St Helens council last night gave planning permission for developer Langtree to build a new 18,000-seat rugby league stadium in the town centre.
Langtree's application was one of three tied to the new stadium. Permission was also given for Tesco to build a Tesco Extra alongside the new ground. Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey was granted consent to replace the historic Knowsley Road ground, home to Saint Helens RLC for 116 years, with housing.
The new ground will occupy the derelict 46-acre former United Glass site. The town's current Tesco outlet on Chalon Way will be redeveloped into alternative retail outlets.
John Downes, managing director of Langtree, said: "This is fantastic news, and a vital step forward in our plans to transform the former United Glass site. Langtree is proud to be playing such an integral role in the development of a new stadium and in the regeneration of St Helens. The planning application is the product of a lot of hard work over the last few years by everyone involved and the result will be a fantastic new development with the new Saints Stadium as its centrepiece."
St Helens council leader, Brian Spencer, said: "The development will bring a range of benefits, not just to our own town but to the region in general, bringing massive investment and jobs. This has been 10 years in the making but I am sure everyone will agree that this will be a first class stadium fit for a world class club."