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11th March 2014, 14:45

ESG against new stadium

The Environmental Safety Group considers Europa Point to be a far from ideal location for the new football stadium. It believes the stadium would radically transform an open, peaceful area, important for both tourism and the local community. 

This brutal conversion can't, in its view, be softened by any redesign. The ESG says it agrees with the Heritage Trust and the many voices in our community, that another site must be found. The Environmental Safety Group says that apart from the impact on the landscape at Europa, the matter of mobilising thousands of people to and from the border, using our already busy roads, raises serious concerns. 

It believes several key roads would need to be closed for long periods on a match day and the pollution created by the large number of diesel buses would be problematic. This, says the group, added to an unpredictable border, creates important issues, that will have a major bearing, on whether the logistics, however well planned, are executable.

The ESG is also concerned about the stadium's carbon footprint during construction and once operational. It says water consumption alone will be significant, especially if real grass is to be used. The group urges that rain water collection and renewable energy technology is built into the basic design to meet the stadium's energy requirements and offset part of its footprint.

The ESG highlights that Europa point will also see a sewage treatment plant built near the mosque, and that it's bound to produce some smell, and it adds the two GSM antennae currently placed near the lighthouse could potentially cause health and safety concerns. Another issue it's raised is how a large stadium will impact on the special coastal area contained within the UNESCO bid, which includes Gorhams Cave.

Finally the ESG believes the heavy weather conditions at Europa Point are influencing the design of the proposed stadium, as well as the materials that can be used. The winds in the area, it claims, will mean that littering associated with large scale events will pose a significant environmental hazard by way of light weight rubbish being blown into the sea.

The Environmental Safety Group hopes the eastside reclamation will be given the utmost consideration as an alternative venue. It also hopes the Government, as landlords, will respond to the many concerns and agree to offer the GFA another site.