Football club chairman frustrated at supermarket wait

Image caption,
The sale of the land would help fund Bristol City's move to a new stadium

The chairman of Bristol City Football Club has said he is "frustrated" with the wait over an application for a new supermarket at Ashton Gate.

The planned Sainsbury's, which would be built on the club's current ground, would help fund a move to a proposed new stadium at nearby Ashton Vale.

Club chairman Steve Lansdown said he hoped the council would see it was part of a "big project for the area".

But he admitted waiting for a decision was a "very frustrating process".

In July, councillors rejected the original plans for what would have been the South West's biggest supermarket before revised plans were submitted in November.

A decision over the new plan is expected next month.

Approval for a new stadium at Ashton Vale has already been granted but work has been held up after an independent planner recommended the area become a town green.

"You seem to take one step forward and then get kicked two back," Mr Lansdown said.

"I'm hoping when the planning committee sit and they review the facts that they'll see this is an enabling project for the stadium and a big project for the area.

"They'll see that a lot of work has gone into addressing the points that they raised when they turned the application down previously."

A study by property consultancy GVA, which was commissioned by the city council, found the negative retail impact on nearby Bedminster of the store would outweigh any benefits.

However, Sainsbury's said the report did not take into account benefits of the proposal such as investment, job opportunities and regeneration. A spokesman said the store was still confident of getting planning permission.

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