GLOUCESTER City have received the thumbs up from the Environment Agency over the club’s plans for a scaled down stadium at Meadow Park.
The news represents a significant hurdle being cleared in the club’s long-awaited return to the city after six years of flood-enforced exile.
Hailing the news as a great early Christmas present for the club’s long-suffering supporters, chairman Nigel Hughes is looking forward to a productive 2014.
"This is tremendous news and a great Christmas present to all who have waited so long,” Hughes said.
“It will give everyone associated with the Club a huge boost and will mean we can go into 2014 positively".
"This has been a complex matter and credit must be given to all who have worked extremely hard to achieve this important step in the process.
“So much has gone on that sometimes it has been difficult to tell everyone everything.
“Frustratingly, we have often been reliant on others and the pace of responses has had its downsides and created a number of relentless difficulties.
“With this important piece of the jigsaw in place, the message to our supporters, sponsors and the people of Gloucester is quite clear".
"We need to continue to be focussed and build on the good work which our recent internal restructure set out achieve.
“We call upon all to put aside previous doubts and join together with us to utilise our strengths to drive forward this project".
The club will now speak with the City Council to determine a timescale for pressing ahead with their revised planning application for a stadium at Meadow Park.
The new plans would be significantly scaled down from the original plans for a £5million community stadium and industrial land.
Those plans were only minded for approval by the council, effectively only an amber light and a move that forced the club into a re-think.