Saints Get Stadium Boost

St Helens moved a step closer to realising their dream of a new stadium today when the Government approved plans for a massive regeneration of the town.

A decision by the Government Office for the North West not to send the scheme to public enquiry will accelerate the development and means Saints could move into their £25million 18,000 capacity stadium in time for the start of the 2011 season.

St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus said: “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. The future of the club and of the town is looking very healthy indeed.”

Developers had already received local planning consent to transform a derelict 46-acre former glassworks site into a new home for the Saints and a multi-million pound supermarket. As part of a separate plan, Knowsley Road, home to St Helens for the last 116 years, will be developed for housing.

The developers must now work with St Helens Council on a conservation management plan for the ancient monument and site clearance, which is expected to start by the middle of next year with a target for completion of February 2011.

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