Dale Vince of Ecotricity had the ambition to build a flagship 5000 seater football stadium for Forest Green Rovers on one side of the A419 between the Starbucks/Shell Garage roundabout and the Motorway – supported by an even more massive industrial estate on the other side.
He called this an ‘eco park’ because some of the building methods and materials are supposed to be ‘low carbon’ and state of the art, and he ‘wants’ it to be a ‘green technology’ hub. (Oh yes, and he is a vegan). There was nothing in the outline planning application to ensure that this would be the case.
It was clear that the effect on all our local roads would be catastrophic. Westend, one of Eastington’s oldest hamlets, already being attacked on one side by the WoS development, would be annihilated. The residents of William Morris College would be seriously affected. The tranquil and rural nature of our parish would receive yet another body blow – and for NO GOOD REASON.
From our surveys, it is clear that very few Eastington people ‘want’ the football stadium there. The lack of any sort of public transport in the area totally negates any ‘green-ness’ of the building itself or any sustainablility claimed. The business park would largely serve to suck businesses from Stroud town centre and other population centres of the district – including, probably, the Ecotricity offices themselves, causing more people to have to drive to work – hardly green or sustainable.
There were, however, some people who saw this as some sort of ‘achievement’ – thinking perhaps that it wold drive new jobs and money into the District. We think it would just move things around a bit, denying jobs in more sustainable locations – and even if it did draw some business in from outside Stroud district, the cost in terms of the inevitable traffic chaos and loss of facility is overwhelming. At present there is a perfectly adequate demonstrable land-supply for business, distributed around the district where it is needed. Ecotricity tried to deny this, just as they are trying to fudge the traffic figures with so-called experts pitted against each other, all just costing more money- some of theirs, and a lot of ours!
The planning application was submitted to Stroud in 2016, but was so full of holes (particularly on traffic analyses) that, a year later on, no date for determination had been set and Dale Vince and c. o were forced to rethink.
The revised application is for the 5000 seater, with scaled down ancilliaries, but more parking provision on the North side of the the A419.
This does, of course leave the question of re-applying for the Business park later on the South side.
The worrying development is that both plots have been include in the ‘potential’ sites for development that could get included in the Local Plan at the 2021 review.
See more details of the new application on the new post.
You can see how things have developed prior to all this on our archive site