Essex

Southend United: Council offers reduced Fossetts Farm stadium deal

Fossetts Farm
Image caption Southend United hope to move to a 22,000-seat stadium at Fossetts Farm

Southend United is a step closer to building a new football stadium after councillors agreed a change in the planning conditions.

The club has planning permission for a 22,000-seat stadium at Fossetts Farm.

If the scheme goes ahead, Sainsbury's plans to build a supermarket on the site of its current Roots Hall ground.

Image caption The club play at the 12,000-capacity Roots Hall

The club and Sainsbury's initially offered £6m towards the town centre as part of the deal. Southend Council has now accepted a reduced amount of £3.5m.

But the Conservative-run authority has told the club it must provide more money up front than originally agreed before building work can start.

The League Two club originally agreed to make the payment as part of planning conditions, but the sum has been at the centre of a dispute which has delayed work on the scheme.

The club attempted to scrap the payment, but later offered £2.25m.

The offer was then increased to £3.5m, with the club and supermarket warning that a greater amount would "fatally undermine" the scheme.

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