PLANS to redevelopment the Barton Stadium in Winsford could be shelved after it emerged a developer is being lined up to build the town’s football club a new home.

Vale Royal mayor Malcolm Gaskill dropped the “bombshell” at a fund- raising meeting for the proposed renovation of the run-down ground last Tuesday night.

The developer, who has not been identified, could bulldoze the stadium and build houses on the site, and create a “Conference standard” replacement on land off Bradford Road, previously ruled by Vale Royal as unsuitable for housing.

Winsford has been identified by the new Cheshire West and Chester authority as a “housing hotspot” area, meaning more new homes need to be built to meet demand.

Cllr Gaskill, who was United chairman from 1989-92, initiated talks with the mystery company last Wednesday and is confident a deal can be struck. He told The Chronicle the move would be “win-win all round”.

The town council and surviving relatives of Reg Barton would need to approve the transfer of the trust deed if a concrete bid is made.

Winsford United director Alan Johnson, who had initially hoped to raise more than £500,000 to renovate the current ground, said the alternative proposal “would be far better than we could ever create at the Barton Stadium”.

He added: “We’d need to raise far less and there would be a lot more benefits.”