PLANS have been submitted by Bristol Rovers to build a new 21,700 all-seater stadium in South Gloucestershire.

An application has been handed in to South Gloucestershire Council for the £40million project on land next to the University of the West of England's (UWE) Frenchay Campus.

The club completed an extensive consultation process before submitting the plans today and hopes a decision could be made by planners in June.

Rovers chairman Nick Higgs said: "This is a hugely important step towards securing the future of Bristol Rovers and is an exciting milestone for everyone connected with the club.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for the football club and the South West as a whole, which will benefit so many people.

"We believe this new stadium will not only benefit Bristol Rovers and Bristol Rugby Club, but also the wider community.

"During the consultation process we have listened to the comments of local residents and businesses, and we have tried to incorporate solutions to the concerns raised within the final application.

"We feel we have submitted a very comprehensive planning application, which we hope will be viewed favourably by everyone involved."

In June last year, the club and UWE revealed their plans to build the new stadium. The move would be financed by selling Rovers’ current ground, the Memorial Stadium in Horfield, to Sainsbury's. Bristol Rugby Club, who are tenants at the Memorial Stadium, have also been offered the opportunity to move to the new stadium.

The bowl design would make use of the sloping ground to minimise the height of the structure and impact on the local skyline and reduce light and noise pollution.

Transport links include the A4174, Abbey Wood and Parkway train stations and close links to the motorways. There would also be a car park with space for 1,000 cars and coaches, with an extra 1,500 spaces available on the campus if necessary.

The stadium and its facilities would also be available for students and the local community for use on non-match days.

UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steve West, said: "Together with Bristol Rovers I hope we'll be able to produce this amazing facility for Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

"The stadium will be a terrific boost for the greater Bristol city region at several levels.

"It will deliver an excellent community facility, provide employment and raise aspirations of young people by bringing higher education and sport closer together."

Subject to planning approval, work could start early next year and Rovers could be playing in the new stadium during the 2014/15 season.