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Page last updated at 10:50 GMT, Friday, 4 March 2011

'Excitement' over Saracens plans - Edward Griffiths

Saracens delivering planning application
Steve Borthwick and Matt Stevens delivered the application

Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths is confident their plans to renovate Copthall Stadium have the backing of the local community.

Sarries submitted their planning application to Barnet Council on Friday amid concerns from some residents over traffic and noise pollution.

"I think the overall reaction is excitement," Griffiths told BBC Three Counties Radio.

"What we're proposing is something unique in English sport."

The club, who will end their groundshare with Watford Football Club at the end of the season, will become the first top flight rugby side in England to play on an artificial surface should the plans be accepted.

The stadium development will include a London 2012 training facility, a permanent seating capacity of 3,000 which can be raised to 10,000 for rugby games, and access for community teams.

We respect the process, we will let it run its course. We're happy we're on schedule

Edward Griffiths

"It will be an elite sport venue which will be used 340 days a year, Monday to Friday, by local youngsters," Griffiths added.

"And that is possible because of the artificial turf pitch."

The plans, which were delivered to Hendon Town Hall by 10 first-team players, have been submitted later than expected.

"We said initially at the end of January, but we're very focused on putting in the planning application correctly and effectively rather than quickly," Griffiths added.

"We respect the process, we will let it run its course. We're happy we're on schedule and happy we're delivering a robust and professional application."

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