Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has won permission for the world’s first timber football stadium in Gloucestershire at a second attempt
Forest Green Rovers Football Club’s 5,000-seat stadium was approved by Stroud District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (18 December).
In June, the same planning committee refused the plans, citing noise, traffic and impact on the environment. The proposals were subsequently altered.
Changes include swapping one grass pitch to an all-weather pitch with access to local clubs, a revised landscaping strategy, increased matchday transport and clarifications regarding noise.
The application also includes landscaped parking and two pitches, one a 4G playing surface with access for the local community.
Zaha Hadid Architects won a competition in 2016 to design a sustainable home for the now League Two side, which is the world’s first UN-certified carbon-neutral football club.
The club, which serves vegan food and is powered by renewable energy, is chaired by environmentalist Dale Vince, owner of green energy firm Ecotricity.
It is claimed the practice’s proposals would have created the first football stadium in the world to be built entirely from wood.
Every seat had been calculated to provide unrestricted sightlines to the entire field of play, maximising matchday atmosphere.
Forest Green Rovers, formerly known as Stroud FC, has been based at the New Lawn stadium in Nailsworth since 2006.
Following Vince’s acquisition of the club at the start of this decade, the venue received a flurry of green upgrades including solar panels, a solar-powered robot grass mower and the world’s first organic football pitch.
Vince said, when choosing the Zaha Hadid Architects proposals three years ago: ‘The really standout thing about this stadium is that it’s going to be entirely made of wood – the first time that will have been done anywhere in the world.
‘The importance of using wood is not only that it’s a naturally occurring material, it has very low carbon content – about as low as it gets for a building material.
‘And when you bear in mind that around three-quarters of the lifetime carbon impact of any stadium comes from its building materials, you can see why that’s so important, and it’s why our new stadium will have the lowest carbon content of any stadium in the world.’