THE planning application for the Bristol Arena is about to be submitted – revealing to residents the final proposals for the 12,000 spectator venue and its surroundings.

Two applications for the
£93 million scheme were expected to be published just as the Voice is being distributed in the last days of November.

A second public meeting in Totterdown has been announced where residents can quiz officials about the plans. Six weeks of public consultation will follow.

It has been arranged in conjunction with community group Tresa after an earlier public meeting at Totterdown Methodist church, called at short notice after protests that no local meetings were planned.

For details of the new meeting on December 10, see panel below.

Meanwhile the council is being urged to look at the potential for several hundred extra – and currently unused – parking spaces to serve the arena.

There are hundreds of empty spaces at the rear of the Avon Meads retail park, says Gary Hopkins, councillor for Knowle and Bristol’s Lib Dem leader.

He was alerted to the opportunity by Dave Woods, a member of the rail union RMTU and railway columnist for the Evening Post.

“We counted over 500 places in Avon Meads alone which appear never to be used,” Cllr Hopkins told the Voice.

He believes there are also other spaces which could be brought to use under the flyover.

Access to the arena could be by shuttle bus along Feeder Road and Cattle Market Road, he suggested. An access from the rear of Avon Meads exists, but is chained off.

He believes Avon Meads would give easier access to the arena than other car parks which have been earmarked, such as Cabot Circus.

The council said Avon Meads  car park had not been considered because it is for customers of the retail park. Objections can be made as part of the consultation, said a spokeswoman.

• Five construction firms have made the shortlist to build the arena: BAM Construction, Bouygues UK, Sir Robert McAlpine, Laing O’Rourke and Buckingham Group Contracting. They will submit bids by December 18 with a decision about the winning contractor expected in February 2016.

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