Plans to give Walford a major facelift have been given the go-ahead, securing soap opera EastEnders' future in Borehamwood.

Hertsmere Borough Council granted the BBC permission to rebuild the show's set at Elstree Studios at a planning committee meeting last night.

The current set is in a bad state of repair and its 120 hours of programmes cannot be filmed in high definition.

The new set will be developed in three phases with a number of site improvements to be made in the first stage including the addition of a gym. Part of a restaurant and club building will also be demolished to make way for new BBC production accommodation.

As a result of the works, the main access to the site will no longer be in Clarendon Road and instead will be used as the primary access for construction vehicles.

The second stage of development will involve the construction of a temporary set which will be built on the existing car park. EastEnders will be filmed on this temporary site for two years, to allow filming to continue while the permanent set is under construction.

Work on the temporary set is scheduled to begin in April 2015 and is expected to be completed by August 2016.

The construction of the permanent film set will be carried out in the third phase.