Bosses at a cash-strapped football club are “hopeful” they will get planning permission to sell off a training ground to ease the club’s financial woes.

Eccleshill United FC is seeking permission to turn a redundant training pitch at its ground in Kingsway, Wrose, into a development of more than 50 homes.

Club chairman, John Offless, said the survival of the club depended on permission being granted.

“The money that we raise (by selling off the land) is going to develop junior soccer as well as sustaining the club for the future,” he said.

For the past three years, the club has been attempting to shore up its finances by selling off the land. At the end of last year, it was left with a debt totalling £250,000.

Club officials withdrew a planning application for an 80-home development in August 2008, after neighbours objected to increased traffic in roads surrounding the Plumpton Park ground.

However, following a series of meetings with residents, a new planning application has been submitted for up to 56 houses, including a small number of affordable homes.

Planners at Bradford Council received the new application last week.

Mr Offless said: “We have done a lot of work with the neighbours and the Council’s planners have written to them.

“We are hopeful that it will go through, otherwise it would be the tragic loss of a community facility.”

He said proposals for new training pitches in Gaisby Lane – to make up for the loss of land in Kingsway – were still on the table, but said the plans relied on public support.

Councillor Vanda Greenwood (Windhill & Wrose), who is supporting the planning application, said the club had attempted to address concerns about increased traffic if homes are built on the redundant training pitch.

She added: “The club doesn’t have any other option. At the end of the day, they have to sell this land.

“If they didn’t, the club would go under and have to sell off all of its land, which could mean a much bigger housing development there.”

The application, submitted to the Council’s Major Development Team, is expected to be discussed by the Shipley Area Planning Panel.

Meanwhile, the club is calling for new members for its junior teams.

Anyone who wants information about joining should contact Mr Offless on 07766 416303.