ROOTS Hall will remain home to Southend United until the new Fossetts Farm stadium is complete, council bosses say.

On Tuesday, Southend Council’s cabinet will be given an update on the plans for the new stadium and hundreds of new homes around it, at least 800 of which will be for the council.

The Echo revealed earlier this week how multi-billionaire tycoons, the Dellal family, were linked with the huge development. This is seen as a significant move in achieving the stadium development after many years of talks.

However, it has been made clear Roots Hall will remain operational as home of the Blues until the stadium at Fossetts Farm, off Eastern Avenue, is finished.

In the latest report into the ambitious plan, Southend Council officials stress: “The council will not be involved in the stadium construction, but a legal framework will ensure that the existing stadium at Roots Hall remains operational until the new stadium is opened.”

The council has also revealed the Government is prepared to back the development with a substantial loan for the stadium and infrastructure to help the long-held plan finally go ahead.

The loan from Homes England would be given as long as the project delivers a “substantial quantity” of new housing.

Speaking of the overall plan, Ian Gilbert, Labour leader of Southend Council, welcomed the latest developments, which would provide new homes, protect the town centre and finally achieve a new home for Blues.

He said: “Subject to the planning process, this project would not only see much needed new homes built, but also enable the new stadium to be built for the football club along with the threat to the town centre from the previously proposed retail element taken away.

“We need to build more homes as a borough, and we want more affordable rented homes that meet the needs of local people. As we look to the future and recovery from Covid-19, this sort of investment is vital and will be a big boost to the economy, create jobs and boost confidence in Southend as a place that wants to move forward.

“This will also generate an income stream for the council which we can reinvest in vital services. We also want a new football stadium and have always recognised the importance of the club to the borough.”