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Non League Forest Green have big development plans


 

It has been announced that Vanarama Conference side, Forest Green Rovers have plans for a £100m sports facility, which will include a new stadium for the club.

The new stadium is expected to accommodate 5,000 supporters with capability to double in size.

Forest Green have played at The New Lawn since 2006 with chairman Dale Vince hopeful the new development would be completed in around five years.

"By the time we get to build, we will be in the Football League," said Vince.

The development, dubbed 'Eco Park', will be a 100-acre sports and green technology centre at Junction 13 on the M5.

Located on either side of the A419, half of Eco Park will be dedicated to creating state-of-the-art sporting facilities, including an all-seater stadium, training fields, 4G pitches, multi-disciplinary sporting facilities, as well as a sports science hub.

The other half of Eco Park will compromise a green technology business park, capable of serving up to 4,000 jobs.

Forest Green were promoted to the Conference - now called the National League - in 1998 and Vince says they are outgrowing their existing home.

"We've seen our gates double and it chokes the hill and it upsets our neighbours," he told BBC Radio Glouces­ter­shire.

"We want to get bigger. We've got intentions to get into the Football League so the problem will only get worse.

"We've been looking for a couple of years, working with Stroud Council. This place would be ideal."

Vince added he hopes The New Lawn "could become affordable low carbon homes" and after an initial consultation period the green-energy tycoon hopes to submit a planning application in September.

The team finished 5th in last season's table and lost out in the play-offs, which Bristol Rovers won.

JB

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