Colchester United have been granted planning permission for their new 10,000-seater stadium at Cuckoo Farm.
The U's hope to leave Layer Road in time for the 2007/08 season
Permission was granted on Tuesday afternoon following the signing of legal agreements for the project, which also includes 1,500 new homes.
Councillor Robert Davidson, Colchester Borough Council's portfolio holder for Regeneration and Partnerships, said: "This is a huge step forward.
"I am delighted that the project can now move on to the next stage."
Council leader John Jowers had said in August 2005 that it was "95%-plus likely" that the new stadium would be open in time for the 2007/08 season.
The U's have played at their current Layer Road ground since they were formed in 1937.