The decision was made by the council of Stroud District. The committee voted against the construction of the Forest Green Rovers Football Club that would become a 5000-seat stadium.
Councilors rejected the project by 7 to 4 votes. The disputants stated that the project will not provide community benefits, will affect the landscape of the region and will impact the transport links. “I think it (the plan) is stunning but we need to balance the benefits of that development against the potential costs. On balance I thought it had greater costs than benefits to the local community and road network,” Haydn Jones, one of the councilors, said.
Apart from the stadium, the project also included a business park that would use green technology, new training pitches and a sports science facility.
Back in 2016, Zaha Hadid Architects won a competition to design the new stadium of the team that participates in English Football League Two. The firm is also designing one stadium for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Designers stated that the timber stadium would provide an eco-friendly solution.
The architecture firm is chaired by Dale Vince who is also the owner of Ecotricity, a company that develops new sources of green energy. Mr. Vince was devastated by the decision of the council. "The fans will be disappointed and devastated. And not just the fans. If you go around the district of Stroud, a lot of people will be disappointed. Maybe we will appeal but that is another year of my life. How hard should I have to try to bring some progress? I do wonder if it is worth the effort."
Forest Green Rovers is housed in the New Lawn stadium in Nailsworth since 2006.