WOKING FC will oppose plans to build housing next to the stadium unless the developer helps to provide a new west stand at a cost of around £6 million.

Rosemary Johnson, the club chairman, said that any development on the site should be integral to an upgrade of the stadium.

A proposal to build 187 homes either side of the Laithwaite Community Stadium has been announced by Wayne Gold, who runs GolDev.

Mr Gold has lodged an appeal against the rejection of more ambitious plans to build a 9,000-seat home for the Cards and more than 1,000 adjacent flats,

He said in a statement that “if the new small scheme is considered viable by the council and Woking residents, then the appeal will be abandoned”.

“Part of that proposal will be a financial contribution for Woking Football Club to allow them to improve their existing facilities and this is combined with the £300,000 payment made to them by GolDev Woking in 2018-19, to help them survive financially during the planning process,” the statement added.

Mr Gold said he wants to make sure that everything to do with the proposed smaller housing scheme is transparent.

Mrs Johnson told the News & Mail that the football club does not support the appeal against the rejection of the bigger plans by Woking Borough Council and has asked for its name to be removed from the process.

She said the £300,000 payment to which Mr Gold referred was to ensure exclusivity for GolDev over the new stadium plans during the planning application process and decision.

In June last year, the council’s planning committee rejected the stadium and flats plans by eight votes to nil with one abstention with objections over the planned size and scale of the high-rise flats.

Mrs Johnson said it was clear that the council wants any development in the area to benefit the club and the new, smaller, housing proposal fails to do that.

She said the new GolDev plan for 92 flats on Westfield Avenue in blocks of three to six stories with a small shop would mean the west stand could not be upgraded to English Football League standards.

For more on this story, get the 7 January edition of the Woking News & Mail