Bristol City Football Club are recovering and moving forward with their plans after “seven years of hell”, scrapping their move to an Ashton Vale site and instead opting for a £40m refurbishment, paying close attention to local interest. However Bristol Rovers are holding out for the big prize.
The plans for the ‘UWE’ Stadium are still moving forward but with complications, that the club chairman Nick Higgs revealed has placed the club “back where they were last autumn before the judicial reviews”
Sainsbury’s submitted plans for the old stadium site, the Memorial Ground, but this was met by protests launched by TRASHorfeild, supported by Green Party Leader Daniella Radice. After action from the protest group was unsuccessful an individual attempt to list the grounds with English heritage as a war memorial also failed.
The group fought against loss of business in Gloucester Road and increased traffic congestion; however they have since withdrawn opposition after the loss of two judicial reviews.
Mr Higgs commented “It is extremely frustrating that these small minority groups have been able to have such a massive impact on this project and associated projects that will bring so many benefits to the local area.”
The club have assured that the recent relegation will not have an effect on the move as the plans are to be funded privately and by the sale of the Memorial Stadium grounds.
If all moves go to plan, the club will be using this stadium by the start of the 2015/16 season.
Bristol Rovers are upping the capacity to 21,700 and adding a range of supported facilities open to UWE students and is included as part of the “New Campus Masterplan”.
By Belinda George