FEARS that a decision on Worcester City FC’s new ground would go into extra time have been kicked into the stands after the Government decided not to call the application in for an inquiry.

Chiefs at the club have breathed a collective sigh of relief as they say this decision means they can really start to plan for the move from St George’s Lane to a new ground on the city’s outskirts at Nunnery Way.

However, some finer details have still got to be ironed out and agreed while there is a chance someone could call the proposal in for a judicial review.

But Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has taken a look at the plans for the 3,000-capacity stadium and does not consider the development to conflict with policy, thinks there are no significant design issues and does not believe it will have a significant impact on the area beyond the immediate locality.

“Nor does he consider that there is any other sufficient reason to call the application in for his own determination,” said Karen Rose, planning casework manager at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

“He has therefore decided the application should be determined at local level and has not called it in.”

Colin Layland, Worcester City FC’s vice-chairman, said: “It’s good news and it takes a lot of pressure off because we thought we were going to have to wait until towards the end of the year to hear anything.

“Getting this decision now means it gives us more time to plan for our future. We have got a meeting with St Modwen in a few weeks’ time and this means we can start planning ahead and can ask them to say when they can start developing up there.”

Developer St Modwen said it will continue to work with the football club and city council to progress the scheme.

You Worcester News has previously reported how the club has to leave its current home in St George’s Lane by June 2013 as it has already sold the ground to clear its debts and help pay for the new stadium.

City will probably have to play elsewhere while they wait for it to be built and chiefs are currently sounding out other options including a possible arrangement with Worcester Warriors at Sixways.

Worcester City fan Lord Richard Faulkner said: “I hope everyone will get behind the club and help it achieve its potential. There will be real community benefits for the city and county and it will be a source of pride for all of us who care about sport and sporting opportunities.”

Meanwhile, Mr Layland said the club is determined to get the best deal it can with regards to the enabling development – there is outline planning permission for a hotel, restaurant, and offices at Nunnery Way.