Planning permission has been granted for a new £5million woodland park on derelict land opposite the Commonwealth Games Athletes' Village.

South Lanarkshire Council has backed the scheme at the Cuningar Loop on the banks of the Clyde close to Rutherglen town centre

The £5m scheme is expected to attract 100,000 visitors to the site by 2021.

Approval was also given for a footbridge from Cuningar Loop to link the area to the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village, as well as the Clyde Walkway and National Cycle Route.

Leader of South Lanarkshire Council, Councillor Eddie McAvoy, said: "This will create a fantastic, accessible green space area. Cunigar Loop has been a long neglected area of derelict land and I am sure the community around the park will enjoy and appreciate the facilities once completed.

"We also hope it will attract people from far and wide and that it will be an important legacy of the Commonwealth Games."

The applicants, Clyde Gateway and the Forestry Commission Scotland, state that the initiative will help to improve the quality of the Cuningar Loop woodland. They also hope to grow visitor and community use of the site from less than 1000 people per year to more than 100,000 people per year by 2021.

The park is also being delivered to complement and enhance the sporting arena developments in the Clyde Gateway area, bringing with it greater economic activity.

Finally, both applicants are looking to ensure that the long term management of the site will be environmentally and economically sustainable.

The site is 14.8 hectares in size and is currently an area of unmaintained open space next to the River Clyde and approximately one kilometre to the north east of Rutherglen town centre. It has lain derelict for almost 50 years and is rarely used by the public.

Tom Wallace, project manager for Cuningar Loop said: "We're delighted that South Lanarkshire Council's planning committee has given Cuningar Loop the green light. This is a really exciting Legacy 2014 project that will provide a fantastic woodland park right in the heart of Rutherglen.

"Local communities will be able to get involved, get active and be inspired by a range of outdoor and educational pursuits on their doorstep."

Neil McDonald, Chair of Clyde Gateway said: "The new woodland park is going to bring a whole new use for this part of the Cuningar Loop and I'm delighted that the council has given its backing to the plans we have brought forward in partnership with the Forestry Commission Scotland.

"The park is a hugely important part of our wider plans for the regeneration of the Farme Cross area and later this year we will making a start on redeveloping the site of the former Monogram factory as the Rutherglen Low Carbon Zone."