Bristol Rovers is today one step closer to a prompt outcome in its dispute with Sainsbury’s over the sale of the Memorial Stadium, Bristol. The sale will fund the development of a new stadium at land next to the University of the West of England.
The Club issued a claim against Sainsbury’s in December seeking court orders clearing the way for the sale of the stadium. This followed the Club’s successful planning application removing the final planning hurdles to the development of the stadium site by Sainsbury’s.
Sainsbury’s is nevertheless refusing to complete the purchase, instead claiming that it is not bound by the planning permission and that this was not obtained in time under the terms of its contract with the Club.
The Club sought an order from the court that the claims should be heard as soon as possible, given the importance of the new stadium scheme to the Club, UWE and to North Bristol. At a hearing in the High Court yesterday, Mr Justice Roth agreed with the club’s argument and found that the case was sufficiently urgent that it should be the subject of an accelerated trial. The Judge therefore ordered that the claims should be heard no later than 14 May 2015.
The Club remains confident that its claim against Sainsbury’s will succeed and therefore anticipates that its stadium development and relocation plan should be back on track by July 2015.
No further comment will be made by the club at this time.