English League Two football club Forest Green Rovers has been granted outline planning permission for a new 5,000-seat wooden stadium.
The club’s plans were initially rejected by Stroud District Council in June, with chairman Dale Vince labelling the verdict as “farcical” at the time. In August, the club resubmitted the proposal to local planners and the council’s planning committee has now voted in favour of the designs.
Six members of the planning committee voted in favour, with four against. The Eco Park stadium has been designed by Zaha Hadid and would be located on Junction 13 of the M5.
The complex would feature landscaped parking and two pitches, one of which would be a 4G playing surface and opened up to the local community.
Vince said the “right decision” has been made, adding that the best-case scenario would be for the stadium to come to fruition in at least three years.
The plans were initially rejected amid concerns over noise and pollution and landscaping, as well as a lack of community benefit.
Forest Green has played homes games at the 5,100-capacity The New Lawn since 2006. The club selected Zaha Hadid Architects to design the new stadium in November 2016, when it was still a non-league outfit, and has spent years working on a project that ties in with its eco-friendly business model.
Image: Zaha Hadid Architects