BUILDING work can finally begin on the Stadium for Cornwall after councillors approved proposals for shops to go on the site.

After seven long years and plenty of toing and froing, Cornwall Council's planning committee passed a retail park project, which will help bankroll the construction of the multi-million pound project, on Thursday.

Planning officers had recommended refusal due to concerns about the impact building shops at the site in Threemilestone would have on Truro city centre, which is nearby.

However, after much debate, committee members went against the recommendation and green-lighted the scheme by a vote of 11-8.

The 6,000 all-seater stadium will house the Cornish Pirates and also be used by Truro & Penwith College.

Ian Connell, chairman of the Greene King IPA Championship side, was delighted with the decision, which puts a end to the saga of whether the stadium will ever be built.

Connell said: "This is a major infrastructure project creating jobs, generating new revenues but importantly adopting the vision for the realisation of ambition. This is a good day.

"From a Pirates perspective, the board can now begin to view the future with clarity over where we will be playing and begin the process to build on our existing great supporter base and to attract new sponsorship incomes.

"We can now plan to progressively build the playing squad to compete at the top end of the Championship, within a facility that can showcase the game as a great spectacle but for our players also to showcase their own individual skills in a perfect setting.

"From a stadium perspective, we will be working with the other stadium partners to progress the development of the plans that will bring real benefit to the community across the whole of Cornwall."

Since blueprints for the stadium were first created, more than 25,000 people have signed a petition supporting the plans.

Following the approval, many expressed their joy on Twitter.

Robbie Jones said: "So stoked that #StadiumforCornwall got the go ahead today! Brilliant news, thanks & congratulations to everyone involved @Stadium4Cornwll."

Shevaughan Tolputt tweeted: "Stadium for #Cornwall....Hooray!!! That is all!!!"

The stadium is set to be complete by August 2017.