Swindon Council has confirmed that they have received a planning application to build a new stadium for Swindon Robins to replace the well out of date Abbey Stadium in North Swindon.
The existing stadium is to be demolished but only after a new one is built to the south east of its present location, next to the new Blunsdon by-pass. It will be a state of the art structure built for optimise television coverage and will be home to speedway, greyhound racing and the exisiting indoor market.
In early February, Councillor Toby Elliott (Con, Priory Vale) told Swindon Link magazine of his worries about the plans were mounting. He said: “The plans were delivered on a DVD, although we were beginning to worry that they were not coming at all. We’ve not had a chance to look at the detail yet, but if it is not appropriate we will be looking at further legal means to ensure that the original planning agreement is adhered to.”
On 22 January the Robins press office said North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson had been in touch to say the necessary detailed planning document has now been submitted and could be viewed in days rather than weeks.
A newsletter to supporters says: ‘Robins bosses remain confident the Elite League team will be moving into the new site for the second half of the 2016 season as the current Abbey Stadium track remains in place until it is ready.’
Mr Tomlinson said: “The detailed planning details for the stadium are being validated and fees agreed, then they will be processed and we can (finally) view them. Hopefully this is just a matter of days, but I’m sure Robins supporters will greatly welcome the news that the plans are finally in.”
The new stadium is a very long time coming and was originally slated for completion in the summer of 2009. At the time, Justin Tomlinson – then the Swindon borough councillor for Abbey Meads – said: “It’s absolutely fantastic news. I have been leading on this campaign from the beginning. It’s great news for Swindon Speedway fans as it was the final hurdle to secure the short and long term future of speedway in the town. And it’s great news for residents who were in favour of a residential rather than commercial development on the land.”
Originally the site next to the stadium at St Andrew’s Ridge was designated for light industrial and employment development. However central government agreed to a change of use to the Swindon local plan to permit 450 houses to be built in order to finance the stadium.