GASP (Groups Against the Stadium Proposals) has been working on a series of awareness initiatives including advertisements in the local press, leafleting campaigns and presentations to local groups. These have been undertaken to inform ratepayers about the drivers behind the proposal, the risks (both financial and economic), the sheer scale of the associated house building and the impact on Green Belt in an area adjacent to the Chilterns AONB. The consistent feedback that has been received from the public is that the Council has failed to engage with the community to either establish what the real needs are nor to explain what the Council’s ultimate financial expenditure would be.
With an influx of new blood joining Wycombe District Council following the May elections, GASP urges the incoming councillors to reconsider the proposal to build a new rugby and football stadium on Green Belt land at Wycombe Air Park. The original proposal was based on an incomplete and flawed assessment of the community’s needs and evidently didn’t give ratepayers the basic information on which they could form valid opinions. This was further compounded by the previous Council’s communications which were littered with “shoulds” and “coulds” that further added to the uncertainty as to exactly what the benefit, if any, to the community would be.
With a wealth of intelligence gathered by its members about the problems of other stadia projects, a realistic assessment of traffic impact on the surrounding area and the concerns of the financial risks that the project exposes the council (and ultimately ratepayers) to, GASP implores the new Council members to call time out and put in place safeguards to prevent any further wasted expenditure.
A key milestone is scheduled for WDC's Cabinet, following the production of a Strategic Outline Business Case, later this month. GASP urges the newly appointed Cabinet members to now take a deep breath and support a decision to stop the project.
Chairman – GASP (Groups Against the Stadium Proposals)