Possible legal challenge could delay Bristol Rovers' plans for a new stadium at the University of the West of England
SOUTH Gloucestershire’s first stadium could be delayed following news that a planning application for Bristol Rovers’ current home may be challenged in court.
The club was granted permission for a 21,700-seater stadium at the University of the West of England’s campus in Stoke Gifford last year but had to wait until March for Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to give the green light for Sainsbury’s to build a new store at Rovers’ Memorial Stadium.
The football club needs the money from the sale of its current home to fund the new stadium, which will also be used for concerts and events. Work is due to get underway building it this summer.
The supermarket application was bitterly contested by owners of independent shops on nearby Gloucester Road, who fear the opening will damage their trade.
Now an anonymous party has lodged their intent to challenge the approval with Bristol City Council. If it goes ahead, the plans could be scrutinised in the High Court.
Rovers chairman Nick Higgs said he was concerned the move would lead to a delay in building the £40million new stadium. He urged supporters to stay calm and said he understood their frustrations.
Bristol City Council's legal team is responding to the notice of intent of judicial review and the authority has said it will robustly defend its planning committee's decision.
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