Saints Get Stadium Boost

St Helens were given the go-ahead to start the development of a new stadium after planning permission was granted by the Government. nnThe Government Office for the North West decided to accept the plans without the need of a public inquiry. nnThe new stadium, which should be completed by February 2011, will be built in conjunction with developers Langtree, retailer Tesco and housebuilder Taylor Wimpey plc.nnThe plans will regenerate the derelict 46-acre former United Glass site, costing a total of £25 million. The 18,000 capacity stadium will also include a multi-million pound Tesco Extra. n nAs part of a separate plan, a residential area will be built by Taylor Wimpey plc, replacing the historic Knowsley Road which has been Saints’ home for 116 years.n nJohn 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.”n nSaints’ 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. n n“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.”n nCouncillor 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.2

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