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Bristol City's Stadium Plans Dealt A Major Blow

Mon 2nd Apr 2012 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Bristol City Football Club have been dealt another blow to their hopes of building a new 30,000-seater stadium at Ashton Vale.

A High Court judge has ruled that campaigners who challenged Bristol City Council’s decision not to declare the entire site as town green will be allowed to challenge that decision in a full hearing.

A joint statement released by the club and Vence LLP read; “We are extremely disappointed by the court’s decision to allow Judicial Review proceedings of Bristol City Council’s Public Rights of Way Committee decision of June 16th 2011 to continue.”

The club won full planning permission in 2009, but building work has been hold after a decision in 2010 by an independent inspector that the Ashton Vale site should become a town green. Although this decision was later rejected by Bristol City Council allowing part of the site to be used for the stadium, a High Court judge has now ruled there should be a judicial review into the council's decision.

Speaking of the decision, Bristol City chief executive Guy Price, said: "Whilst I am deeply disappointed by the latest decision, I am determined, along with the Board, to focus every resource at my disposal on what is most important for Bristol City Football Club’s future.

"As chief executive, I cannot allow the ongoing uncertainty of the stadium plans to distract us from the day-to-day running of the club. I now expect everyone at the club to focus solely on the task-in-hand."

The club will now look at its options following this decision and with Vence LLP, will work to implement existing planning permissions on the site, and ultimately to apply to develop the whole site free from any constraints or limitations implied by Town and Village Green status.

Stephen Lansdown, majority shareholder of Bristol City Holdings Limited and partner of Vence LLP said: "The judge’s decision is just another illustration of the anti-business and anti-capital-generating stance now infecting the UK and in particular Bristol.

“Vence LLP will proceed with action to release the whole site from Town and Village Green registration, including that part of the site which has previously been registered as TVG, and which had been earmarked to remain as open fields and set aside as a community wildlife and wetlands zone.

"We are committed to bringing a regional stadium to the West Country, together with the economic growth and jobs that such a project would provide. There is no set time limit or target date for achieving this."

Bristol City will now concentrate on developing its Academy as a ‘category 2’ academy under the Premier League’s new Elite Player Performance Plan, building first-class training facilities, sharpening its commercial activities and supporting the work of the Bristol City Community Trust.

by: Aaron Gourley

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If you have any football business related news stories you’d like to share then please contact us – agourley@fcbusiness.co.uk or ryan@fcbusiness.co.uk

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