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St Helens Rugby Stadium is granted planning permission


St Helens has received a timely boost after the Government today approved exciting plans to deliver a new stadium for St Helens Rugby League Club which will bring a massive regeneration to the town.

Developers Langtree, retailer Tesco and housebuilder Taylor Wimpey plc were granted consent to redevelop the derelict 46-acre former United Glass site into a £25 million 18,000 capacity stadium for the Saints and a multi-million pound Tesco Extra.

The town's current Tesco outlet on Chalon Way will then be redeveloped into alternative retail outlets.

As part of a separate plan, a high quality residential area will be built by Taylor Wimpey plc, replacing the historic Knowsley Road which has been Saints' home for 116 years.

The news that the Government Office for the North West have decided not to send the scheme to public enquiry will not only will save consequent delays and resultant costs, but means the stadium could be open sometime in 2011.

John Downes, managing director of Langtree, says of the decision: "This is the right result and today is an important day as together these developments are set to change the face of St Helens."

Saints' chairman Eamonn McManus added: "This is excellent news for the club and its supporters. We are now looking at an identifiable timeframe and have avoided the onerous costs of a central government call in.

"This is another important hurdle out of the way and we look forward to the work and challenges ahead. In particular, I would like to thank the fans for their magnificent support for the project. The future of the club and of the town is looking very healthy indeed."

Councillor Brian Spencer, leader of St Helens Council said: "This is tremendous news. The stadium and association developments including additional retail offer in the town will bring massive benefits, not just to our Borough but to the region in general bringing investment and jobs. The Council is proud to be a key player in this exciting development and look forward to working with all the partners involved."

The developers will now work with St Helens Council over the forthcoming months to agree a conservation management plan for the Ancient Monument and site clearance should start by mid 2009 with target completion of stadium in February 2011.

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