Bristol Rovers can begin work on a new stadium after permission was granted for supermarket chain Sainsbury's to build a new shop on the site of the club's current home.

City councillors made the decision to allow the redevelopment of the Memorial Stadium, where the League 2 Pirates have played their matches since 1996, and that gave the club the green light to build a new £40million venue at Stoke Gifford.

The club will now await the final ruling from the Secretary of State, but that is expect to be a formality.

After the meeting at City Hall, club chairman Nick Higgs said: "This is the biggest day in the club's history. Now we can move ahead with the new stadium and start work in the summer.

"It's going to mean a tremendous amount of investment for the local economy as well as many jobs.

"This is a big decision – not just for Bristol but the region as a whole."

Rovers' new home, which was given planning permission last year by South Gloucestershire councillors, will have a capacity of 21,700 and will be built on land owned by the University of the West of England.

Posted on 17/01/2013