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Page last updated at 07:09 GMT, Friday, 8 October 2010 08:09 UK
Ashton Vale, the 2018 World Cup and supermarkets

Ashton Vale (left), proposed stadium (right)
The club wants to build a new stadium on greenbelt land at Ashton Vale (left)

Bristol City Football Club first announced plans for a new stadium in November 2007, hoping it could host World Cup matches.

Almost three years on, the stadium plan hangs in the balance because of a town green application made by people who live nearby.

They say the proposed site of the new ground is valuable community land.

Plans for a supermarket to be built on the club's current ground, which would part-finance a new stadium, have also been blighted with problems.

Tesco initially wanted to build a store at Ashton Gate but pulled out, then an application for a Sainsbury's supermarket was rejected.

Bristol's World Cup bid has been shortlisted but the costs of related activities have cost the council more than £700,000.

The council says the tournament would bring jobs and extra visitors to the city.

Here, we look back on the history of the bid for a new stadium and Bristol's attempt to bring World Cup games here.

November 2007

Bristol City announces plans to move to a purpose-built stadium which could host World Cup 2018 matches. They want planning permission in place for 2009 and to be able to relocate to the stadium in 2011/12.

January 2008

Ashton Vale is the proposed site for Bristol City's new stadium with the club saying it wants to sell Ashton Gate for housing.

October 2008

Exhibitions are mounted at Ashton Gate and Long Ashton and the public is invited to have their say on a potential new stadium.

Bristol City Council is informed that a town green application is to be made by a group of Ashton Vale residents.

November 2008

Plans for the club's new Ashton Vale stadium go on show.

April 2009

Bristol City chairman Steve Lansdown sells shares in his firm, Hargreaves Lansdown, to help backroll the bid for a new stadium at Ashton Vale.

June 2009

Bristol confirms it will bid to become a World Cup host city, saying it wanted the proposed Ashton Vale stadium to be the centrepiece of the attempt.

July 2009

Plans for the new stadium at Ashton Vale are submitted to Bristol City Council. The club says it will cost £65m and will accommodate 30,000 fans.

A delegation from the Football Association travels to Bristol to assess the council-backed plans to host World Cup matches which hinge on Ashton Vale going ahead.

August 2009

A delegation from Bristol visits twin city Hannover , which hosted games during the 2006 and 1974 World Cups.

Meanwhile, club chairman Steve Lansdown says he is not worried by a rival West Country bid for World Cup matches from Plymouth. He says it will mean Bristol City Council will have to put enough resources in to win.

September 2009

Opponents to plans for a Tesco supermarket at Ashton Gate, including traders from Bedminster, meet.

October 2009

An application for town green status at Ashton Vale is submitted by residents who are opposed to the stadium plan.

Planners recommend stadium plans at Ashton Vale are approved - later that month the city council backs that decision.

Tesco pulls out of plans to build a supermarket at Ashton Gate but Sainsbury's - who already have a store nearby - step into the breach.

Avon Wildlife Trust strongly criticises plans for a stadium at Ashton Vale saying bats, otters, wading birds and water voles would all be at risk.

November 2009

Plans for an arena at Ashton Vale come to light with rival firms vying to build the venue alongside the proposed Ashton Vale stadium.

Bristol City Council is told that hosting World Cup matches could bring a £250m boost to the local economy as Bristol makes the case for matches from the 2018 tournament.

December 2009

Bristol wins through to the shortlist of cities which could host World Cup matches in 2018 - if England win the games.

Meanwhile, Bristol City's chief executive claims a meeting at North Somerset Council is "clearly biased" as plans for an access road are blocked.

January 2010

Sainsbury's plans for Ashton Gate are revealed . The club needs to sell the old ground to fund its move to a purpose-built stadium at nearby Ashton Vale.

March 2010

The government decides not to "call in" Bristol City's plans for a stadium at Ashton Vale.

May 2010

North Somerset Council give the go-ahead to an access road to the stadium.

An inquiry into whether Ashton Vale should be granted town green status opens at Council House on College Green.

June 2010

Bristol City Council announces it will host a big screen at Queen Square - at a reported cost of £80,000 - in a bid to get some practice running fan parks should the city stage games in the 2018 World Cup.

But, trouble at the opening game - England v USA - leads to later games being ticketed and a ban on alcoholic drinks.

July 2010

Plans for a Sainsbury's supermarket at Ashton Gate are vetoed by the city council at a four-hour meeting.

Fans of Bristol City march to show their anger at the council's decision to turn down plans for the store which would have part-financed the move to Ashton Vale.

Meanwhile, Bristol City Council says it is ready to sign a "statement of intent" for an arena at Ashton Vale.

August 2010

The cost of the World Cup 2010 in Queen Square big screen is revealed as £270,000 - some three times over budget.

September 2010

A planning inquiry recommends that Ashton Vale be declared a town green with the final decision resting with Bristol City Council.

The club's chairman, Steve Lansdown, makes a passionate appeal to fans to help save the stadium plan.

Revised plans for a Sainsbury's supermarket at Ashton Gate are revealed after the original plans were turned down two months before.

Correction 12 November 2010: This story has been amended since it was first published to accurately reflect the timing of the town green application.

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