About

GASP – Groups Against the Stadium Proposals is a coalition of different groups including parish councils, residents’ associations, sports clubs, conservation/environmental bodies and individual people who believe the stadium proposals are flawed.

By stadium proposals, we mean the intention of the owners of Wycombe Wanderers and London Wasps to build a new so-called ‘Community stadium’ development including hotels, bars, restaurants, retail outlets and some sports facilities. To do this, up to 200 acres of Green Belt land will be built on and sold off for a large-scale housing development of up to 2000 houses. The preferred site for all this development is Booker airfield.

GASP members have different individual objections, but all agree that it is fundamentally wrong to build on Green Belt land without good cause (no persuasive case has been put), to gamble public money on what is essentially a private enterprise for Wycombe Wanderers’  and London Wasp’s owners, and to put pressure on an already struggling road system.

GASP members have formed focus groups according to individual expertise to tackle the concerns about the stadium proposals. The stadium plans are so fundamentally flawed that we have many avenues open to us on which to fight the development.

These include the flawed public consultation process, the inadequate financial plans, the questions over the legality of building on land which has covenants in place, the inadequate infrastructure and the simple need and community desire for a new stadium development.

How can it be a community stadium when the community doesn’t want it. We are the community, and we will prevail!

14 Responses to About

  1. Adrian says:

    Thank you to all those who attended the demonstration

  2. Simon says:

    Having read the recent Clarion, this entire protest appears to be based on NIMBY, which is a phrase I am sure you are familiar with. Your own arguments in the Clarion article are contradictory in themselves (the stadium increasing traffic, but not increasing fan base.. so.. same traffic then!?)
    I am sure the residents of Cressex will be thrilled to loose the traffic through their neighbourhood and the entire region will benefit economically. Live in the 20th century and embrace change – its going to happen anyway…

  3. Jimbob says:

    Simon, your argument is about as good as your spelling. You don’t even seem to know what century you are living in. Oh dear. Do you mind if I don’t embrace the change you seem to want? Building on Green Belt land is wrong. And funding a stadium, for which there is no real need, with public funds is economically insane never mind stupid. Let Wasps and WWFC pay for their own white elephant if they want it – and as far away from Green Belt and AONB land as possible. What with HS2 and the M40 I think the Chilterns have enough to contend with. If being a NIMBY is caring about the area you live in then long may it continue.

  4. Richard says:

    From what I have seen about these proposals, they are based on the greed of individuals who stand to gain enormously, whilst the local residents suffer something that they plainly don’t want. I live in Cressex, and am a user of the Air Park which I love dearly and which I fear will be damaged or lost entirely. I don’t know anyone who thinks that the stadium plans are a good idea. Why let fat, lazy businessmen get away with their stupid plans? I for one will never condone them.

  5. Stuart Dodds says:

    It would seem that GASP’s own website does in fact contain a bunch of white elephants!

    I note that you still state 2000 homes will be built, not the actual 506 proposed!

    You state you are the voice of the community? whose? As it is not the one I live in! Nor is it the community I speak too, as I have spoken to hundreds of local businesses and only found one who sat on the fence and NONE who were against THE WYCOMBE SPORTING VILLAGE!

    You also STATE that we will lose the AIRPARK according to the actual plans this is simply not true!

    It would seem that the “moaners”against the proposed Wycombe Sports Village are simply the “NOT in my backyard crowd”, who are not interested in the benefits to the YOUTH, Families , Businesses and general economic growth of the Wycombe District as a whole.

    All I would ask of those who oppose the plans is to actually look at them NOW they are
    available…and think of the future generations and the legacy WE leave them!

    • honeybee says:

      Well the facts on the GASP housing page are correct. It states between 500 and 2000. Now by my books 506 falls in that band.

      The interesting part is if you look at the article on Cllr Clarkes interview on MarlowFM where she said GASP was wrong there is a link to a presentation made by WDC planning to the BCWPS at Cressex New School. It it shows a minimum space required for enabling development of some 16 hectares. With a full blown all singing and dancing site needing 63 hectares to pay for it. Using WDC’s current housing strategy guide 2009 to 2014 it states a target housing density of 40 dwellings per hectare. Now according to my maths and GASP’s 40*16 = 640 houses for the minimal config up to a whacking 40*64 = 2,560 houses.
      Now who’s figures are correct? WSDL’s estimate of 506 or WDC planning department of between 640 and 2560?
      I rest my case – you can’t trust anything that WSDL say.

    • honeybee says:

      Another thing Stuart It’s being called a sports village and there is serious play on that fact. Yes if you look at the ‘new’ plans it has some extra facilities there but delving into the finance all those extra sports facilities will have to be self funded by those sports clubs. If those clubs could afford to build their own buildings they would already have done so. Most of the smaller sports clubs around Wycombe bolster their funds by having a canteen or bar onsite. Under the new organisation that is not allowed. The only way these small clubs would survive (provided they can raise the 100’s of thousands to build their premises to start with) is a serious hike in fees. This is just not going to work!

      There is a diminishing desire to get off one’s backside to go and play sports. The pool is finite and by trying to draw on the that pool all you are going to do is harm the other centres around such as Bisham and the new one in Pound Lane Marlow to mention just a few. Many of the smaller clubs are run by unpaid volunteers. Once you start to bring revenue into the equation those people stop volunteering and the club dies.
      This will never be anything other than a stadium for proffesionals

      • Jeff says:

        I am involved in a successful sports organisation that delivers for our members, and despite a number of us being volunteers we deliver a lot more by being run along professional lines with professional and paid for staff.

        As sports we have found that by working together you deliver a lot more. You can also grow the pool of people by retaining existing players (of all standards and ages) and encouraging more young people into sport. These young people and the community they are from benefit.

        We complement the existing facilities such as Pound Lane and Handy Cross, indeed we work together for the good of all our players and the wider sporting community.

        One of the main attractions of a Sports Village is that we will share some facilities to keep costs down, and deliver more value to our members. Additionally we can deliver more depth and provide for an even wider base of people. We have our own building now – but we need to expand, we believe the best way is into a sports village.

        Jeff

  6. LittleMissus says:

    Stuart,
    I am generally in favour of development if it means good things and is good value for money. The more I learn about this project the less it seems to add up. I know certain powers that be have been bandying about the rumour that GASP is not getting it’s facts right but I feel it is tremendously the pot calling the kettle black. When the proposal first came out at the Lane End meeting. The man from the council categorically said to us that the number of housing would be between 600-2000 houses and that it was more likely to be nearer the 2000 figure. That is where that figure has come from. True, GASP need to now update their figures now that we have all been given a definitive number.

    My main concerns about the proposals are that they are building facilities where it would be better value for money to improve current facilities. Also that they are building houses on this site, a significant number even in 506 houses and are not making provisions for school and medical facilities for these new residents. I also feel it is not right to call it a community stadium when the facilities are not really geared towards what the community want, the sporting facilities seem to be more for athletes with the vast number of football academies etc. which is a very niche market.

    In regards to not losing the airpark. I can definitely confirm that ok on the plans there is a diminished version of an airfield there, however have they told you that the runway is dangerous? Or that no-one will want to pleasure fly there (which is what the airfield was built for in the first place) because they will use the runway as a carpark whenever there is a match.

    How about what nice green views and historical landmarks we leave our children once we have concreted over it all? ANOB and green belt is there for a reason!

  7. Jeff says:

    I see many benefits for Wycombe District by delivering a sporting village. Benefit for the people of Wycombe, benefit for a number of our local sports and benefits for our young people. I can also see an upside to having increased leisure facilities within a sporting village that benefits families and our wider community. I see some downside too, but on balance I believe that we stand to gain far more than we lose.

    My main concern is that the potential benefit to the area will be denied by by a small but well orchestrated group. Wycombe Council need to hear from all parties, and the silent majority encouraged to give their views, once they (the silent minority) have heard and really understood both sides of the argument and ensured that the benefits for us all are not denied by a few.

    Jeff

  8. Gary Nuttall says:

    I think Jeff makes a good case for the Sports Village concept and it merits consideration if it benefits the community and the local clubs. Need to remember however that G.A.S.P. stands for Groups Against the STADIUM Proposals. So there’s considerable support for the ‘amateur’ (who operate very professionally so I’m not using the amateur tag in a derogatory way) clubs and so the objections aren’t about developing local sporting facilities (whether they’re distributed or centralised). The objection is, amongst other things, about using ratepayers assets to fund privately owned, loss making companies, building on Green Belt, and not delivering benefits for the community. Add on the impact of a stadium which prevents the Air Park from continuing to provide existing aviation facilities (and subsequent loss of skilled jobs), the impact on roads and infrastructure, the nosie and nuisance to the local community, etc. etc.

  9. TansyW says:

    It’s sad that so many facilities in the area aren’t being used to their full potential despite the best efforts of those who run them.

    Perhaps rather than a spanking new set of facilities all centralised in one place and at a massive cost to the Council Taxpayers, the Council should be looking at schemes to develop the ones we currently have and promoting their use through the schools. I bet it would be a great deal cheaper than the current proposal. It would also have the benefit of providing local facilities for all the community rather than just those on the west side of the town.

  10. R Lawton says:

    I agree with Tansy W and suggest that the council wishes the existing sports facilities to fail and depicts them as poor, to add support for their proposals at Booker.

    If Booker should come about, that will be used to close down and sell off these substandard facilities. The argument being that everything is provided at Booker these other facilities are now superfluous.

    Regards All

  11. Phred says:

    WDC produced a Sports Development Plan that identified 3 main proposals, and a set of minor proposals.
    The 3 main ones were:
    New stadium for Wanderers/Wasps
    New sporting facilities for Bucks New Uni
    Replacement of Handy Cross Sports Centre.

    None of these were surprising considering the main people on the committee that produced the report were Steve Hayes, someone from Bucks New Uni and people from WDC.

    However my main concern is with facilities provided by Amateur participatory sports clubs, as both my son (football) and daughter (gymnastics) are involved with such clubs.

    The WDC report identified some deficiencies in parts of the District and stated that such facilities should be spread throughout the District. The sports village concept goes against this whole ethos. In fact it would probably make things worse, as I can see the council thinking they don’t need to support sport in, say, Risborough because of the “new facilities” that would be useless to local clubs away from the sports village.

    There is a smaller town, not too far from here, where all the football facilities in the town have just been concentrated in a new football facility. It is already causing problems as clubs are arguing amongst themselves as to who can use what pitches and when. I can see this happening on any shared site.

    My daughter’s gym club is looking to find a permanent gym facility. The club currently has nearly 250 active gymnasts, and a waiting list of 400, many of whom are wanting to transfer from other gym clubs in the area. A gym facility would require a hall the size of a penalty area. They also want to remain in the area they are, as they regard that as their community. They enquired about converting a redundant farm barn, but were told that was inappropriate development on green belt. As I understand it a football pitch (not stadium) is appropriate. Any form of indoor sport is inappropriate.

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