An official planning application to turn Bristol Rovers’ Memorial Stadium into a Sainsbury’s supermarket has been submitted, it emerged last night.
Sainsbury’s plans at the Memorial Stadium – home to Bristol Rovers and Bristol Rugby – include a 50,000 sq ft store, up to five small retail units and a ‘home zone’ with 68 homes ranging from three-bedroom town houses to flats. The scheme would create around 350 jobs.
Bristol Rovers want to move to a new £40million, 20,000-seat stadium on UWE’s campus at Frenchay. Selling the Memorial Stadium, which the football club owns, to Sainsbury’s would fund this move.
A spokesman for Sainsbury’s told the BBC it had made changes to initial proposals following a consultation in January.
The changes include a ban on vehicle access in Alton Road, extra commercial units being replaced by an open space and the height of apartments being reduced from four to three storeys.
The plans have come under fire from local campaigners, who claim the “callous” move would “divide communities and split friendships”.
Green Party campaigners have vowed to fight the plans, saying the supermarket was not needed or wanted, and would “suck the life out of Gloucester Road”.
The plans will be available to view at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday and are expected to be published officially next week on the Bristol City Council website.
Meanwhile, Bristol Rovers have thanked fans who registered their support for the proposed new stadium with South Gloucestershire Council.
The club said it was “overwhelmed” with the level of support the plans have received.