A GRASSROOTS football club is one step closer to realising its dream of having a new home after the council approved plans for eight pitches and a clubhouse on grazing land near Askham Bar.

The City of York Council planning committee's decision means one of the area's largest junior football teams, Bishopthorpe White Rose, will finally have a home to call its own. The club has more than 400 players who will benefit from the development which lies to the south east of Tadcaster Road.

Josh Wong, Bishopthorpe White Rose’s club secretary, said: “While the England team’s dream of bringing football home ended last night, we made a huge step towards realising our dream of finding football a home in Bishopthorpe.

“A proper home and facilities will make a huge difference. It will allow us to grow even more and play a bigger role in the community, giving generations of young people a safe, inspiring place to stay fit and active.”

Under the plans, there will be no parking on the site, only an access road for servicing the clubhouse. The council will add around 900m of new hedges, 400 trees and new wetland areas for drainage.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, executive member for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “England’s world cup exploits have captured the imagination and inspired so many people across the city.

“With the community stadium and these facilities set to open next year, we’re investing at the grassroots so we can turn that inspiration into opportunities for York residents to get active, stay healthy and maybe one day emulate their heroes.

“Bishopthorpe White Rose is clearly a valued and popular club, and I wish all their volunteers and players the best of luck as they build a new home.”

The council will start work at the site this summer, following an application for a grant from the Football Foundation.