Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 15:42 UK

Town green status could halt Bristol City stadium plans

An application that could prevent Bristol City's proposed £92m stadium from being built has been made.

About 200 residents are trying to have part of the site at Ashton Vale declared a "town green".

The status would prevent new development on the 42-acre site and put an end to the possibility of Bristol hosting World Cup games in 2018.

The residents have to prove the site has been freely used for recreational purposes for 20 years or more.

Land can be registered as a town or village green under the Inclosure Act 1857 and Commons Act 1876.

Hurdles overcome

An inquiry opened on Monday at the council house on College Green, overseen by an independent inspector.

If the inspector finds for the residents, councillors must decide whether to award town green status.

The land is owned by Vence LLP and Ashton Gate Project LLP, which are understood to oppose the application.

A Bristol City FC spokesman said the club was not making any comment on the matter.

Plans for the new stadium have already overcome several hurdles.

The original proposals had to be modified, and the site needed government approval as it was on greenbelt land.

Permission for an access road remains unresolved.

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