PRESS RELEASE 13 July 2015

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd v Bristol Rovers (1883) Ltd.

TRASHorfield notes the judgement made by Mrs Justice Proudman today and will be monitoring developments closely.

TRASHorfield opposed the construction of a Sainsbury’s supermarket because it would cause traffic congestion, air pollution and noise pollution and threaten the viability of local independent businesses, as well as robbing Bristol of a significant WW1 war memorial sports ground rightly protected for decades as a “valuable asset” under the council’s Local Plan, which should now, we believe, come under the new DM5 ‘Protection of Community Facitlities’.

With so much still uncertain about the site’s future, serious concerns remain about Bristol City Council’s permission for daily 19 hour heavy goods vehicle access to the site via residential roads and any future development of this site.

TRASHorfield would welcome a proper discussion about possible future uses of the site – a future which does not trample on local businesses, nor on the health and wellbeing of local people. This famous sports ground could be modernised, in a fitting and proportional way, given its war memorial status and residential setting.

The Memorial Ground is not a brownfield site. It is a sport heritage site, laden with rugby and football memories – and nearly a hundred years old. It is a special and practical type of WW1 war memorial and should remain dedicated to sport and recreation, as was intended by its founders. The Directors of Bristol Rovers have failed to grasp these simple facts – hence the strong objections to the prospect of a Sainsbury’s supermarket on the war memorial sport ground.

Update 12/6/15TRASHorfield’s response to request for information from Bristol Post

The directors of TRASHorfield Ltd have applied to have the company struck off the Register of Companies. The company is solvent, with all bills incurred having been met in a timely manner, including payment of the charge to Bristol City Council which was made swiftly following the judicial review judgement. The company was set up to pursue a legal challenge to Bristol City Council’s planning permission for Sainsbury’s Horfield superstore. Whilst “TRASHorfield Ltd” will be closed, the campaign group “TRASHorfield” will remain active as long as there is a threat of a supermarket on the Memorial Ground. The organisers of the campaign wish to extend a very big ‘Thank You’ to the many thousands of engaged and active people within the local community who support the campaign, campaign with us and who generously contributed the financial support required.

Update 13/11/14

Bristol Rovers have gained permission for extended delivery hours (5am – midnight) for the proposed supermarket on the Memorial Ground.  They have also managed to insert the second exit lane from the store into the mini roundabout despite this previously having been refused for reasons of safety.

Please read our Councillor Information pack for further reasons why the Council’s decision is such a mistake.

We find ourselves at odds with a system that to any fair minded person lacks transparency, accountability, integrity and is geared up to theatrically disregard the small person against the mighty even when the small represents a significant majority.
What are Horfield residents meant to think when the Council determines that their sleep and wellbeing is far less important than the predicted future needs of a store that has not even been built?  Why did the 200 voices of the considered, articulate opposition and  4 opposing ward councillors have no impact whatsoever on a decision made by 8 committee members not local; an another agenda perhaps?
Why does the Council fail time and time again to scrutinise the applications before it?  Accepting assessments skewed in favour of desired outcomes, ignoring pleas from the public to do things properly, failing to consult,  failing to listen.  This tells us that we have a planning system in Bristol that is fundamentally broken by accident or by design?.  Why is it acceptable for Labour Cllr Helen Holland to vote a harmful application through to spite a member of the public who has riled her by stating that disturbing the sleep of children is abusive?  Just what game is being played out by our Council here?
How have we also ended up with a significant change to a roundabout on Filton Avenue, already described as ‘the least worst’ option which now features a 2-lane exit instead of the approved 1-lane exit?  A 2-lane exit which highways disallowed as unsafe back in January 2013.  This exit is NOT the 1-lane exit which was signed off by all parties in the Section 106 agreement in June 2014 and yet without consultation, without further safety audit and without any regard for the fact that it was stated to be dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists who will include our children who will have to navigate this hurdle every day on their way to and from school it is now in the plan.
Leaks, vested interests and an abject failure of democracy.  Something is very wrong within Bristol City Council and for the public to have any confidence is this ‘system’ then as the Localism Act allows ward councillors should be strongly represented on committees making decisions for their areas making evidenced based representations from their constituents and the remaining committee could be selected at random to avoid committee by some other design and thus trying to avoid party alignments, vote swapping and to bring back some voice to the local people for whom decisions really matter.
Meanwhile we ask ourselves just how do these officers and councillors sleep at night?

Please take a look at the following website containing some wonderful photos and detailing the incredible effort of the people of Bristol in realising the Memorial Ground in the wake of the Great War:

A short history of Bristol’s war memorial sports ground

Update 19/9/14

Extension of delivery hours (again) (and again).  A new Planning Application for Extension of Deliveries submitted

Bristol Council are now seriously considering application 14/04174/X for an extension of delivery hours to the proposed Sainsbury’s Memorial Ground store.

This new application is for the very same delivery hours as original application 13/05462/X that the Council refused and BRFC/Sainsbury’s then recently appealed.  The Council were reportedly intending to fight the appeal ‘robustly’.  We are deeply concerned how the Council will respond to 14/04174/X.

We can reasonably ask the following question ‘Why has the appeal been lodged, then concurrently a planning application for the same end submitted?’   And why is this  new application for supermarket delivery hours submitted by Bristol Rovers and not Sainsbury’s.

Whatever the truths behind the confusion, this application MUST be fought for the following reasons:-

If the application is successful Sainsbury’s will have achieved all their requirements.   Sainsbury’s could then very well proceed to construct the monstrous store on the war memorial ground.   (Supermarket tactics are known to be less than straightforward…)

If the application is successful but Sainsbury’s decide to walk away and are forced into compensating BRFC for breaking the contract to buy the Memorial Ground then the cost is,  arguably,  even greater:

  •  A precedent for late night/early morning deliveries will have been set in Bristol and the UK.  Even if Sainsbury’s do not build the Memorial Ground store this precedent would enable other stores to reasonably pursue these same extensive hours. The already permitted hours of 6am – 11pm are based on the delivery hours granted to the unbuilt store proposed for Ashton Gate – which far exceeded other residentially located stores in Bristol.
  • A precedent of new higher thresholds for sleep disturbing noise will have been set – above that recommended by the World Health Organisation of 45dBLAmax.  This is a real threat to residents across the UK.

Can anyone convincingly assert that the success of this application will force Sainsbury’s, with all their legal and financial resources, into writing out a sizable cheque for BRFC?


You can object


Please submit comments before Sunday 28 September!

Details of the application

Sainsbury’s want to supply the store using 44 ton lorries from 5am until midnight, seven days a week.  They claim this is necessary to make a store of this size viable.

The Council refused the original application on 28th January 2014 stating that these hours of delivery ‘would have a detrimental impact on the amenity of local residents’.  Indeed Sainsbury’s own noise assessment showed that 20 properties around the site would suffer sleep disturbing levels of noise for 19 hours every day.

The new application relies on a new noise assessment from 24Acoustics that calculates that the deliveries will not be as noisy as the Sainsburys noise assessment assessed them to be.  The new assessment also raises the threshold for what is considered a sleep disturbing level of noise:  previous applications relied on BS 8233 and the World Health Organisation recommendations but 24Acoustics cite 25 year old research from Germany to justify a much higher noise level as reasonable.  The new noise assessment on instruction from Bristol Rovers, criticises the noise assessment of the previous application for containing erroneous data and lacking clarity.

24Acoustics also propose noise barriers should be constructed around the gardens of houses where the impact is too severe.  They suggest these fences should be 2.3 – 3.6 metres high.  Can the application really rely on blockading people into their gardens and transforming the area from a freindly neighbourhood into an alienating and oppressive environment.

Sainsbury’s were granted planning permission in January 2013 with the permitted delivery hours of 6am until 11pm Monday to Saturday and 9am until 8pm on Sundays.  These are extensive delivery hours when compared to other local supermarkets (especially considering the more confined and intensely residential location) :

Tesco Golden Hill                    7am – 9pm      Mon-Sun

Co-op Glos Road                    8am – 6pm      Mon-Sun

Local residents ask how 5 hours of undisturbed sleep could be enough for anyone.  Many of the houses around the site have young familes with gardens and bedroom windows facing the delivery route.  A resident of Trubshaw close said ‘The previous assessments told us that the noise would wake us up.  A new assessment won’t make it any quieter – they have just changed the targets and raised the fences’.

Application 13/05462/X Extension of delivery hours
Sainsbury’s have requested permission to have the previously agreed limit on delivery hours extended to 5am – midnight 7 days a week creating what is likely to become an intolerable and significant noise disturbance for local residents for all but 5 hours in any 24 hour period.

The noise assessment predicts that at least 20 properties will suffer a ‘sleep disturbing’ level of noise (LAmax >45dB) for all but 5 hours of every day of the week (table 5.3 of Noise Assessment Nov13). In this assessment they fail to remark on these exceedences.

The noise assessment does not include noise impacts created by the proposed raised table. It uses best case assumptions on the noise attenuation of windows. It does not consider ground borne vibration. The assessment also uses football/rugby match events in its calculation of base line noise level.

Sainsbury’s should not have pursued application 12/02090/F to permission unless the terms that the Council had offered were agreeable. It is not true that the covered yard improves the noise impact since the noise assessment of the original application – it is receptors on route to the store (R1, R2 and R12) that suffer sleep disturbing levels of noise for which the covered yard creates no benefit.

The current agreed delivery regime permits 17 delivery hours per working day. If peak periods were considered to span 3 of these hours then there are 14 hours of uncongested access. Sainsbury’s assured residents that the traffic impact of this store would not be ‘significant’ and road capacity was sufficient for a store of this size. If congestion does in fact become problematic for deliveries they should not be permitted to use their own error to justify extended amenity damage for residents by way of extended delivery hours. Instead they should be forced to encourage shoppers to not use cars by reducing the number of car parking (or charge for use of car parking spaces) to create road capacity for their own deliveries during sociable hours.

The noise assessment uses the ‘Quiet Delivery Demonstration Scheme’ as a basis for the assumptions in the noise assessment. Sainsbury’s themselves were involved in the creation of this report. The Department for Transport (DfT) were carfeful to state in the introduction of the report that ‘Although this report was commissioned by DfT the findings and recommendations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the DfT. . . The DfT does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of that information and cannot accept liability for any loss or damages of any kind resulting from reliance on the information or guidance that this document contains’.

We would like to be convinced that this report is in fact a ‘methodology for curfew relaxation’ as WYG suggest, rather than a self serving concoction for which no-one is liable. It is shocking that WYG/Sainsbury’s would entertain this report as a confident basis to assert that the sleep of local residents will not be affected when it undoubtedly will.


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