The Robins hope to be playing in their new ground in time for the start of the 2012/13 season, and chief executive Colin Sexstone told the club's official website: "This is great news and another major hurdle overcome. The decision by the Secretary of State to let Bristol City council determine the application is a significant step forward.
"It has been the culmination of nearly two years of hard work to bring the project to this stage. Other important hurdles remain, and more hard work will be required from ourselves and other partners, but this is a huge milestone for us.
"Bristol is also a Candidate Host City in England's bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018, and so this decision is further evidence of our ability to produce a technical bid that exceeds FIFA's expectations.
"We do also understand the local sensitivity of the new stadium and are making determined efforts to engage with the local communities so there is greater understanding about the project and we can all move forward together."