ASHTON VALE STADIUM SET FOR GREEN LIGHT

After months of setbacks and delays, Bristol City Football Club look set to begin work on a brand new 30,000-seater stadium.

The Council has confirmed that the legal challenge over the future development of Ashton Vale has been dropped paving the way for the Championship club to start building a new home to replace Ashton Gate. It has been a difficult journey for the Robins, as the council approved plans to divide the 42 acre site between a new stadium and a protected Town and Village Green last year.

Ashton Gate

But a judge granted a judicial review into the decision following concerns by one local resident, delaying matters further. Councillor Simon Cook, Deputy Leader of Bristol City Council and Executive Member for Sport and Culture said: "This is a win for local people, who will have 20 acres of open space on their doorstep protected in perpetuity. It is a win for the club, who can press on with the development of their new stadium.

"It is a win for the people of Bristol, who will see an excellent new facility, and many new jobs created. Most of all though, this is a victory for common sense.  Some people lately have been saying that the Council does not care about the future of sport in the city. They simply could not be more wrong, as I am ‘over the moon’ at this news,” he added.

It means City, who will sell the current Ashton Gate land to supermarket giant Sainsbury's, can now continue with the development.

Councillor Peter Abraham, who chaired the cross-party committee whose decision was until now being challenged in the Courts today commented: "Our cross-party Committee last year considered all the facts extremely carefully in this complex matter, taking all proper professional and legal advice. We were therefore disappointed when a local person applied to the High Court to challenge our decision.  I am therefore pleased today that the extensive legal costs that the taxpayer has been running up defending our properly taken decision are now coming to an end."

Posted on 20/02/2012