Stadium petition will go to No 10

February 28 2014

PRIME Minister David Cameron will be given the petition backing Bristol Rovers’ move to get a new stadium, which now has nearly 13,000 signatures.

PRIME Minister David Cameron will be given the petition backing Bristol Rovers’ move to get a new stadium, which now has nearly 13,000 signatures.
The Bristol’s Not Trash petition, set up by Bristol North West MP Charlotte Leslie, is in response to the legal challenge being made by TRASHorfield - a campaign group opposing the development of a new Sainsbury's at the Memorial Stadium site.
Rovers needs to sell the ground to the supermarket in order for the club to build a new £40m, 20,000-seater stadium at Stoke Gifford.
This month, a busload of Rovers fans, along with club chairman Nick Higgs, will join Ms Leslie at 10 Downing Street to present the petition.
Last year, Mr Cameron expressed his concern for the club at Prime Minister’s Questions in light of the judicial review challenge, which will be held this month in Bristol.
The petition states: "We, the under-signed, are dismayed at the 'TRASH' group's actions in delaying and obstructing the building of a supermarket at the former Bristol Rovers site, which crucially prevents Bristol Rovers, and moreover the whole city, from having a new stadium."
Ms Leslie said: "This issue is crucial for the city of Bristol – we have already seen how Bristol City had similar problems with their stadium plans – and we must not be held to ransom by small interest groups which is why we want the prime Minister to know all about the efforts by fans and local people to safeguard this great project.
"We have shown that thousands of people understand the massive benefits this stadium project will bring, not just for Rovers but by extension for things like public transport and the community.
She added: "This is the true voice of the people. We know that TRASH does not represent all the traders, and is mainly acting on the ideology of a few people who hate the idea of supermarkets.
"Nearly 13,000 people can't be wrong, and I hope and pray that we see justice at the Judicial Review."
The review can only focus on whether the process by which planning permission was granted by Bristol City Council legitimately - it cannot challenge the decision itself.
The new stadium has already been given planning permission by South Gloucestershire Council.

MP Charlotte Leslie at the Memorial Stadium