WORCESTER City Supporters’ Trust will press ahead with an appeal for Perdiswell despite acknowledging a “veiled threat” over their chances of leasing the land.

More than 40 members unanimously supported challenging Worcester City Council’s decision to twice go against the recommendation of their officers in refusing to grant planning permission.

After hearing from planning expert Mark Taylor, the second half of the hour-long meeting saw trust chairman Dave Wood and secretary Rob Crean field questions from the floor over recent claims made by City chairman Anthony Hampson.

Asked about Hampson’s comments that the trust had been told “some months” before May that land at Perdiswell would not be made available, Crean claimed there had only been an unofficial comment from one councillor who he declined to name.

“It was a veiled threat,” said Crean. “It was ‘why are you pursuing this when you'll never get the land?’

"I asked ‘will you say publicly that it is never going to be possible?’ “This chap said ‘I can’t say that.’ Until they do, why would we stop?

"We don’t work on speculation, if someone comes out in public and says that then we’ll listen but as far as we know, it is hearsay.”

Wood later added: "I don't know how he (Hampson) can say that. He has no authority to and if he has been told that officially by the council, we will take it further."

Crean argued securing planning represented the first step in a “three-stage process” with the second being a community focus at the heart of proposals for gaining access to the site.

It was acknowledged planning permission would not mean a green light to use the land.

Meanwhile, Wood refused to get dragged into a war of words over Hampson’s challenge for the trust to support Parsonage Way or go their own way.

“You might be thinking why don’t we return lots of comments and so on but I have no interest in it personally,” he told the room. "As I have said for the past 10-12 years, we deal in facts, reality and we are open to our membership.”

Asked why City’s board had not accepted the trust’s invitation to the meeting, Wood said: “Anthony said he would need to have his architects and planning in place to come out and present a plan of Parsonage Way.

“I understand you need to have some semblance of a plan to present to someone. My concern is there is no semblance of a plan. None of us have been told anything about Parsonage Way other than what we have read in the papers.”

Wood indicated Worcestershire FA chief executive Nicola Trigg would have been willing to attend but that other commitments had prevented her from doing so.

“We all want this to work,” Wood continued. “I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to make these connections back to Anthony and the board. We get pushed back all the time.

“I cannot think of any occasion where anybody officially from the trust has said we’re against Parsonage Way. We are not.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the council did it all, spent the money and put it all in? It would be fantastic, I would have no problem but I don’t believe it will happen.

“I truly believe in the Perdiswell project. I have done for nearly six years now, it is not to the bitter end but it does seem the most sensible thing to do.”

Crean advocated a “sensible and logical” approach when asked about the prospect of forming a new club, stating advice from Supporters Direct was that it should only be considered as a “nuclear option” after all else had failed.