sport

New stadium for Bristol Rovers

Bristol Rovers have been given the green light to build a new stadium.

Local councillors voted on Tuesday to approve a proposal by Sainsbury's to redevelop the Memorial Stadium site.

The planning committee voted in favour of the proposal and this allows Rovers to press ahead with building the UWE Stadium in Frenchay.

The decision - which the club claims will give Bristol a much-needed international class stadium - will now be referred to the Secretary of State, who now has 21 days to comment on the scheme.

At the meeting Rovers chairman Nick Higgs said: "We are here this evening to consider the Sainsbury's mixed use application. I would like to draw your attention to the bigger picture and the importance of saying yes to this proposal.

"The application in front of members tonight provides Bristol with the opportunity to build an international sports stadium that can compete with cities such as Cardiff, Swansea and Reading, to whom we are consistently missing out on hosting national events.

"It could also help Bristol Rovers to spring up to top flight football, and bring a huge investment to Bristol.

"The new stadium is designed to FIFA and International Rugby standards, giving a capability to host international matches. This would bring sporting recognition to the region, with the additional revenue and business opportunities that would follow."

The design of the new stadium is with a 21,700 capacity, but it could be increased to 26,000 and then again to 35,000 if it is needed.