COUNCILLOR Adrian Gregson is urging Worcester City to instigate talks over proposals for a new stadium at Perdiswell.

Worcester City Supporters’ Trust last month succeeded in overturning Worcester City Council’s decision to reject planning permission for the council-owned site.

Four trust-affiliated directors were appointed to the homeless club’s board in the wake of the Parsonage Way project grinding to a halt and chairman Anthony Hampson stepping aside.

The changes led to a rethink of City's stance.

The council’s deputy leader welcomed the green light from the Planning Inspectorate and backs “the idea Worcester City should be playing at Perdiswell”.

But since the original application, City has dropped down three levels and seen a dramatic decrease in its available funds.

Gregson is hopeful that could help to overcome objections but offered a word of warning over what it could mean for the current planning success.

“Personally, I think club officials should be seeking meetings with council officers to see what they might need to do to move forward,” said Gregson.

“I would like to say well done to all those involved for their commitment and perseverance with this application but the situation has changed. The position the club is in is different, they play at a different level and have a new board.

“The Parsonage Way discussions were about a much-reduced stadium operation. They may not be able to afford or want to have what they applied for at Perdiswell anymore.

“If they were to look at what they had planned for Parsonage Way, they may not be able to simply transport that to Perdiswell.”

Gregson acknowledged the prospect of a fresh process may seem daunting.

“That must be a real worry which is why they must take advice that I cannot offer,” he added.

“I would expect them to have to go through another submission but the precedent has been set for the site and they should be encouraged by that.

“The club is starting to rebuild and needs to consider its position. I would have thought it would readjust what it would put forward and that has a significant impact on the levels of objection.

“I was happy with the original plan for Perdiswell. I spoke in favour and would have voted for it.

“I understand the concerns of local people in terms of parking and disruption but I think they are mitigated by the number of games, the length of the season and the number of people attending.”

Progress depends on gaining a land transfer for the site with the Planning Inspectorate granting just three years for work to begin.

Conservative councillor and chairman of Worcester City Council’s planning committee Chris Mitchell hit back at criticism of the original decision in a letter to the Worcester News.

Mitchell expressed “hope the club has a fully costed and funded business plan before they approach the city council requesting that we either sell or lease Perdiswell”.

Gregson said: “Whether the council would lease, sell, give that piece of land that it owns was always a separate issue.

“We all know the business case for that planning application was ambitious in terms of getting funding, business sponsorship and community ownership going.

“It also depends on success on the pitch. When all of those things are in a state of flux, which they are now, there has to be some sort of reconsideration but personally I still support the idea that Worcester City should be playing at Perdiswell.

“It all comes down to the land transfer and that is a political decision. There is no guarantee I will support that unless the club is a viable business entity. We don’t want a white elephant sat in the middle of Perdiswell.

“I am not playing fast and loose with the council’s money in that respect but I am much closer to agreeing with a deal over the use of that land for the club than my political opponents are.

“They have said no regardless and haven’t even been to a committee to say that, they have just done that privately.

“The situation has been clear from the start. Green and Conservative politicians in that area are opposed to the club being there.

“We (Labour) have never said that, our proviso is certainly that we want the Is dotted and Ts crossed before we would feel confident to release the land.”

Club director and trust chairman Dave Wood, who is leading talks over a new ground, said: “We are considering what the successful planning appeal means from every angle and will provide updates in due course.

“We will refer the legal aspects back to the planning team that has been on board for the past six years for clarification and consider all feasible options.

“One thing I can say is that the club and trust are fully united behind this and determined to bring our club back home.”