No public inquiry for St Helens stadium

St Helens Rugby League Club could be playing in a new stadium in 2011 after the Government today said Langtree's proposals would not be called in for a public inquiry.

Separate applications from Langtree, retailer Tesco and housebuilder Taylor Wimpey were granted final consent, enabling redevelopment of the derelict 46-acre former United Glass site into a £25m, 18,000 capacity stadium for the Saints and a Tesco Extra.

The town's current Tesco outlet on Chalon Way will then be redeveloped into alternative retail outlets. Taylor Wimpey, pending a much-improved housing market, would then replace the Knowsley Road stadium with residential units.

John Downes, managing director of Langtree, said: "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."

Site clearance should start by mid 2009 with target completion in February 2011.

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