The pros and cons of a £100 million development of a new Eco Park based in Stroud were the subject of a feverish debate last night.
A panel of experts including the Environmental planner for Ecotricity, the Vice Chairman of Forest Green Rovers and a local councillor, clashed over a variety of issues concerning the sport and green technology centre.
The new proposal located either side of A219 near junction 13 of the M5, will be dedicated to creating state-of-the-arts sporting facilities, including an all-seater stadium for Forest Green Rovers, as well as a sports science hub.
The overall concept also includes a green technology business park with sustainably built commercial offices, capable of holding up to 4,000 jobs.
The ambitious plans have been proposed by Ecotricity founder and Chairman of Forest Green Rovers, Dale Vince.
His development plan came under scrutiny by both sides of the debate held at an Old Town Hall by the Stroud Civic Society.
Simon Pickering, Senior Ecologist at Ecotricity and Green District Councillor, said “It’s a green field site with relatively ecological value. There’s a real opportunity with national and local conservation charities to turn this into an absolute exemplar of how to develop a business park and a football club”.
He added that the development would be a huge opportunity for the local residents.
“Currently in Stroud there is a massive migration of people out every morning, people going up and down the motorway for their jobs. It’s an attempt to actually retain jobs within the Stroud District, so people can cycle or even walk to work”.
But Stephen Davis, Conservative District councillor for Eastington and Standish has said he is hesitant that Ecotricty have yet to include anything in the planning process that makes it a green business park.
“There are lots of good intentions, but it’s potentially a property development like any other. Clearly there will be additions to this local plan, but it needs to be with a planning adjustification.”
Stephen Davis speaking at the debate held in Stroud on Thursday the 26th November.