The Pavilion at Stoke Lodge has sadly not been in use for many years. It was abandoned by the school over five years ago and it is now left in a derelict state.
In 2016, Cotham School applied for (and were awarded) a Government grant to rebuild the Pavilion and build the fence. This grant was for just under £700,000 with the school promising 10% of the project costs to be paid from their reserves.
However, the school has failed to get planning permission so that they could complete this project by March 2019 (as required by the grant funding).
Bristol City Council has twice refused planning because the school has not presented a transport plan (despite many requests).
The school appealed to the Planning Inspector who also refused on the same grounds as Bristol City Council – they both determined that there is a potential risk to highway safety in conflict with many policies including BSC10 of the Bristol Core Strategy (Core Strategy) (2011). The Planning Inspector also noted that the school's fence makes the potential traffic problem markedly worse as all traffic is funnelled down the least suitable roads.
We understand that Cotham School has recently submitted proposals to BCC and to the Education Skills Funding Agency (who awarded the grant to re-build the Pavilion). The school’s plans are to basically 'make do and mend’ the Pavillion. The school has proposed that they will complete ‘repairs and maintenance’ rather than develop the building; assumedly to avoid the requirement for planning permission.
In short, the plans include: replacing a few pieces of ply on the outside, a new door, painting the metal poles using hammerite and sandwiching the failing asbestos walls and roof with marine ply. They then intend to refurbish inside to a 120 occupancy changing facility by installing new showers, sanitary ware and decorating.
Whilst the local community is very keen to see a derelict pavilion repaired or replaced this cannot be at the risk of safety to pupils and the public. We believe that there are a number of significant issues to be addressed before any refurbishment can take place, including but not limited to;
No-one wants to see the Pavilion unused and derelict; however it feels like there is a long way to go before we can all enjoy seeing a fit for purpose pavilion back at Stoke Lodge.
We will update this when we get any more news on how the school and the authorities might be looking to address some of the above issues.