Bristol Rovers fans' panel: Reaction to planning permission for Sainsbury's on Memorial Stadium, paving way for new ground at Stoke Gifford
7:00am Friday 25th January 2013 in Gloucestershire Sport
ROVERS gained the best possible news they could have wished for last week as planning permission for a Sainsbury’s supermarket on the Memorial Stadium was granted, paving the way for a new £40million stadium in Stoke Gifford to be built.
Fans have been waiting decades for a modern ground we can call our own and it looks like our patience will finally be rewarded with work due to start in the summer.
Since Eastville was sold to the greyhound company it looked like we would never succeed in having our own stadium.
Although our 10 years in Bath may have been a successful time on the pitch, we were still renting someone’s else’s home.
Our exile was ended with a move to the Memorial Ground thanks to Bristol Rugby and when we bought the site as they hit financial difficulties we once again had our own facility.
But the Memorial Stadium, as it then became known, has never truly felt like a proper, long-term home for the club and the long search for alternative, purpose-built facilities looked like a pipe dream never to be realised.
So the jubilant scenes at the Memorial Stadium last Wednesday evening as fans watched the verdict come in from City Hall were a long time coming.
The board and particularly chairman Nick Higgs deserve huge credit for their vision and persistence in ensuring such an impressive, exciting scheme, that will be an asset to the wider South Gloucestershire community, is to come to fruition.
However the priority this season is to stay in the Football League.
Everybody needs to rally behind the cause for the rest of the campaign to ensure we pick up the required number of points to stave off the threat of the drop.
It was unfortunate that the weather caused last Saturday’s scheduled game against Exeter to be called off as optimism was high following the previous week’s excellent victory at Fleetwood and the boost given to the club from the planning decision.
The addition this week of defender Clayton McDonald is a positive move and three points at Rotherham on Saturday would keep the momentum going.
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