EAST Thurrock United’s dreams of building a new home in Stanford-le-Hope moved a step closer when Thurrock Council agreed to sell it the proposed site.

The Billet Field will be sold to the football club for £340,000, providing the club gets planning permission to build a stadium on the site and wins approval to build homes on its current Rookery Hill ground, in Corringham.

As part of the deal, the club will also take on neighbouring land known as the Mobil Field and maintain it for community use.

Labour councillor Philip Smith said the prospect of another top facility being built in the borough was “exciting”, and would bring long-term health benefits to those who used it.

He added: “Football is a sport with one of the highest numbers of participants in Thurrock. Obesity is an issue in the borough, so if we can get people running around a field, this has to be good.”

A spokesman for the club said: “We will be continuing to develop our plans for the site and hope to be in a position to submit a planning application shortly. We will also be sharing those plans with the local community.”

The plans follow Aveley FC being granted permission to build a community stadium at Belhus Park. The move will see the club move from its current home at Mill Field and the construction of 114 homes in its place.