London-based Premiership rugby union club Saracens is set to begin renovation work on Allianz Park after Barnet Council approved its planning application.

The main focus of the renovation is to replace the ageing West Stand with a more modern stand that would “consolidate and enhance the provision of community, education and sporting facilities at the stadium,” the club said in a statement

A positive response was received following a public consultation process.

Allianz Park is a multi-use community stadium in North London. The new stand will improve the facilities and expand the space for Middlesex University’s London Sports Institute.

The enhanced facilities will help to grow Saracens’ charitable arm, the Saracens Sports Foundation.

Chief executive of Saracens, Heath Harvey, said: “We are naturally delighted with the decision made by Barnet Council. Our planning application was incredibly thorough and considered all the feedback we had received in the months leading up to today. We will continue to work as an active part of the local community, working in partnership as we continue to improve Allianz Park and maximise its positive impact on our community. We now look forward to the next stage of this exciting process.”

The current capacity of Allianz Park is 10,000, with the new stand adding an additional 500 seats.

The plans will also include a proposal for one of the 16 Saracens home matches to accommodate a one-off annual game, such as a European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final. This would enable the capacity of the stadium to be temporarily increased to 15,000 for a maximum of one match a year.

As Allianz Park is situated within the Green Belt, the application will now be referred to the Greater London Authority, with approval from Mayor Sadiq Khan needed.

It is anticipated that work on improving Allianz Park will begin later this year and be completed by autumn 2018.