PERMISSION for a new football stadium for Southend United could be granted before Christmas.

After years of discussions and reports, the club has announced Southend Council now has all the paperwork it needs to make a decision.

Southend United first submitted plans for the new Fossetts Farm stadium in Eastern Avenue in April 2017.

Archaeological and transport surveys for the 21,000-seater stadium, which includes shops, flats and a hotel, have now been completed and club chairman Ron Martin is confident progress will be made.

He said: “The council has been awaiting a number of external reports, including further detailed traffic modelling. Thankfully these have now been received.

“While the content of these reports will need to be evaluated by officers of the council, we feel good progress on the club’s new stadium plans is being made.

“With continued traction we can perhaps begin to look towards the club’s application being presented to members of the council before Christmas. I do hope so.”

The club’s current stadium at Roots Hall, in Victoria Avenue, is set to make way for new homes. This will kickstart the building of the new stadium.

The club is poised to submit a planning application for this development which will be unveiled to the public shortly.

Mr Martin said: “As regards the club’s linked planning application at Roots Hall - circa 472 homes - we are shortly to meet with officers for a second pre-application meeting. All being well following that meeting, our application will be submitted.

“In parallel we will be holding a public exhibition over two days, to include a Saturday, enabling all interested parties to have an opportunity of inspecting the plans and ask questions of our planning consultants.

“The club will ensure good notice is given ahead of the planned exhibition dates.”