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Gloucestershire Business News

Forest Green Rovers stadium plans recommended for approval

The plans for Forest Green Rovers' new 5,000 capacity stadium have been recommended for approval by council planners.

Outline planning permission will now be decided by Stroud District Council's development control committee a week today, on Wednesday, June 12.

If approved, work can then begin on the finer details of the plan that will see Rovers leave Nailsworth and move 7.5 miles north west to land close to Junction 13 of the M5 motorway.

The plans for the new stadium at Junction 13 of the M5 designed by Zaha Hadid

The stadium would be built on land to the north of the A419 - a different location to when the scheme was first revealed in January 2016.

Then, the club's owner, Ecotricity tycoon Dale Vince submitted proposals for a sports complex, green technology hub and nature conservation area on land owned by Ecotricity surrounding junction 13.


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Under the original plan the land to the north of the A419 would have been transformed into employment land for up to 4470 jobs.

The south side of the A419 would have been home to the football ground and a parcel of land to the west of junction 13 was earmarked for a nature conservation area.

The plans were changed in December 2017 to the current scheme which is for the stadium, a car park for 1,700 car parking spaces and a new training base for the League Two club.

Rovers have already commissioned renowned architects Zaha Hadid to design the 5,000 stadium, which will be the world's first stadium to be built entirely from wood.

According to a letter sent by Rovers chairman Dale Vince to Stroud planners in February, the club have outgrown their home at the top of Spring Hill in Nailsworth.

He said: "Clearly the club have not taken the decision lightly as we have had a long and established relationship with Nailsworth.

"But in order to enable the development and progression of the club, as well as the growth of football and other sports in Stroud district, the decision has been made to move to Junction 13 and created a land mark (sic) stadium."

The new home will initially seat 5,000 spectators in continuous stands around all sides of the pitch.

According to Mr Vince's letter, "the new stadium could with no structural changes be upgraded to seat 10,000 fans thereby future proofing the move, while allowing us to operate in a more suitable sized stadium."

It adds that: "Increasing the capacity will of course require a new planning application, but the stadium and its environs have been designed to accommodate this growth from the outset."

If the outline plans are approved by the council's development control committee at the meeting next week, the club will submit full plans that include the finite details of the scheme.

This afternoon, Stroud District Council published the agenda for the June 12 meeting, at which Rovers' plans are the only item up for discussion.

In the associated documents the recommendation of the planners is to grand permission for the scheme.

The meeting will take place in the council chamber at Ebley Mill at 6pm on Wednesday, June 12.

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