Gary Neville Old Trafford hotel approved

Artist's impression of Gary Neville's planned hotel and supporters' club Neville hopes the club and hotel will be open for the 2014-15 season

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Manchester United legend Gary Neville has been given the go-ahead to build a £20m hotel near Old Trafford, despite objections from his former club.

Mr Neville planned to build the 139-bed hotel and supporters club with proceeds from his testimonial match last year.

Man Utd objected, claiming the scheme on the site of a former lard factory undermined the "holistic vision" of its "strategic plan" for the area.

However, councillors in Trafford have approved the former right back's plans.

A club spokesman said it was "disappointed" with the result.

Mr Neville said: "The hard work begins now to deliver this exciting project and development to the fans."

'Undermine vision'

When he announced the project, to be sited on the corner of Wharfside Way and Sir Matt Busby Way, he said he wanted to do "something special for the fans".

Last year the football club's chief operating officer Michael Bolingbroke, said: "This is a very exciting project and the club wishes Gary every success with it."

But the club later lodged a major objection to the project in which it claimed: "MUFC have a strategic plan for the continuing enhancement of the area surrounding the stadium and this holistic vision includes hospitality, conference, retail and visitor facilities.

"The provision of third party facilities such as those proposed could undermine this vision to the detriment of its deliverability."

Building work is expected to start in January 2013 with the hotel open for the 2014-15 season.

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