GRAYS Athletic Football Club have announced plans to move to a new home in Aveley.

With their existing ground at Bridge Road in Grays about to be redeveloped, the Blue Square Premier club have been looking for a new site for some time and now appear settled on a new development at the Aveley Sports & Social Club Ground on Purfleet Road.

The move would mean Aveley playing host to three non-league sides as long-established Ryman Division One North Aveley and Blue Square South Thurrock are also within the town boundaries.

The site in Purfleet Road was originally the club and sports ground for the Thames Board Mills factory, before being sold to the London Fire Brigade.

They in turn sold it into the private sector and previous owners include boxing brothers Billy and George Walker, who had ambitions to mine the site.

That plan was blocked and the land was sold on and is now run as a private club, though the link with the fire brigade is continued by firefighters and ex-firefighters who use its bowling greens.

"The proposals are based upon the redevelopment of the existing site to form a new 21st century sports/leisure park with combined community and residential accommodation catering for a broad demographic, diverse and sustainable occupation," Grays spokesman Kevin Lamb said.

"The proposals are conceived to form an exemplar model of regeneration based upon high levels of sustainability and inspired architectural design throughout all aspects of the site.

"The development is formed around the principal hub facilities consisting a new sports stadium and leisure centre including a sports hall/gymnasium, two ancillary artificial sports fields and changing facilities, and a further designated artificial pitch area for children's use.

"The existing bowling club is to be retained with the addition of a new pavilion providing upgraded clubroom and changing facilities."

Plans for the site also include housing, local shops and a health centre.