THE leader of the city council says he is disappointed at a ruling which could see the demolition of Oxford Greyhound Stadium brought forward.

In yesterday’s Oxford Mail we revealed that Communities Secretary Eric Pickles ruled no environmental impact assessment (EIA) is needed for the site in Sandy Lane, Blackbird Leys, before a planning bid is considered.

Campaigners against the transformation of the stadium into 220 homes by developer Galliard had hoped the need for an assessment might set the development back.

The planning process for the new homes was halted in July when Mr Pickles began investigating the case, but will now resume.

City council leader Bob Price said: “It’s disappointing but not incredibly surprising. We will now move on to consider the application for the demolition using the usual criteria.”

In a letter to campaigners, Department for Communities and Local Government officer Mike Walton said: “The secretary of state has concluded that neither of these proposals are EIA development and therefore EIA is not required in either case.”