Packer's Field

News: An open letter from Bristol City Academy - 30/01/2007

Please note that this open letter is published on this website at the request of Bristol city Academy and that this website does not endorse its contents.

December 2006

Dear resident

Re : Development of ‘Packers Field’

Firstly, may I take this opportunity of thanking you for your patience during the re-development work at Packers Field.  As you are aware, the weather conditions have not been good for pitch levelling works and this is resulting in the work taking much longer than originally anticipated.  Some of the work has had to be suspended until there are drier conditions and I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Work on the single storey changing room block will begin in the New Year.  There will also be further groundworks and fencing improvements.  In all, two senior and two junior football pitches will be provided with a children’s training area and a cricket square.   All work is scheduled to be complete by September 2007 and it is hoped that access to the fields will be possible from this time onwards.  However, much will depend on the progress that can be made through the winter months and the conditions for grass seeding in the spring.

You may be aware that a planning application has been made to locate the main entrance to the completed fields off Johnsons Lane (close to the current contractor’s entrance).  This application has been made following advice from highway engineers who have looked at estimated usage and reported that there will not be a significant increase in traffic from the situation prior to the development of the area.  Matches on the fields will be restricted at weekends and will tend to involve local teams.  The normal consultation period will apply to this planning application and details will be published by the local authority.

Once the work is complete next autumn, it is hoped that the field will become a venue for local recreation and sport.  There is no intention of preventing access to the field, although the walking of dogs will not be permitted for health and safety reasons.   The gates to the field will be locked overnight and there will be staff present on site during the daytime.  This should help make the area safer for all.  It is hoped that local people will feel able to use the facilities for informal recreation purposes.  The only charges that will apply will be for the formal use of pitches for team sports and bookings will be made through the Academy.  City Council rates for the use of pitches will apply.  There will be no charge for the use of other areas and I very much hope to see families enjoying the use of the site for many years to come.  Access gates will be located off Johnsons Lane, the cycle track and the area by the allotments.   If you have any questions about access to the field, do not hesitate to contact me at the school.

In the future a planning application may be made for the installation of an all weather training athletics track on the field.  This work will be led by the City Council and further details will be published in 2007.  There will be an opportunity for you to become involved in discussions about any such proposals and details will be published if and when it is decided to take such plans forward.

Many people have asked me about the future of the old pavilion.  This property has not been leased to the Academy by the City Council and therefore is not our responsibility.  All questions on the future of the pavilion should be addressed to your local representatives.  The rest of the ground has been leased to the Academy for 99 years and we very much hope to keep the area as a well maintained green space.  The fields cannot be made available for development and will therefore remain a place for sport and recreation.

Once again, thank you for your support and understanding during a difficult construction period.  Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require further information.

Yours sincerely

Ray Priest