting quarter will include a multi-storey car park, hotel, gym, residential buildings, office space and an improved fan village. The complex will look to drive more traffic to the area surrounding Ashton Gate, which has a capacity of 27,000.

It is hoped that the proposals will be assessed by a planning committee before the end of the year with a view to starting construction in 2022. The sporting quarter would then open in 2024 or 2025.

Ashton Gate chairman Martin Griffiths said: “Last autumn, and despite the difficulties presented by COVID, we launched another round of consultation over our proposals, along with the associated Longmoor housing development; we also held events with neighbours in February. We would like to thank everyone who provided feedback and comments.

“Based on the feedback received we have made significant improvements to the sporting quarter scheme. The tallest building has now been reduced by five storeys; community facilities have been increased with sports, fitness and well-being facilities added on the roof of the sports and convention centre, plus the northern entrance (near Ashton Road) has been totally pedestrianised for non-match days.

“The linked proposals of the sporting quarter and Longmoor developments offer significant regeneration benefits. The highway and transport improvements, the delivery of much needed jobs, the critical need for additional housing and the economic growth that will come from building a world-class sporting and entertainment quarter here in South Bristol.”

Meanwhile, the team behind the planned YTL Arena in Bristol has appointed landscape architect practice Grant Associates to lead on the public space design for the Brabazon Park site.

Grant Associates said that when completed, Brabazon Park will be the largest new urban public park to be created in the South West region in the last 50 years. Grant Associates has worked closely with YTL Developments to create the overall landscape strategy and masterplan for the new neighbourhood that will form part of the plans.

Grant Associates’ brief is to create a “contemporary new open space” that will become the social heart of Brabazon, connecting locals with the new arena complex.

YTL Arena developers revealed in April that the delivery date for the venue has now slipped to 2024, adding that the finished facility will become the “most responsible and sustainable arena” in Europe.

It had been hoped that the arena could open in 2023. The final green light for the arena, which will be one of the largest in the UK upon completion, was given in April 2020.

Images: Bristol Sport