The world’s first football stadium made almost entirely out of wood, which will be home to League Two side Forest Green Rovers, has been granted planning permission.
An original proposal was rejected by Stroud District Council in June this year, before revised plans were passed by a majority of six to four earlier this month.
The new venue is described as a “state-of-the-art wooden stadium on Junction 13 of the M5, along with landscaped parking and two pitches, one of which will be a 4G playing surface, with access for the local community.”
In a video interview on the Forest Green Rovers website, the club’s chairman Dale Vince said: “I think it’s the right decision. This is a great project for Stroud … [it’s taken] five years, and before that we were looking for a site for three. It’s passed every hurdle. It was a surprise, last time, that it was turned down.”
“It’s still going to take several years – I think it’s going to take us a year of detailed design work,” Vince added. “This is an outline planning application. The best case [for the stadium opening] is three years if we started tomorrow.”
Vince also mentions in the video that the council’s decision to approve the plans will be subject to an appeal in February next year.
The club’s main sponsor, Ecotricity, explains in detail on its website how the initial application has been amended following the council’s rejection of the plans.
Forest Green Rovers already has a strong commitment to environmentalism and sustainability, and in 2017 was officially recognised at the world’s first vegan football club.
“FGR became the world’s first vegan football club because of the huge environmental and animal welfare impacts of livestock farming, as well as to improve player performance,” reads the relevant page on the official club website. “Lionel Messi, Jermaine Defoe, Lewis Hamilton, Nate Diaz and Venus Williams have all adopted vegan diets to improve performance.”
Forest Green Rovers are currently sixth in League Two, in the play-off places, and play Macclesfield Town at home on Sunday.