As Saracens announce plans to relocate to Copthall Stadium in February 2013, campaign groups have their say.

The club hopes to play their last five matches at their new 10,000 seater stadium which should be fully renovated by February 2013.

Saracens’ say the grounds can be used by the local community on non-match days including sports groups such as Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers (SBH).

Geoffrey Morphitis, treasurer of SBH, said: “The most important addition for us will be the indoor mutli-sports centre which means everyone in the community will be able to train indoors in the winter.

“Saracens have already helped create the best jump area in the UK at Copthall and we haven’t had any disruption from contractors while they’ve been carrying out their work.

“The feedback we have had from athletes who have seen it is very positive.”

But the plans have had their fair share of objectors concerned about traffic, parking and the green belt.

John Turtle, vice chairman of Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “The green belt is under threat. The whole purpose of Copthall being green belt land is to prevent the coalescence of Hendon and Mill Hill. The more development you get on there the more it will be one urban scene with less and less open space.

“It’s cancer in the lungs of London. We don’t believe this is the end of it – we think there will be further and equally damaging planning applications.

“There might be applications for housing round the rim and a possible retail park along the A41.”

Copthall Community Initiative (CCI) was also one of the main groups objecting the plans.

Paul Herman chairman of CCI said: “We were very upset that the local authority gave the approval to go ahead but now that’s been taken we are best channelling our efforts to working alongside Saracens.

“Rather than fight them we should be working alongside them and that’s what we’re doing.

"We’ll continue to represent the community to make sure Saracens’ sticks to its promises."

Nigel Wray, chairman of Saracens, said: “We are delighted that works are underway to create such a unique community and sporting asset that will inspire and motivate.”