Nottinghamshire’s planning application for a new £8.2 million stand on the Bridgford Road side of Trent Bridge has been granted by Rushcliffe Borough Council.

The decision will open the way for Notts to increase the ground capacity to 17,500, which is crucial to their hopes of retaining Test Match status on a long-term basis.

Said Notts Chief Executive Derek Brewer: “We are delighted to have secured planning permission. It provides us with an opportunity to bring more major matches to Nottingham and I’m sure that the sporting public across the East Midlands will welcome this decision.

“It means that a major hurdle has been cleared in our bid to upgrade another section of Trent Bridge this winter and the next challenge is to finalise the package to fund the scheme.

“We have been involved for many months in detailed discussions to raise the finance and hopefully it will all come together in time to carry out the building work as scheduled.”

Notts requested that all home matches this summer would be played before the end of August so that work could get underway in September to replace the West Wing and Parr Stand on the Bridgford Road side of the ground.

The plans also include the installation of permanent floodlights, and a new office and administration block, which will be the base for match officials and will incorporate a replay screen and electronic scoreboard.

If everything goes according to plan, the development will be complete in time for the international matches being played at Trent Bridge in 2008.

Added Mr Brewer: “It is vital that the project goes ahead if we want to retain international cricket at Trent Bridge because there is now intense competition from other venues wanting to stage England matches, and the ECB have set high standards which we are determined to exceed.

“Trent Bridge makes a huge contribution to the economy of Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands in general. As the third oldest Test ground in the world, it’s a local treasure, but reputation alone is not enough.

“We have to prove to the ECB that we are still striving to upgrade facilities - and boost the capacity - and the exciting programme we have planned will take this venue to the next level.

“We have been happy to work with Rushcliffe Borough Council to build in safeguards such as limiting the use of floodlights late at night to minimise the impact on local residents.”

Trent Bridge has been transformed since 1998 with the creation of the award-winning Radcliffe Road and Fox Road Stands and Notts have received widespread acclaim for the way in which the improvements have been carried out.