AN appeal against the refusal of the first application to grant Forest Green Rovers planning permission for their new Eco Park stadium has been cancelled.
The League Two club were granted planning permission after a second bid was accepted last month, but they had an appeal due on February 18 after their first application was refused in June last year.
Rovers’ chairman Dale Vince has said the reason for the decision was partly because Stroud District Council decided not to appear at the enquiry to defend their decision after they initially refused planning.
In a post on Facebook, Mr Vince wrote: “Stroud District Council decided not to appear at the enquiry to defend their decision to refuse planning, that refusal was against officers advice to grant permission, and defending it was always going to be difficult for them.
“We’ve decided this week to pull the appeal, there seems little point continuing, the council won’t defend their decision and have anyway now followed officers advice and granted consent.
“We can save time and money on all sides by cancelling.
“Of course the planning decision we have been given may be called in by the Secretary of State, in which case there will be an enquiry and a lot of time and expense on all sides.”
Councillors voted in favour of the stadium plans after a second bid at a meeting at Stroud District Council’s base in Ebley Mill on December 18.
The outline bid was accepted by councillors after six votes in favour of the plans with four councillors voting against.