English Championship football club Brentford has taken a step closer to starting work on its new home stadium after securing approval for the project from the London Borough of Hounslow (LBH) Planning Committee.

The club has been working on its Brentford Community Stadium initiative for some time now, and earlier this year modified plans to reduce the capacity of the venue from 20,000 to 17,250.

Amended plans were submitted to the LBH Planning Committee in September, with other changes relating to Central Eastern and Central Southern residential sites that also form part of the development.

Stadium-specific adjustments include upgrades to broadcast, lighting and media facilities in order to meet Premier League football and Premiership rugby standards. There are also refinements to the number and mix of seats, together with inserting a new road along the northern perimeter of the site to help with access during construction.

In addition, the entrance to the new venue has been enhanced to include a public square with commercial outlets, while the Brentford Football Club Community Sports Trust will now be housed in purpose-built facilities alongside the stadium.

In terms of the residential side of the project, this has been redesigned to fit in with the local context, with the 487 new homes a mixture of apartments to rent and buy, designed to meet the housing needs of the local area.

Commenting on the approval Brentford chairman Cliff Crown said: “This decision by Hounslow Council is a great early Christmas present for fans. We now hope to be in a position to begin stadium construction in February 2018, following completion of a revised agreement with LBH on our obligations and will share more details with fans on the stadium build phase early in the New Year.”

Matthew Townend, managing director at Be Living, development partner on the project, added: “Securing Hounslow Council’s support for the planning amendments takes us a step closer to delivering the Brentford Community Stadium development.  We’re all very excited to be part of creating a vibrant new community that hopefully acts as a catalyst for positive regeneration in the local area.”