Plymouth Argyle FC are to move ahead with renovation plans at their Home Park stadium after the city council approved a £50 million scheme.

The League Two side are looking to construct a new grandstand, ten-screen cinema, ice rink and a hotel on the grounds around the stadium. Councillors at Plymouth City Council planning committee gave the green light to the scheme on Thursday (August 15th) and commended Plymouth owner Akkeron Leisure for its ambition.

Officials explained that the move will help the city of Plymouth to shake off its "Cinderella" image by creating an arena for top class sporting and recreational facilities for local people and visitors. The proposals had been met with opposition from critics who raised concerns about car parking space while construction waste, landscaping, retail impact and the future of 18 nearby hornbeam trees.

However, Akkeron chairman James Brent stated that once the facilities are finished it would go some way to "enhance  the pride and aspirations of the city".

"I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to the overwhelming number of individuals and representative groups who worked with us on the shaping of the scheme and for supporting what we want to achieve for them and future generations," Mr Brent added.

Akkeron took over Argyle when the club fell into administration in 2011 and has been striving to ensure that the team does not hit similar problems in the future. The plans will see the transformation of the Grandstand which is currently the oldest part of Home Park. The club took the opportunity to revamp the other three sides in 2001 but were keen to keep the Grandstand as it was.

Despite the club's lowly position in League Two they still commanded an average attendance of over 7,000 in the 2012/13 season. Work on the renovation could begin in September with a completion date earmarked for 2015.

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