Northampton Town have gained approval to increase capacity at their Sixfields Stadium.

The League Two club were given the go-ahead by Northampton Borough Council bringing the goal of redeveloping the ground a step closer. The Cobblers want to raise capacity from the current 7,563 to 10,000 and see the inclusion of ten corporate boxes. Officials explained that the main work will involve expanding the East Stand.

Club chairman David Cardoza described the approval as a "momentous day" and confirmed that the redevelopment will be part-funded with a £12 million loan from the borough council. It is part of a regeneration of the Sixfields area which will include a hotel, housing and retail facilities but this will be outlined in separate planning application to be submitted at a later date.

Mr Cardoza added: "We are working at a pace and the plan is to have the East Stand done by the start of next season. The hotel is going to take a little bit longer but hopefully we will be putting a planning application in for that in the next month or so."

Northampton's chairman explained that the roof and part of the structure of the East Stand will be built during the season and completed when the campaign ends. It means that Northampton could have a revamped stadium in time for the start of the 2014/15 season.

The Cobblers are currently groundsharing Sixfields with Coventry City who decided to leave the Ricoh Arena after disputes over rent with the owner. However, a large number of Sky Blues fans have boycotted the move to Northampton meaning that the club is only averaging attendances of 2,000 or under, a huge drop on the 10,000 they were attracting in Coventry.

As part of the agreement, the Sky Blues will remain at Sixfields for the next three seasons while a new stadium is built.

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