League One football club Bristol Rovers has announced that it has been given a resolution to grant planning permission by Bristol City Council for its South Stand development project.
Although the permission comes with certain conditions, Rovers hailed the decision as a “significant step forward” in its commitment to improving the safety and matchday experience at Memorial Stadium.
Rovers announced in April that the South Stand would undergo renovation work during the summer, and the new-look structure had been scheduled for completion ahead of the 2023-24 season. However, with no planning permission granted amid opposition from some local residents, the club was forced to start the season with the South Stand closed.
The club hopes that the new stand, which will house over 3,000 fans, will help modernise the stadium. Rovers also acknowledged that engagement with residents over the plans should have started earlier, and the club has committed to making this a regular occurrence moving forward.
Memorial Stadium has a capacity of 12,300. Last month, Rovers co-owner Hussain AlSaeed revealed that the club was no longer considering building a new stadium in the Fruit Market area of the city.
The Fruit Market site emerged as a possible location for a new stadium back in August 2019, but AlSaeed said the club’s focus will be on redeveloping Memorial Stadium, Rovers’ home since 1996, as no deal could be struck with the owners of the site.
Building work has already started on the new South Stand and there are hopes that it could be in operation as soon as December. The structure would need to pass safety tests before opening.