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Page last updated at 11:18 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 12:18 UK

Rovers get go-ahead for stadium

Memorial Stadium plans
The new Memorial Stadium will hold 18,500 people

Bristol Rovers have been granted permission to redevelop the club's Memorial Stadium, 23 years after they began their search for a new ground.

The city council has approved plans for an 18,500 seater stadium, student flats, a hotel and gym which will be shared with Bristol Rugby.

"The football club is delighted with the decision," Rovers chairman Ron Craig told BBC Radio Bristol.

"It's all put to bed now and we can get on with taking the club forward."

He added: "There's always a little bit of scepticism about whether the scheme is going ahead but everything will go full-bore from now."

Rovers had received planning permission last year for their original scheme to redevelop the Memorial Ground, but had to re-submit the revised project to the city planning authorities after deciding to reduce the scale of the operation.

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The cost of the redevelopment will be met by incorporating 99 student flats into the new stadium as well as a 100-room hotel, a small supermarket and a gym.

The club says the alterations to the original plans were minor, involving increasing the height of the two towers at the north end of the ground by almost two metres.

For both Rovers and Bristol Rugby, the redevelopment will mean a major upheaval and the prospect of spending two seasons playing outside the city.

Bristol Rovers did have an agreement to share with Cheltenham Town before the project was delayed but are now also in discussion with both Swindon Town and Yeovil Town about the possibility of playing at either of their grounds.

Bristol Rugby have been in talks with several clubs. Problems over access has ruled out a move to Clifton Rugby Club but talks are underway to share with Newport in Wales.

Playing some games at Bristol City's Ashton Gate ground is still a possibility but may depend on whether City are promoted to the Premier League.


see also
Revised stadium is given approval
03 Apr 08 |  Bristol/Somerset
Bristol will survive move - Hill
28 Mar 08 |  Bristol
Bristol could make Newport home
21 Mar 08 |  NG Dragons
Cheltenham in need of Rovers rent
19 Mar 08 |  Cheltenham Town
Whaddon Road groundshare in doubt
18 Mar 08 |  Bristol Rovers
Trollope boosted by FA Cup cash
11 Mar 08 |  Bristol Rovers
Football and rugby stay in city
17 Aug 07 |  Bristol/Somerset
Rovers move ground for home games
05 Jun 07 |  Bristol/Somerset
Cheltenham to be Rovers' new home
05 Jun 07 |  Bristol/Somerset
Rovers confirm Cheltenham switch
05 Jun 07 |  Bristol Rovers
Decision due for Rovers' new home
29 May 07 |  Bristol/Somerset
Rovers set for ground share call
17 Apr 07 |  Bristol Rovers
Memorial Stadium given go-ahead
18 Jan 07 |  Bristol/Somerset


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