Southend United have today received full planning permission from the Secretary of State to build our new 22,000 all-seater stadium.

The Club will now be able to go ahead with building work on the new stadium in preparation for the start of the 2010 season.

The development, which comprises a 22,000 seater stadium with hotel and conference facilities, restaurants and enabling retail development, is needed to give the Club the ability to compete at the top end of the football ladder.

Chairman Ron Martin was delighted at receiving final approval and admitted it was a time for all Southend supporters to celebrate.

"Whilst this news was anticipated from the Secretary of State, one can never be sure with planning applications and therefore it is good to get the final approval enabling the Club to press on with the construction," said Martin.

"Our programme to be in the new stadium in readiness for the start of the 2010 season remains unchanged.

"I am also pleased for our many thousands of fans who have had to wait a very long time whilst this complex, and sometimes tedious, process has been conducted.

"As I have always said, the new stadium will take the Club to a new and sustainable level.

"All associated with Southend United should celebrate.

"Up the Blues!"