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Populous’ stadium faces village green obstacle

Populous’ £92 million stadium project for Bristol City Football Club (FC) could be delayed by attempts to make the site a protected village green

Following a public inquiry with objections from more than 200 residents an independent inspector claimed the 17 hectare site at Ashton Vale, Bristol, met the legal requirements for official village green protection.

The inspector’s report will go to the Bristol City Council’s public rights of way and greens committee and, if approved, would halt development on the site.

The deputy leader of the council, Simon Cook, voiced shock at the decision. He said: ‘The new stadium, a possible arena, redevelopment of Ashton Gate and Bristol’s World Cup Host City status are at serious risk.

‘This amounts to around £150 million worth of investment, promising at least 1,000 extra full and part-time jobs and thousands of construction jobs.’

However Bristol City FC is determined to press ahead with the 30,000-seat stadium scheme.

Colin Sexstone, the club’s chief executive, said: ‘We are naturally disappointed to hear about the report. We always knew that prizes on the scale of a new regional stadium and a World Cup were never going to fall into our lap - the most ambitious and visionary projects never do - but we remain utterly determined to get there.’

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