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Club News


11 September 2013

Nick shares his frustrations

Chairman Nick Higgs admits he is hugely frustrated with the application for a Judicial Review.

The application, on behalf of TRASHORFIELD Limited, questions the validity of the planning permission granted to J Sainsbury’s on the current Memorial Stadium site.

And although Nick is disappointed, he is not surprised by today’s announcement.

He said: “Deep down we were expecting this as the applicants made their intentions clear about four weeks ago when they lodged a pre-action protocol – which is the first step in this process.

“The process is such that the Judicial Review has now been registered with the High Court. Bristol City Council have indicated that they will make an application to expedite the process and a judge will then make a decision as to whether it should go to a full-scale review.

“We have taken considerable legal advice, but there is very little we as a club can do as the objection concerns the Council’s planning procedure.

“I believe that the council has acted diligently in everything that they have done, but we now have to wait until the process is completed.”

It is a massive blow for the club, who are almost ready to begin construction of the new stadium, but will now have to delay plans to wait for the outcome of the review.

Nick said: “It is a huge frustration for us, as we are desperate to get started.

“We are just weeks away from being able to start on site, although the pre-action protocol did slow us down slightly.

“This will obviously delay that start of our development, but at this moment in time it is impossible to say by how long, if it goes to a full review, it could take several months.

“It is going to cost the club a lot of money, as we are continuing to spend money all the time in preparation.

“However, the important thing is that we get the stadium in the end, and I still believe that is going to happen.”

And Nick is disappointed that the current Judicial Review process allows for these sorts of delays to happen.

He said: “The current Judicial Review process allows for a small minority of people to hold up major developments that can benefit the entire community.

“This group of individuals are holding up a project that will create hundreds of full and part time jobs; as well as construction jobs, social housing, a wonderful facility and the introduction of vital parking spaces for the Gloucester Road area.

“There is also the spin off of the stadium and all the wider benefits to the local community that it will bring.

“The Government is currently looking into the process as this sort of thing is happening across the whole country.”

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