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Author Topic: Culture, Planning and Transport.  (Read 1904 times)
afleitch
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« on: August 08, 2011, 08:39:44 am »
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Welcome to the Culture, Planning and Transport Committee, Mr Anders MacPherson chairing (coz he got in first)

The brief of this Committee is to concern ourselves with;

Sport and Leisure
The Arts
Strategic Planning
Transport

I would be grateful if Members could sign in as soon as possible. His Majesty has been petitioned on the following, prior to the new session of Parliament in no particular order;

1.Whether to allocate or secure funding to modernise and increase the capacity of the National Stadium from 20,000 to 45,000.
2.Where to site the proposed Ballet and Opera House.
3. Whether to nominate an Antillian city to bid for European City of Culture.
4. Whether to recommend the funding of an undersea link between Antillia and Pitfarris.
5. Whether to recommend the privatisation or part privatisation of Antillian Rail.
6. Whether to recommend the de-regulation of the nationalised bus network to allow for competition.
7. Whether to recommend the construction of a by-pass around St Mark's to decrease congestion.
8. Where to site Economic Development Zones if mandated.
9. Where to designate as National Parks or Environmentally Protected areas.

These will be adressed appropriately through discussion. Should any proposal be of merit relevant bills can be drafted within this Committee.

Yours,

Mr Anders MacPherson
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 10:34:05 am »
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xDavid Valentine
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2011, 01:27:11 pm »
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x Johannes Overgaard, MP
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lilTommy
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2011, 10:48:32 am »
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xBastian De Wilde
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 09:27:20 am »
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Steven Gudjonsson
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afleitch
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 11:00:08 am »
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A taster Wink

Order CPT001

Members,

As you may be aware, the Antillian Olympic Committee, the Antillian Athletics Federation and the Football Association of Antillia have pressed successive governments to finance an upgrade to the facilities of the National Stadium in St Marks and to increase capacity. This year, St Mark's City (who have authority over local Planning Stage 1 applications) were presented with several options out of which two were recommended to be taken forward;

1. Refurbishment of existing stadium with 'vertical expansion' increasing capacity to 45,000
2. Demolition of existing stadium (retaining the listed 1920's Modernist themed Main Stand) with subsequent sale of the land and the construction of a new stadium at the Old Docks.

The estimated cost of Proposal 1, is some 100 million Euros. This retains the footprint of the existing stadium with excavation downwards and reconfiguration of the stands upwards to double capacity.

Proponents: Antillian Olympic Committee, Antillian Athletics Federation, Antillian Heritage.

The estimated cost of Proposal 2, is some 90 million Euros. The sale of the land of the old stadium (which is quite a significant footprint in the city)should generate 15 million Euros. The cost of the land at the Old Docks is estimated at 20 million Euros. While the scheme employs 'facade retention' of the listed Main Stand, this is opposed by Antillian Heritage. There is also some concern that under current economic circumstances, the land around the old stadium may not be sold leading to an 'eyesore.'

Proponents: Football Association of Antillia, Rugby Football Association of Antillian, Docklands Redevelopment Corporation.

The Committee should be aware that the government owns the current stadium as a national asset. It will be for this Committee to recommend which proposal is to be taken forward or to reject both proposals. The Committee may also propose the full or part sale of the National Stadium, or seek sponsorship for commercial purposes as a cost saving measure.

Initital thoughts please.
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011, 11:10:05 am »
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Iorwerth Roberts signing in. As leader of Fellsands City Council I must declare an interest.
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2011, 12:35:19 pm »
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David Valentine

How old is the current stadium?
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Vazdul (Formerly Chairman of the Communist Party of Ontario)
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2011, 12:51:48 pm »
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“Mr. Chairman, while the second proposal has a lower estimated cost, I am concerned that it has more potential for a greater discrepancy between the estimate and the actual cost. In particular, should we prove unable to sell the land around the existing stadium, the estimated fifteen million euros that the sale would net us would be lost. There is also the possibility that the Heritage Society would sue to prevent the destruction of a national landmark. The court could order an injunction against the demolition of the current stadium, causing at the very least a delay of the entire project. It is for these reasons that I feel that the first proposal is superior.

I also favor the proposal that the committee seek sponsorship from private enterprises to offset the cost. Other nations do so, to great success.”
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2011, 03:16:18 pm »
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No, the Heritage Society can't do that. They'd love to, but the only thing they can stop us from knocking down is the listed part of the stadium; and everyone's in favour of keeping that in some form anyway. Most of the rest of the stadium is of limited value, architecturally speaking, and will be pulled down no matter what. Given the state of the existing stadium the real question is whether we build a new stadium on the old site or a new one in a part of the city that could really do with some regeneration. It might also stave off disaster at the DRC; we all know it's on the brink of collapse because the foreign developers needed for it to do what it was set up to do... well... where are they now?

The current stadium, by the way, is also a fire hazard.
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afleitch
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2011, 03:43:20 pm »
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David Valentine

How old is the current stadium?

The land on which the current stadium stands was gifted in 1882. The current stadium dates from 1928, that is to say the main stand. The three other stands were built around the same time but heavily modernised in the 1980's and early 1990's

It might also stave off disaster at the DRC; we all know it's on the brink of collapse because the foreign developers needed for it to do what it was set up to do... well... where are they now?

Quite true. The site earmarked for a possible stadium was cleared four years ago and remains vacant. The only other redevelopments are The Quay Shopping Centre, completed this year and the well established National Museum of Antillia, the flagship project when the DRC was launched. Both were investments involving a significant degree of public funding and both ate very little into the footprint of the DRC plan.
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2011, 03:52:39 pm »
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“If the current stadium is truly in such bad condition, then we certainly should build a new one. However, if we are to construct a new stadium, I see no reason to purchase new land when the current site is adequate, especially when there is a very real risk that we will be unable to sell the existing property. The Heritage Society may be more amenable to a new stadium if it is built on the current site. We can appease the DRC by including the Old Docks as an Economic Development Zone when we address that issue later.”
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2011, 06:26:53 pm »
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As has been said, if the condition of the stadium is truly dilapidated, then it would be better to knock it down, excepting the historic main stand, which should stand as a landmark.

The empty earmarked site should be built on, rather than just staying a vacant lot. The Heritage Society should probably feel it more important to preserve the true historical part of the stadium, the main stand. Nothing else is of value.
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2011, 08:27:31 am »
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x Achilles de Bruijn

We should also remember that our decision is dependent on what the new Stadium should be used for. Are any of the federations intending to make a bid for an international tournament? Are we in essence looking at just an upgrade of the stadium for the sake of nothing but what it already is serving for? That is stuff that should matter.

Also, it has been pointed out that the Stadium has an intrinsic architectural and sentimental value. Even if the main point of interest; the Main Stand, is retained, we risk losing an important bit of the spirit of Antillian Football. And what is to happen to that Main Stand, what new goal would it be serving?

As a last remark, I'm slightly sceptic about the use of Stadiums to regenerate neighbourhoods. Can any of the estimated members point to convincing arguments about why I shouldn't fear a failure?
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2011, 08:46:27 am »
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I don't know the specifics - though the Chairman will - but as far as the general problem is concerned, my understanding is that an upgrade is essential because of safety concerns; at least one stand at the stadium is a fire hazard and there are also asbestos issues. There's also the fact that the upgrade in the late 1980s and early 1990s was badly done, with inferior materials and poor design. The company responsible was ESB, which, as we all know, collapsed as a result of a fraud investigation a few years later. Its entire ownership and half its Board went to prison as a result, along with four City Councillors, three officers at the St Marks Public Works Department and a former MP. It's that... rather embarrassing... background that makes this issue so sensitive and is why this committee needs to take a firm grip of the situation.

On the matter of sports infrastructure as regeneration, there are numerous examples in Great Britain, some more successful than others.
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« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2011, 09:09:59 am »
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xBastian De Wilde

One question, which borough is the current Stadium located in St. Mark's? as in what is the community make up of said borough?
I ask as this will be central to weather or not the lands can be a) sold and b) redeveloped. Also, there is no necessity for the city to sell the lands either, they could be leased to developers or could be utilised by the city to develop other needs (institutions? or housing or parklands). That would of course increase the cost of the second proposal.

To address the concerns of Mr. de Bruijn, Kristiana's redevelopment a number of years ago included a Hockey Arena BUT also included housing, retail, parks and offices... so alone, i would say no Sports facilities can't be what you use as an anchor, but in tandem it brings in diversification (stadiums allow pubs and restaurants to have a steady stream of customers after 6pm generally)

The Main stand in being preserved, the hazards of the old stadium and its lack of size leads me to favour proposal 2.
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afleitch
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« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2011, 10:59:47 am »
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I don't know the specifics - though the Chairman will - but as far as the general problem is concerned, my understanding is that an upgrade is essential because of safety concerns; at least one stand at the stadium is a fire hazard and there are also asbestos issues. There's also the fact that the upgrade in the late 1980s and early 1990s was badly done, with inferior materials and poor design. The company responsible was ESB, which, as we all know, collapsed as a result of a fraud investigation a few years later. Its entire ownership and half its Board went to prison as a result, along with four City Councillors, three officers at the St Marks Public Works Department and a former MP. It's that... rather embarrassing... background that makes this issue so sensitive and is why this committee needs to take a firm grip of the situation.

On the matter of sports infrastructure as regeneration, there are numerous examples in Great Britain, some more successful than others.

Indeed. Much of the work in the late 80's was cosmetic with asbestos in the South Stand simply covered over (securely I may add; this is the preferred treatment for such situations) on site as removal was too expensive. Terracing was also replaced with seating reducing the capacity from 40,000 to just 25,000. At present the stadium is a classic athletics stadium but is used for international football and rugby matches. They have came out strongly for a new stadium as at present seating is configured around the athletics track which is not optimum for spectators. The new stadium while still containing an athletics track can have removeable seating which will make it more attractive to any football or rugby team who wishes to have the stadium as their permanent residence (as well as remaining the home of the national side) and make it more attractive to host larger non-sports related stadium events.

Mr De Wilde, the stadium is seated in the Princes' Park area of the city. As you know this is a very well established and upmarket middle class part of the city well served by transport links. Should the stadium be vacated I imagine even in current circumstances this will be prime real estate. Locals are concerned about what would replace the stadium. The land is officially zoned as 'Parks/Sports' and will remain that way if the stadium is demolished. This Committee may be dealing with the potential rezoning of this area at a later date. It could even continue to be utilised as sports grounds. Not that I care greatly for either sport, but the city is crying out for tennis courts and a basic cricket field.

Mr De Bruijn, I can assure you as a football fan; of the Auldburgh Academicals of course, the closest we Pitfarrians have to a 'national team', the loss of the stadium will be emotional for many. These things happen. Worth nothing of course that when Arsenal F.C in England left their ground at Highbury, apartments were built around a central 'pitch' garden



A very fitting tribute to tradition in my view.
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« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2011, 11:08:31 am »
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Just to add to the comments of the Chairman, the Princes' Park district is mostly in the borough of Barthorpe, although a small part is in Castle. I believe that several members have houses in the area...
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