Saracens Rugby Club has been given unanimous Council approval to plans to revive their stadium increasing capacity to 10,000.

It means Saracens, who currently play at Vicarage Road the home of Watford Football Club, will use the venue for a maximum of 16 days of Premiership rugby each season from September until May.

Saracens chairman Nigel Wray said on the club website: "After 18 months of engaging extensively with local residents, we are delighted that Barnet Councillors have approved our proposals to revive Barnet Copthall Stadium and create a vibrant sports hub for the local community.

"The new stadium will provide both a real home for Saracens and a hugely improved venue for athletics in the south east. It will secure the future of the highly successful Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers and offer great facilities free of charge to local schools."

However the Mayor of London will need to approve the plan as it is classed as a "strategic development" and it will also be referred to the secretary of state as it relates to an area of greenbelt land.

"Copthall will, we promise, be a genuine community stadium," Wray added. "We will continue to work closely with the local community and make Copthall an asset that we can all be proud of."

Posted on 03/02/2012