A PLANNING meeting which will impact on whether Bristol Rovers FC can build a new stadium in South Gloucestershire has been delayed until the New Year.

Bristol City Council had been due to decide on Sainsbury’s proposals for a new supermarket on the site of the club’s current home, the Memorial Stadium in Horfield, next week.

But in an agreement between council planners and Sainsbury’s, the meeting has been cancelled to allow the council more time to consider the effect of a new store on nearby retailers.

Fears have been raised that independent shops on neighbouring Gloucester Road will suffer up to a 19 per cent drop in trade if Sainsbury’s is given the go-ahead.

The football club, which won planning permission for a new 21,700-seater stadium on land next to the University of the West of England in July this year, needs to sell the Memorial Stadium before it can build the new stadium.

The planning meeting of Bristol City Council’s development control north committee is now scheduled to take place on January 16.

Rovers chairman Nick Higgs said: "Sainsbury's are very professional in what they do and it's their application and not mine.

"They've decided with the city council they'd rather wait until January 16 so when the application is heard by members it is a very robust one."