Gloucestershire

Forest Green Rovers' wooden stadium plan rejected

New FGR stadium Image copyright Zaha Hadid Architects
Image caption The football stadium was planned to be made entirely from wood in order to be sustainable

Forest Green Rovers have been refused permission to build a 5,000-seat wooden stadium.

Councillors voted against the proposal on Wednesday by a majority of three, citing concerns over noise, traffic and the impact on the landscape.

The football stadium near Stroud would have also included a 1,700-space car park and two grass training pitches

Club chairman Dale Vince said: "I might appeal but... I wonder if it's worth the effort."

"How hard should I have to try to bring some progress and create jobs?"

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Media captionThe view from the centre spot of the proposed Forest Green Rovers stadium

The new "eco-friendly" stadium was planned for construction near junction 13 of the M5.

The League Two side is one of only 15 organisations from around the world to win a United Nations Momentum for Change climate action award.

Mr Vince had hoped the "sustainable stadium", designed by Zaha Hadid, would allow his team to aim for promotion, and said it would bring employment and investment opportunities to Stroud.

'Stunning design'

But councillors raised concerns about noise impact for students at nearby William Morris College, which provides education for students with learning disabilities.

"It's a stunning design, and I would love to see it in the Stroud district, but on balance it does go against our Local Development Plan (LDP)," said district councillor Haydn Jones.

The LDP was proposed in 2015 and guides planning policy until 2031. A stadium was not suggested when the policy was made.

Mr Vince said it was a "farcical moment".

"The reasons for rejections were tenuous at best, councillors had to take a five minute recess to decide why to turn it down.

"If I do appeal, it will be an independent and far more professional decision, and I see little chance of losing."

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