New Arsenal stadium approved


The mayor of London Ken Livingstone today gave the go-ahead for Arsenal to build a new 60,000-capacity stadium designed by the company which created the Sydney Olympic stadium.

The Gunners won planning permission from Islington Council in London a month ago to build the stadium at Ashburton Grove, less than a mile from their current Highbury home, on a site which is currently an industrial estate.

The stadium is expected to be ready for the 2004-05 season.

Livingstone said: "It was not difficult to give the green light to the plans. I would have said no to the original plans we saw maybe 18 months ago.

Asked if anything could stop the plans becoming reality, Livingstone said:

"The Government could step in and say they want a public inquiry. A lot of people want that but they are not aware of the scale of changes Arsenal have undertaken.