FOREST Green Rovers could be given permission to build a new 5,000-seat wooden stadium before Christmas.

A Stroud District Council spokesman confirmed that a second vote on the football club’s Eco Park stadium, planned for land next to junction 13 of the M5, is expected to be held on December 18.

The authority’s development control committee voted to reject the League Two side’s proposal in June, by a majority of three, due to concerns over noise, traffic, and the impact on the landscape.

The stadium would have also included a 1,700-space car park and two grass training pitches.

Club chairman Dale Vince believes the “sustainable stadium”, designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, would allow his team to climb the leagues, with the goal of playing in the Championship.

An appeal against the council's decision to reject the application is scheduled for February 2020 and will go ahead if councillors again vote to turn down the stadium next month.

If a government planning inspector rules in favour of Forest Green Rovers at that appeal, the new stadium will be built.

Mr Vince has previously said: “We were eating into the time limit for the appeal, that’s why we submitted it. We’d also like this resolved.

“The outlook in July was that it would take 12 months or more for the appeal or three months or so for the resubmission, making the decision to go for the resubmission seem obvious. In August the process changed, and the appeal timetable moved to a super rapid three to four months – if I’d have known that then, I think we would probably have appealed, for the certainty and short timeframe.

“Eco Park has been in planning now for about five years, it is a little frustrating – though we’re used to having to be patient and our experience is that when pushing boundaries with new ideas you have to be.

“Additionally, in the background, the Local Plan (SDC's development blueprint) is moving on, Eco Park is now in the Local Plan review process as land suitable for mixed Sports and Employment use – exactly what we’ve been asking for, and not being in the Local Plan has been one of the major arguments holding us up.

“So it’s happening with a combo of an appeal that will be heard in February next year, a second decision that may take place in December this year and the land now likely to be in the revised Local Plan anyway (making the current refusal a little ridiculous) – we are making progress.

“I’m most excited by this appeal date, it’s solid and a chance to move on to the next stage.”

Forest Green’s current ground in Nailsworth, called the New Lawn, is powered by renewable energy, recycles rain water and serves vegan food to players, staff and fans.