Rovers take Sainsbury’s to High Court

February 02 2015

BRISTOL Rovers will be taking supermarket chain Sainsbury's to High Court in a bid to secure their dream stadium in Frenchay, it has been announced.

BRISTOL Rovers will be taking supermarket chain Sainsbury's to High Court in a bid to secure their dream stadium in Frenchay, it has been announced.

The news has come following months of uncertainty over whether Sainsbury's is committed to developing a supermarket at the Memorial Ground in Horfield.

Rovers needs to sell the ground to Sainsbury's in order to fund a new 21,000-seater stadium in north Bristol.

An application was submitted by Rovers last year to extend the supermarket's delivery hours from 5am to midnight, after Sainsbury's announced the withdrawal of large-scale projects across the country.

It was reported that Sainsbury's told the football club that building a store on the Memorial Ground is only justifiable if delivery hours are extended.

The application was accepted by Bristol City Council, giving anti-supermarket campaigners TRASH "little faith" in the authority's planning system.

A Rovers spokesperson said: "It is with regret that we have felt it necessary to revert to High Court action to complete our contract with Sainsbury’s, but it was felt that this course of action was necessary to allow us to invest in our new stadium at UWE.

"In view of the impeding legal action, we regret that we will be unable to comment further."

A Sainsbury's spokesperson told the Bishopston Voice: "We are unable to comment any further due to ongoing legal action between Bristol Rovers Football Club and Sainsbury’s.

"Once the legal action has concluded, we will be in a position to comment more fully and will update you and other stakeholders interested in the site."

A spokesperson from TRASH said: "All the indications are that Sainsbury's will not be building a superstore on the site, but have signed a contract to buy it. Just what will happen to the Memorial Ground is unknown.

"We are hopeful that a satisfactory outcome for the ground will be found, and one which will preserve the site for sport and recreation for future generations, as was intended by its founders a century ago.

"There must be a concerted joined-up effort to redevelop the ground to bring about a win-win-win situation. Rovers, Bristol City Council and Sainsbury's should welcome this opportunity to achieve something so much better now that we are all afforded a second chance."