Stroud District Council rejects Forest Green Rovers’ stadium plans

17 June 2019 (Last Updated June 18th, 2019 11:06)

Zaha Hadid Architects and Forest Green Rovers Football Club have suffered a setback after Stroud District Council’s development control committee refused outline consent for the planned 5,000-seat all-wooden football ground in Gloucestershire.

Stroud District Council rejects Forest Green Rovers’ stadium plans
Zaha Hadid Architects’ all-wood design for Forest Green Rovers. Credit: Zaha Hadid Architects.

Zaha Hadid Architects and Forest Green Rovers Football Club have suffered a setback after Stroud District Council’s development control committee refused outline consent for the planned 5,000-seat all-wooden football ground in Gloucestershire.

Forest Green Rovers Football Club is claimed to be the greenest football club in the world and is known for giving the players a vegan diet and recycling rainwater.

In 2016, Zaha Hadid Architects won a competition to design a sustainable ground for the League Two side, chaired by environmentalist and green power firm Ecotricity owner Dale Vince.

The committee rejected plans for the new stadium at the last moment following concerns raised by Eastington Parish Council.

The club will now have to decide whether to appeal against the decision.

Stroud District Council had originally recommended the stadium project. However, local authorities, including Eastington Parish Council and Frampton Parish Council, raised several objections, claiming that the scheme contradicted the local plan and would cause the loss of green spaces.

Previously, around 500 responses were received through a public consultation over the proposals, including initial and revised plans, with more objections than support. Concerns included the loss of countryside and impact on transport links.

If approved, the wooden structure would have been the first of its kind and was chosen by Vince partly because of its low carbon footprint. It would have also created the world’s first football stadium built entirely from wood.

Previously, Zaha Hadid Architects said that its concept for Forest Green Rovers combined the latest material research and construction techniques with new design approaches for the creation of more ecologically sustainable and inclusive architecture.

Every seat has been designed to provide unhindered sight lines to the entire field of play, which designers claim would optimise the matchday atmosphere.

Vince acquired the club at the start of the decade. Since then, the club’s ground has witnessed a series of green upgrades, including solar panels, a solarpowered robot grass mower and the world’s first organic football pitch.