Forest Green Rovers' wooden stadium clears planning hurdle

Image source, Zaha Hadid Architects
Image caption,
Forest Green Rovers plan to build the wooden stadium next to junction 13 of the M5

Plans to build an "iconic" wooden football stadium are set to go ahead after the government backed the decision to grant planning consent.

The decision to allow a new stadium for Forest Green Rovers, made in December 2019, will not be "called-in" for further investigation.

Stroud District Council approved the outline plans for the stadium.

The club's chairman, Dale Vince, said the decision not to hold a planning inquiry was "great news".

He said: "We are pleased we have cleared this hurdle.

"It was a battle nobody needed to have; neither us nor the council needed to go to a public inquiry over this

"This is the first and biggest hurdle cleared - we've got now outline planning permission.

"The detailed design work that we have to do will need planning permission."

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In June 2019, the district council rejected plans for the proposed stadium amid concerns over noise, traffic, and the impact on landscape - views shared by Eastington Parish Council.

Forest Green Rovers then submitted a modified application and appealed against the original decision.

First match

The second application was given outline planning permission in December. However, Stroud's Conservative MP, Siobhan Baillie, then called for an "independent assessment".

Critics of the scheme for the stadium next to junction 13 of the M5 say it is not part of the local plan and the club's current home in Nailsworth will suffer economically.

It would take two years to complete the stadium, according to the architects.

Mr Vince said the earliest possible opportunity for a match there would be "three years from now".

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