Town green row goes back to first inspector
THE fate of Bristol City's proposed new stadium at Ashton Vale is now back in the hands of the woman who gave the whole site town green status.
The city council sensationally dropped its defence over a legal challenge in May which effectively saw the saga return to square one.
Now the council has confirmed that it is referring the issue back to barrister Ross Crail who held a public inquiry two years ago into the whole site.
Ms Crail, an expert in town green legislation, recommended that the whole 42-acre site should be registered as a town green and effectively ruled out any development on the land.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
This was a major blow to City's hopes of building their new £92-million stadium.
But the council's public rights of way committee decided in June last year to register only part of the land – which opened the door for the club to build its new stadium on the site of a former landfill site.
Campaigners mounted a legal challenge against the decision which led to hearings in the High Court in London.
But the council eventually decided to withdraw and save taxpayers' money after being advised that they had no hope of winning.
It will now be up to Ms Crail to decide how to proceed and whether there should be a second public inquiry.
A council spokesman said: "It will be for Ms Crail in the first instance, to review the matter as it stands, and to take a view as to the most appropriate process for taking things forward, before ultimately producing a report and recommendation for the Council's Public Rights of Way and Greens Committee to make the final decision on registration (or not) of those disputed parts of the Ashton Vale site, based on her recommendation.
"We would anticipate that Ms Crail will have most likely carried out her initial review of the position by the end of August and decided how to take the matter forward thereafter.
"A statement in relation to the fuller anticipated timetable and the process to be followed will therefore be released in due course."
A spokesman for the club said: "We await the outcome of this process. As we have previously stated, we do not feel it necessary to comment further."