EXCITED Cradley Heathens fans have been given fresh hope of finally finding a new home for the speedway club after unveiling plans for a sports facility in Oldbury.

Heathens Speedway Supporters Trust has submitted a planning application to Sandwell Council for the Queens field site on the Lion Farm estate.

The trust, which was established six months ago, is looking to redevelop the under-used existing land and create a centre that will incorporate a speedway track and a host of facilities for other sports.

These include a BMX track, a cycle speedway track, rugby pitch, a bowling green and volleyball and basketball courts.

If the plans materialise it would bring an end to the uncertainty surrounding the club, which has been without a permanent home for seven years and current uses Perry Barr stadium in Birmingham.

Ex-Heathens rider Mark Robinson, who is a member of the Trust, said: “We have been working hard on this for six months. This site has a covenant on it which states it can only be used for sports and recreation.

“It is currently under-used but we firmly believe we can make this a real asset for the community and bring something positive to the area.

“We have spoken to other sports clubs and associations who are showing a real interest in what we are looking to achieve.

“Speedway clubs do attract criticism. But we have plans to erect a two metre high acoustic fence around the track and have marshals for fixtures to ensure there are no parking issues. We will do everything to minimise problems.

“This would be very positive for Heathens as it will give us our own home for the first time in seven years. But this is about the community as a whole and we know we can deliver something that will benefit so many people.”

He added they were confident that the cost of the redevelopment - which would likely be six figures – would be met by securing external funding.

In a statement, Cradley Heathens management gave their “unreserved congratulations” to the Trust for their work.

They said: “The Trust have been able to achieve something which we have been unable to in the past eight years, but that's not to say there has been any lack of time, effort or expense spared in that time or by others before us.

“We would urge all supporters of the club to fully embrace this scheme which could finally achieve the ambition of every Heathens fan and see the return of their team to a home of their own.”