Go Ahead For Old Trafford Rebuild

Cricket bosses are celebrating after a panel of senior judges gave the go-ahead to a regeneration in Manchester.

The Court of Appeal said Lancashire County Cricket Club could press on with the redevelopment of its Old Trafford stadium in Manchester.

Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes said re-development was vital if Old Trafford was to continue as a venue for international cricket and described the ruling as one of the most important events in the club's 154-year history.

He said the re-building programme - likely to cost more than £30 million - would start in September and the club aimed to have the new ground ready by the start of the 2013 season.

"This is one of the biggest days in the club's history,'' said Mr Cumbes, a former Lancashire quick bowler and West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa goalkeeper, after the hearing in London.

"If we don't redevelop, then 150-odd years of history would have been in danger of disappearing. With redevelopment, I am confident that Old Trafford can continue as an international cricket ground.''

A property company had argued that a local authority was wrong to give Lancashire permission to redevelop the ground - and asked three appeal court judges to block the plan.

Lawyers for Derwent Holdings, which owns a retail park near Old Trafford, said Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council acted unfairly when it granted Lancashire planning permission in 2010.

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