SWINDON Robins team manager Alun Rossiter has welcomed Swindon Borough Council’s decision to grant Abbey Stadium owners Gaming International Ltd with planning permission to build new facilities for both speedway and greyhound racing.

Members of the council’s planning committee voted nine to one in favour of the current stadium being demolished in favour of a new look to the historic sporting venue, which first opened in 1949.

Having received the green light, it is now down to Gaming International to deliver their proposals – with members of the club’s management vowing on social media that a new track will be installed in time for the 2019 season.

Part of the council’s decision to grant planning permission included a line that confirmed no more houses could be built on land surrounding the venue until the stadium project is complete.

However, no specified date regarding the stadium’s redevelopment has been issued.

Despite this, Rossiter said securing the green light to build a new grandstand has helped the situation take a big step forward.

He said: “The ball’s in the stadium’s court now, whereas before there could always have been an excuse that they were waiting on this planning, that situation, whatever.

“Now it’s purely in the hands of the stadium owners, and having listened and spoken to people, they seem very confident that it will happen now the planning has been granted.

“It’s still a case of wait and see when it comes to timescales, but the new track has already been marked out and obviously we want to be on it for the start of next season.”

Rossiter’s focus has now shifted to assembling his 2019 Robins team following last week’s AGM, which confirmed a points limit of 42.50.