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Sarries issue plan proposals

Saracens have submitted plans to turn Barnet's Copthall Stadium into a 10,000-capacity sports venue.

The Aviva Premiership club's blueprint, lodged with Barnet Council, includes an artificial pitch as key to what they view as establishing a multi-purpose community sports venue. The refurbished stadium will be used for athletics, rugby and community sport, and could also be an Olympic training venue.

Saracens chairman Nigel Wray said: "Our proposal is, we hope, really great news for everyone in north London. The artificial turf pitch will create something absolutely unique in England - a well-known top-class stadium available for use by local schools and clubs 350 days per year for matches, for sports days. It will be a real community asset."

Saracens, who currently play their home games at Vicarage Road in Watford, plan to stage no more than 16 days of Premiership rugby at Copthall. The stadium would incorporate demountable stands on three sides.

The facility, meanwhile, would also continue to be home for Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers athletics club.

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