A football club has been told to find themselves a new home despite more than 4,000 fans signing a petition to save the site.

Chairman Lee Harding spoke of his fears for the future of Braintree Town FC earlier this year after a local plan suggested placing houses on top of its training facilities.

The change would leave the club without access to the away section of the stadium on match days, without any car park facilities as well as the training facilities.

The lease on the training pitch, owned by Braintree Council, expires in 2030, however in the plan, the site is expected to accommodate sixty homes from 2022.

After concerns were raised Braintree Council promised to help and a meeting took place but Mr Harding has now revealed the club has been told to find a new home, draw up a business plan and then go back to the council to see what can be done.

Mr Harding said: “We had one meeting in July and the ball is now firmly in the club’s court. The council have left it down to us to go back to them with our plans.

“The meeting we had was constructive, and we are hoping to submit a business plan for the new stadium within the next two months.

“But it is not easy to find a site in the current climate.

“We have looked at several sites, but anyone who has land for sale at the moment thinks they are in with a chance of building homes on the land.

“We are not expecting a massive intervention from our MP but when you see the state of the town at the moment, it is concerning and you would hope the club, a massive part of the community, could gain some support.

“We don’t want money from Braintree Council, but we want some support from our council. For us, if we cannot find somewhere and the council pursues its plans, then it will be the end of our football club.”

The club, nicknamed The Iron due to their history with the famous window firm, have invested more than £100,000 into the training facilities, improving the drainage, playing surface and installed a car park for spectators at the Avanti Stadium.

Braintree Town’s current home off of Clockhouse Way, but they have been after a new ground since 2004.

The club thought a solution had been found at a new site behind the Springwood Drive Industrial Estate, but the proposals collapsed.

Dan Cook, of Great Dunmow, who set up the petition, said: “We have had much more support than we thought from football fans all over the country as well which is nice.

“We will be presenting it to James Cleverly, MP for Braintree, and we are sending a copy to Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.”

A Braintree District Council spokesperson said: “We have worked with the football club for many years looking into options to relocate the stadium.

"If a suitable and viable alternative site cannot be found then the club can remain indefinitely at their current ground which they own, and also remain in occupation of the training pitch land until 2030.

"The club has rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act to renew its lease past 2030.

"There is no reason why the club cannot continue to operate at their current home for as long as it wants to, however we will continue to assess any future proposals brought forward by the club backed by a sound business case.”