ASHTON VALE DECISION WITHIN A MONTH

Bristol City Football Club has welcomed the news that a decision on their proposed new stadium at Ashton Vale will be made within a month.

At a meeting yesterday following the local elections, the Council said it will now have to make a final decision based on the Town and Village Green report in the next month. The club granted planning permission for a new 30,000-seater stadium in October 2009 but local residents submitted an application for the site to become a town green earlier that month.

Since then talks, meetings and even mediation has failed to reach an amicable conclusion leaving the council to make the final decision. If the council decides to back the application for a town green it would effectively over-ride the planning permission and mean the football club could not build on Ashton Vale.

Reacting to the news, club executive director Guy Price told bcfc.co.uk: "It is Bristol City Council who has to make the final decision on whether the land that is earmarked for a new regional stadium. So it is encouraging to hear that they will make a decision soon. I welcome their commitment to make a decision, as that will at least give us and other investors certainty and enable us to plan accordingly."

The next full council meeting is on 21 June but it is thought they may convene earlier to reach a decision.

"Bristol cannot afford to miss out on the massive injection of confidence and belief that the stadium project will deliver - jobs, investment, community benefits, apprenticeships, reputation, increased visitor numbers, all of which are at a premium at this current time," added Price. "We, along with many other potential investors in the city, will watch and await the Council's decision with interest."

Whatever the final ruling the losing side has the chance to challenge the decision through a judicial review in the High Court which could see the episode drag on further leaving the club to extend its current home stay at Ashton Gate.

Posted on 18/05/2011