THE owners of Salisbury City Football Club’s stadium want to see it developed for housing.

Old Sarum Stadium Ltd (OSSL) says 150 properties could be built on the Whites’ home ground.

The club’s chairman, William Harrison-Allan, said the directors have not been told and are working hard to turn the stadium into a “community hub” with lots of extra activities.

The Raymond McEnhill Stadium is leased to the club, which recently came out of administration. According to OSSL the club’s future remains “very uncertain”.

The company wants the stadium listed as a ‘strategic site’ for housing under the South Wiltshire Core Strategy.

The owners say it is brownfield land, and council planners have previously identified it as having potential for housing.

In a document which a government inspector will consider on Tuesday (April 6) they say that if the Whites need a new home, there is scope nearby at Longhedge or by the park and ride site.

They also argue that if houses replace the stadium, an estate of 800 homes being planned at Longhedge need not be so big. English Heritage has told the inspector the Longhedge development will ruin the view from Old Sarum.

Wiltshire Council officer David Milton has defended the decision not to choose the stadium as a strategic housing site.

He said: “The council sees the football club as an extremely important social and cultural asset, and we have seen no compelling evidence why we should consider it being relocated.

“We would like to work positively with the club to try to overcome the challenges it faces, and help it to a thriving and successful future.”

Mr Harrison-Allan said: “We have a 14-year lease which we have just renegotiated. We have not been given any notice by our landlords that they are not continuing the lease.

He said they are trying to make the site more of a social centre, with a bar open seven days a week, food being served and events such as car boot sale.

“We would like to develop a bigger shop, selling a wider range of goods. We are also trying to develop a South Wiltshire Football Academy. And we have letting rooms that can be used for seminars.

“We have settled with our football creditors and are working with the trade creditors, many of whom have turned their debts into donations, for which we would like to thank them.

“And we have paid out of our own pockets for four new floodlights. We are not out of the woods yet but we have made a tremendous difference in less than six months and our commitment is100 per cent.”