Who Needs It?
July 12, 2015
Bristol Rovers supporters might be interested in reading this article.
With many thanks to Fran Stinchcombe and Derive Sports.
In June 2011, Bristol Rovers announced plans for a proposed stadium at the University of the West of England which would be ready for the 2013/14 season, The Memorial Stadium home to Rovers & Bristol Rugby at the time would be sold to Sainsbury’s to allow them to build a new store and fund the move.
Within 13 months planning permission for the stadium had been granted, part one was complete, however, the club would need to wait for the outcome of the Sainsbury’s application before the deal could be finalised and the building commence.
Following a delay in the planning process, the application for planning permission at the Memorial Stadium was granted in January 2013 and approval soon followed in March from Secretary of State Eric Pickles.
(TRASH Verb – to wreck or vandalise)
A further stumbling block was to be placed in front of the club in the form of local activists TRASHorfield, in November 2013 the group requested a judicial review into the planning application at the ground, believing councillors had been misled during the application process for the supermarket.
In 2014, the case was heard before the High Court and the pressure group had their case dismissed, weeks later the group confirmed they would not appeal. The sale of the Memorial Stadium was again thrown in doubt following a number of disagreements between the club and the supermarket, with Rovers believing Sainsbury’s did not want to go ahead with the sale.
While there were a number of other issues between the club, Sainsbury’s and the council, this came to a head in May 2015 as the two parties appeared before the High Court. Bristol Rovers argued that the supermarket felt the plans were no longer commercially viable and by attempting to pull the plug on their plans, breached the original agreement.
On Monday the 13th July, the whole saga will come to a close over four years later with Mrs. Justice Proudman due to give her judgment mid-morning, the club will be hoping for the court to rule in their favour.
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