Bristol Rovers received good news on Thursday when their plans for the construction of a new stadium got approved by the South Gloucestershire Council.
Councillors voted 12-1 in favour of the proposed 21,700-seater. In a reaction the Rovers called the decision “fantastic news for Gasheads everywhere who were glued to twitter as the results came in.”
During the final meeting chairman Nick Higgs had focused on being a good neighbour and work with the community:
We have undertaken extensive consultations and incorporated numerous design changes throughout this time, after listening to the views of local residents, local businesses and South Gloucestershire Council and Highways Departments.
Where ever possible we have taken on board suggestions and recommendations in an effort to satisfy concerns of all parties and adjusted our proposals accordingly.
It would be our wish to be a good neighbour and we will continue to work with the local community and businesses to provide a facility which we can all be proud of, to the overall benefit of the region.
He furthermore compared the new stadium with those of Brighton, Reading, and Swansea, who all achieved considerable successes after the construction of a new stadium. The Rovers hope that their new home will be the necessary push toward fulfilling the club’s ambitions of playing in the Championship.
The new bowl-shaped stadium is to be built on a site north of the city of Bristol on the University of the West of England (UWE) campus, hence the working name UWE Stadium.
There is one caveat though, which is that the Rovers still need to get permission for the redevelopment of the site of the current Memorial Stadium. The club hopes to sell the site to Sainsbury’s, who will in turn demolish the stadium and replace it with a supermarket. The redevelopment is necessary for the financing of the new stadium.
A decision on these plans is expected for September. If all goes well, Bristol Rovers hopes to move into their new home in the summer of 2014.