Page last updated at 10:45 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009

Football club's fury at road plan

Colin Sexstone
Colin Sexstone says the club will continue to fight for the new stadium

The chief executive of Bristol City FC has said he is "seething" at a council decision to reject planning permission for an access road to the new stadium.

Colin Sexstone said he was furious at North Somerset Council's decision to go against its own officers' report.

He told the club's website he believed the meeting was "clearly biased" and decisions had been agreed beforehand.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said the matter would now go to committee for a final decision in January.

I don't have to know about football but I can only tell you what some fans have said
Councillor Bob Cook

Wednesday's meeting took place to discuss an application for a 50-metre access road to the new stadium - and not the stadium itself.

Mr Sextone told the BBC: "The final straw was when he [planning chairman Bob Cook] said 'of course I've never watched a football game but my friends tell me Bristol City have no chance of making the Premier League and they certainly don't need a stadium above 15,000 seats'.

"What on earth has that got to do with this planning application?" said Mr Sextone.

Councillor Cook is the Conservative member for Wraxall & Long Ashton, where some residents fear they would be affected by parking issues if the stadium plan went ahead.

World Cup centrepiece

Mr Cook told the BBC: "Their own fans are saying 'we don't need a new stadium'.

"I don't have to know about football but I can only tell you what some fans have said."

In November Bristol City's plan for a £65m stadium on green belt land won the support of Bristol City Council planners following a marathon five-hour meeting.

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

Following the meeting on 4 November, Bristol City Council's Development Control Committee said it was "minded to approve" the stadium plan

Mr Sexstone said the club would continue to fight for the stadium and asked for the support of fans.

The proposed stadium would also be the centrepiece of the city's bid to host World Cup games in 2018.

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