Page last updated at 09:21 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

Marathon meet backs City stadium

Colin Sextone
Bristol City chief exeutive Colin Sextone says the approval is positive

Bristol City's plan for a £60m stadium on green belt land has won the support of planners following a marathon five-hour meeting.

The club wants to move from Ashton Gate to a new 30,000-seater stadium.

Council planners have ordered a revision of the club's Ashton Vale development which will see the removal of plans for housing on the site.

The club said this would leave a £5.5m shortfall but the "biggest hurdle" to the development had been negotiated.

The club's updated plans, which must take into account the imposed housing restrictions and further transport proposals, will go back before the council in six months.

Following Wednesday's meeting, Bristol City Council's Development Control Committee said it was minded to approve the stadium plan.

The money won't stack up and the transport won't stack up
Trish Young
Ashton Vale Heritage

Chief executive Colin Sextone said: "The biggest hurdle was they [councillors] are minded to approve a stadium in the green belt and we have got through that.

"We have a lot of work to do - but positive."

The new stadium will include a hotel, conference facilities and be capable of expanding to seat 40,000.

The development is opposed by some environmental groups who say endangered wildlife will be put under further pressure and transport links would not be capable of coping with the increased traffic.

Trish Young of Ashton Vale Heritage said: "We have looked at the detail and it isn't going to work.

"The money won't stack up and the transport won't stack up, so I think we will be back here in six month's time and it will just fall apart then."

The stadium relocation and land development project will cost £90m in total, and depends on the club finding a buyer for Ashton Gate.

Sainsbury's has signed an agreement to buy the land at Ashton Gate but its planning application will not be submitted until March 2010.

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