Date set for planning decision on new Bristol Rovers stadium
A DATE has been fixed for South Gloucestershire councillors to decide whether to grant planning permission for Bristol Rovers' new £40 million stadium on the northern fringe of the city.
They will meet at 2.30pm on Thursday, July 19, at the council offices in Thornbury to consider the issue.
Planning officers have yet to produce their report which will include recommendations on whether to grant or refuse the club's plans.
Rovers chairman Nick Higgs said: "We have strived hard to come up with a scheme that is both fantastic for sports fans in the south west and sympathetic to our neighbours and we are confident that we have now done that.
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"I am delighted that we now have a date to work towards, as we are now another step closer to securing the future of Bristol Rovers Football Club."
Mr Higgs said the club had now been told in writing that neighbour Hewlett Packard is withdrawing its objections to the plans.
The technology company had previously written to the council outlining its concerns about the scheme. But Mr Higgs said these had all been resolved after discussions with the firm. The councillors will be meeting on the same day as the club's Fun Day and a link is being organised so the outcome can be beamed to supporters at the Memorial Stadium.
A report by planning consultants last month showed that 90 per cent of people are in favour of the stadium – the majority of them not Rovers' fans.
A total of 1,187 people responded to a consultation exercise by the club, of which a majority of 1,070 were in support.
There were only 114 objections and three comments were neutral, the consultants' report said.
Of the 487 people in South Gloucestershire who submitted comments to the consultation survey, an overwhelming majority (84 per cent) were in favour and only 16 per cent against.
The majority of comments (876) were not Bristol Rovers' fans.
The club has drawn up plans for the UWE Stadium after creating a unique partnership with the University of the West of England.
The stadium would be built on scrubland owned by the university but a large car park would double up for staff and students and the stadium would be used by students for research studies, vocational training and sports.