The starting tape can go up on the £5m redevelopment of Abbey Stadium.

The owners of the speedway and dog racing track in north Swindon have been given the go ahead by Swindon Borough Council’s planning committee to get on with their plans to completely demolish the site and built a new stadium.

Clark Osborne, the chairman of the owners, Gaming International said the development would start as soon as possible. “We are ready to move now. We’re ready. We just have to agree with the council our contribution under Section 106.”

The contribution is intended to mitigate the effects of the development.

The managing director of the company and project manager George Edwards was equally eager: “I’m hoping this will be agreed imminently and we can start. We’d like to get all the work completed by the end of this year.

It has taken the stadium owners and the council years to get to this point.The principle of the re-development of the stadium was established in 2011 when outline planning permission was first granted.

Since then there have been a number of additional proposals, including new houses and a care home, which were approved. While scores of new houses have been built around the stadium in the last decade, ideas to put a new fire station and a market on the site have not come to fruition.

With the new houses having been built so close to the stadium, one of the significant issues the council’s planning officers had with the plans was the noise nuisance speedway racing.

The decision was originally scheduled for late 2018 but it was deferred to allow the stadium owners and the council to do more work on how to minimise noise.

Vera Tomlinson, a member of the committee and the local ward councillor said: “I was on this committee when outline permission was given, nine long years ago.”

She said developers had made a lot of money in the intervening years by building the permitted houses and nursing home. “But here we are, still with no new stadium.”

Five members of the campaign group Stop Swindon Greyhound Racing urged the committee to make a condition banning the greyhound racingand allowing speedway and other activities only.

Committee chairman Tim Swinyard said he sympathised.“It is not a matter the planning committee can consider - but there are other avenues the group can explore.”

Permission was granted unanimously.