Former Manchester United footballer Gary Neville has been given the green light to build a hotel opposite the club's Old Trafford stadium.
The Manchester Evening News reported that town hall officers stated that his proposals for a ten-storey hotel, leisure and retail complex in the shadow of United's ground should be allowed, bringing months of wrangling between the player and the club to a potential close.
However, the Premier League champions have strongly objected to the plans stating that the development will "negatively impact" on the Old Trafford landscape and could potentially cause traffic congestion on a busy matchday.
Neville made 400 appearances for the club during a 19-year stay and was appointed captain of the Old Trafford outfit from 2005 following the departure of Roy Keane. He currently works as a pundit for Sky Sports and has previously stated that the new development which includes a bar, 139 bedrooms and a shop will help to "support economic growth" as well as creating jobs in the area.
United bosses have dismissed these claims and also raised the concerns of Greater Manchester Police's United match commander, chief superintendent Mark Roberts, who believes that having a licensed premises in close proximity to Old Trafford could increase the chance of public crime and disorder. However, Neville's team said they had received no official objection from police and will work closely with them on matchdays.
Planning consultant for the project, Rob Turley, said on behalf of Neville: "We are aware that Trafford Planning Committee will meet tonight and we understand the scheme is recommended for approval by the officers. We await the outcome of planning committee."
Neville has been told that he needs to provide evidence that his site will be able to accommodate 210 cars three months prior to opening and will need to pay nearly £162,000 towards highways and transport schemes with a further £82,770 if he does not plant 267 new trees.
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