HUDDERSFIELD Giants have been given the green light to redevelop the historic Fartown rugby league ground.
Kirklees Council has passed plans for a new 270-seater stand, club offices, gym and training area.
Work will now start on raising the cash to finance the deal, with the Giants hoping to be able to use the new facility by the start of the 2004 season.
The scheme will be welcomed by traditional Huddersfield supporters, who still regard Fartown as their spiritual home.
First team games will still be played at the McAlpine Stadium, the Giants' home for eight years.
They left Fartown 10 years ago and played at Huddersfield Town's old Leeds Road ground for two seasons.
But the first team plans to use the redeveloped ground as its training base, and it will become the permanent home for Giants' second team and junior games.
The facilities will still be used by amateur club St Joseph's.
Planning permission is conditional on a few minor highways issues being resolved. But Giants development manager Stuart Sheard does not see this as a problem and is already relishing the start of the work.
"This Kirklees decision is a superb result and the end of a hard year's work," said Mr Sheard. "But this is really where the hard work begins. Any development will depend heavily on us obtaining the public-funded grants which may be available - and also on winning support from local business and individuals.
"If everything falls into place the redevelopment will start at the end of next summer and be completed for the start of 2004," he said.
Mr Sheard added: "We would like to pay tribute to the goodwill exhibited by Kirklees officials, and also to local MPs Barry Sheerman and David Hinchliffe for their support."