Bristol Rovers disappointed by Eric Pickles' delayed Sainsbury's decision over South Gloucestershire's first stadium at the University of the West of England
BRISTOL Rovers says it is disappointed by a further delay to its plans for a new stadium in South Gloucestershire.
It was announced on Tuesday, when communities and local government minister Eric Pickles was due to make a final decision over whether Sainsbury’s can build a new supermarket on the club’s current ground, the Memorial Stadium in Horfield, that the ruling would be delayed for a third time.
Mr Pickles had been expected to make a decision on the supermarket proposal, which would allow the club to sell its ground and fund a new 21,700-seater stadium adjacent to the University of the West of England (UWE) in Stoke Gifford, last month.
Rovers chairman Nick Higgs said he shared fans' disappointment at the delay.
"I am led to believe that the decision is being worked upon, although no time frame has been given," he said.
"We must therefore await the result with patience, and we hope to receive a positive confirmation in the near future."
The Sainsbury’s proposal has faced strong opposition from independent traders on nearby Gloucester Road in Horfield, who fear they would be forced to close if the store gets the go ahead, but Bristol City Council has voted to allow the development.
The £40million stadium at UWE has planning permission from South Gloucestershire Council and has been widely welcomed by civic leaders who believe the venue would put the district on the map for sporting events and music concerts.