THE lead architect on Worcester City’s Parsonage Way project is “confident” of delivering a new stadium by the start of the 2019-20 campaign.

Chris Partington, managing director of Worcester-based Zebra Architects, tempered his optimism with a warning of a painstaking planning process but insisted the club has “the right people talking to get the right solution” to address parking and access concerns.

Partington was present throughout the first public consultation on Wednesday and welcomed feedback from the Worcester City Supporters’ Trust team behind the proposals for Perdiswell.

“What we have shown will not be the final design but I am confident the finished article will work,” said Partington.

“We are going through the correct procedures with the right consultants in place and hope to show the community and planners that this is the right site.

“There is a lot of work to do to get to that point, we are not even at pre-application stage with planners yet. There needs to be that engagement but it could not happen until we spoke to the public, they are the most important part of this.

“Most of it was really positive and I thank everyone for coming out on what was a wet, horrible evening.

“I am confident but there is a lot of work to be done. It will be a case of taking it slowly, bit by bit.

“If everything goes to plan we would be looking to put in a planning application during the early part of the summer (2018). After Christmas, we will be working quite closely with planners to ensure the timeline is as tight as we can get it.

“We need to make sure we give them everything they need to correctly assess the site and its merits.

"You can never second guess what a planning committee will decide. Everyone thought Perdiswell would go through and it didn’t.

“Anyone who has been through a planning process knows it is not straightforward. We just need to make sure we react accordingly and I am confident we have the right consultants to give the best possible application for this club.”

As well as access and parking, the way the plot holds water has been a bone of contention from day one.

“The way we deal with the levels on the site is going to be absolutely key,” said Partington.

“There have been some good suggestions with regard to the drainage issues and how sustainable the facility could be environmentally with reintroducing rain water.

“There is a lot of earth to move and drainage to do. We need to have a pitch growing and ready for the 2019-2020 season, that has always been the target.”

Regarding the roads, he added: “We are working with the county and Highways England alongside an incredibly good highways consultant (Systra).

“It has to be right. Worcester has had a number of highways issues in the not-too-distant past so it is quite rightly going to be scrutinised but we are confident we have the right people talking to get the right solution.”