1. ITV Report

Decision day for Ashton Gate redevelopment

The decision on whether a redevelopment of Bristol City's stadium can go ahead is expected later today.

The £40 million project will go before a planning committee this afternoon. The club wants to replace two of the grandstands - increasing capacity to 27,000.

Our Sports Correspondent Matthias Kurth looks back at the long-running battle the football club has faced off the pitch:

An artist's impression of the Ashton Gate redevelopment. Credit: Bristol City FC

Bristol City's quest for a new stadium has quite possibly been the most complicated planning wrangle in the city's modern history.

And it's revolved around this plot of land on the outskirts of the city:

The Ashton Vale site. Credit: ITV News West Country
  • NOVEMBER 2007

It was late 2007 when the club first mooted the idea for a new stadium about a mile from City's existing home at Ashton Gate.

A CGI image of the Ashton Vale stadium. Credit: Bristol City FC
  • NOVEMBER 2009

Two years later the club won planning permission to build the new £96m stadium on the site of a former tip at Long Ashton.

A move which would be part-funded by the sale of the old stadium to Sainsbury's.

A new Sainsbury's store was proposed for the Ashton Gate site, replacing its current store half a mile away. Credit: Bristol City FC
  • OCTOBER 2009

But the the whole scheme had already been undermined because residents had applied for Town Green status on the entire 42-acre site to stop any new development.

Campaigners protest against the Ashton Vale plans. Credit: ITV News West Country
  • SEPTEMBER 2010

This led to a public inquiry in which an independent inspector recommended that the whole site should indeed be registered as a Town Green.

  • JUNE 2011

But the following summer the council decided that only part of the site - and not the area where the stadium would be built - should be given Town Green status, paving the way for the stadium to built on the former landfill site.

The council decided in June 2011 that only part of the Ashton Vale site should be given Town Green status. Credit: ITV News West Country
  • AUGUST 2011 - APRIL 2012

This decision, inevitably, led to a legal challenge from a new group of campaigners and a couple of hearings in the High Court followed.

  • MAY 2012 - PRESENT

It forced the council to stand down and commission a fresh public inquiry into just how the contentious land should be classified and registered, which means there's still no end to the argument or a compromise in sight.

  • FEBRUARY 2013

So earlier this year the club announced an alternative plan - to redevelop Ashton Gate - and to share it with Bristol Rugby club.

A £40m overhaul, with two of the existing stands rebuilt, increasing capacity to 27,000, and work set to start next year.

A fall back plan we were told at the time - not the preferred option - but now the front runner in the stadium stand-off.

Watch Matthias Kurth's full report here: