THE chairman of Edgware Town FC has promised to fight a planning application by the owner of the White Lion ground to develop the site for housing.

As we reported last week, residents near the ground in High Street, Edgware, are soon to be consulted on a plan which would end football on the site and force Edgware Town to move home. But club chairman Ken Batten reacted angrily to the idea, saying that the club would do everything in its power to resist the development.

He said: "Edgware Town Football Club, their management and fans, will oppose this application. We will not move from the White Lion ground, it is our home and has been for the last 66 years, before that it was used by Edgware Rugby Club and has been a sports ground for as long as anyone can remember. Too many clubs have succumbed to big business, which buy up grounds and then build on them just to earn a fast buck."

And Mr Batten dismissed the idea of a groundshare with Wealdstone FC at their new ground in Prince Edward Playing Fields in St David's Drive, Canons Park. He said it was "distasteful" that the developers had spoken to Wealdstone but not consulted Edgware Town themselves.

"Ground sharing with Wealdstone is not an option," Mr Batten said. "To date they have not approached us, regardless of statements to the local press. They do not have a ground to share, and with the sorry saga of the Prince Edward site to date, this may never come to fruition. Our survival is not in question, we are financially stable and our management team has built a side to challenge for promotion this season."

He continued: "We would ask all clubs and their supporters, as well as local residents who will be affected by these plans to help us in this action, for who knows, you could be next."

Although Isle of Man-registered Edgeware sic Developments Ltd are thought to represent the owners of the ground, the local developer is Galliard Homes, who are based in London. The plans will go on show to the public next week.