Gloucestershire's hopes of hosting games at the 2019 World Cup have taken a hit after Bristol council declined to approve their application for floodlight planning permission.
The club's Nevil Road ground has undergone a multimillion-pound redevelopment in recent years, with the erection of six permanent, 45-metre pylons the final stage in the process. However, the plans were rejected by a vote of five to four on Wednesday evening, after complaints about light pollution and the impact on the skyline.
The proposals, which had undergone public consultation, had been recommended for approval by council planning officials. A final decision has been deferred while Gloucestershire look into the option of using retractable lights with removable heads.
"We are clearly disappointed with this delay and will now be taking some time to review our options," Gloucestershire chief executive, Will Brown, said. "We would like to thank everyone who took part in our consultation and helped develop the plans."
Gloucestershire were awarded ODIs in 2017, 2018 and 2019, as well as four World Cup matches, in the most recent ECB allocation. Floodlights are a requirement for World Cup venues and the club had argued that increasing the amount of international cricket in Bristol would benefit local businesses.