ALVECHURCH Football Club have vowed to act in the best interest of the village following a proposal to transform their Lye Meadow ground into a housing development.

The club want to construct a new stadium on the outskirts of Alvechurch at the Hayes and have already taken out a 25 year lease with Birmingham City Council.

But to help finance the move, Church would need the development of their existing Lye Meadow ground to get the go-ahead.

The current landlords of Lye Meadow, Birmingham-based property developers the Khan family have already applied to Bromsgrove District Council for outline planning to build 26 houses on the site.

As a result, football club chairman Richard Thorndike, who is an Alvechurch resident, staged a public meeting with villagers to obtain their opinion of the proposed development.

Over 50 villagers attended and club spokesman Rob McLaren, who is also one of the project co-ordinators, confirmed: "Richard has this dream for Alvechurch Football Club but has stated the proposed planning application would only move forward with the support of the club. But he won't support it without speaking to the people of Alvechurch first.

"There was a frank exchange of views but the general mood of the meeting was to support the club and development".

Church estimate it would cost £1.5 million to move from Lye Meadow and develop the Hayes. Funding would come from a variety of sources, not least from the proposed housing development.

It's anticipated that the move could take between three to five years, during which time the club intend to install a synthetic 3G pitch with floodlighting at the Hayes and then to build the stadium around it.

Yet in the short-term, Church may need to improve their existing ground as they are currently on the verge of non-league Step 2 football.

Mr McLaren explained: "To play at Step 2, we would need to have a ground capacity for 5,000 spectators which would include covered seating for 500, while there would have to be separate turnstiles to segregate supporters.

"There would also be the issue of car parking. It would all mean spending a great deal of money on Lye Meadow for just a very short period if we were to obtain promotion.

"The view from residents is that they wouldn't want a huge football stadium on what is effectively greenbelt land.

"The proposed development would include a doctor's surgery and affordable housing - but not social housing, which appears to have gone down well with people.

"Richard has always had the best interests of Alvechurch at heart and doesn't wan t to walk away from something that is left to wither on vine."