Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has been granted approval to build a controversial hotel near to Old Trafford.

Neville, who is now a coach with the England national squad as well as pundit for Sky Sports, plans to build a 138-bed, ten-storey hotel near to the home of Manchester United that will also be fitted with a rooftop football pitch. Councillors unanimously approved plans for the 16m by 12m playing surface which will be built with a retractable roof and will be open for anyone that wishes to use it, including non-residents.

MUFC had recently objected to the plans for the hotel, stating that it ruined the “holistic image” of the site around Old Trafford. The club went on to add that it interfered with their “strategic plan” for the area which surrounds the Stretford ground but councillors have stepped in to approve the proposals and work is due to get underway in January 2013.

Neville's vision for the hotel, which is a joint venture with the Old Trafford Supporters Club, has been paid for through the player's testimonial fund and if all construction schedules go to plan the former international aims to have the hotel open in time for the 2014/15 season.

Anthony Kilbride, projects director from Red Property Service, said: "The roof was to be used on match days and we decided to utilise it with something a bit more interesting. I can not think of a more iconic location to play five-a-side football.”

Neville is an iconic player for Manchester United, spending his entire career with the Red Devils. He racked up over 400 appearances and during his tenure at the club he won numerous Premier League titles, FA Cups, League Cups and two Champions Leagues. He announced his retirement in February 2011 and has been working for television as well as his coaching role with the national team, which he was appointed to after his impressive punditry work with Sky Sports.

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