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Green light for development

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Leicester Tigers have received planning consent for the £60million redevelopment of their Welford Road home.

The club's proposals for the transformation of their Welford Road home into a modern, eye-catching 30,000 capacity stadium received the backing of Leicester City Council's planning authority this week.

Club chairman Peter Tom said: "This is a tremendously exciting time for everyone associated with this famous rugby club.

"A huge amount of work has gone into the project so far and we feel the architects at AFL have produced an exciting and innovative design for the stadium.

"We have worked closely with the planning authorities and we are delighted to receive their approval for a facility of which the city can be proud."

Tigers, the defending Guinness Premiership and EDF Energy Cup champions, are the best-supported rugby club in the country and the full redevelopment would make Welford Road the biggest dedicated club rugby stadium in the UK.

Tom added: "We have the necessary funding in place to embark on the first phase of the redevelopment, which is the new stand on the Granby Halls side of the stadium, and we are talking to the prospective contractors. We hope to start that work at the end of this season."

The first phase of the development would include space for 10,500 supporters in a new North Stand (Granby Halls side), taking capacity up from the present 17,500 to 23,500.