BOURNEMOUTH council has purchased the Wessex Fields site for £2.25 million to build a new link from the Spur Road - with AFC Bournemouth ruling out a move to the site.

The borough authorised the purchase in February at the same time as it approved the major works to create a new junction on the A338 at Holdenhurst village.

The site, between the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and the Playgolf course at Iford, is earmarked for housing and has been talked about as a potential new home for AFC Bournemouth.

However, Cherries have ruled this out.

Both the wider Bournemouth Airport area, which comes under Christchurch council, and Wessex Fields are earmarked for housing and commercial development as part of the £45 million Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme, overseen by the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership.

The latter site has long been set aside for development and was previously owned by Troika Developments.

And Bournemouth council’s purchase of Wessex Fields is part of its wider investment strategy to build and purchase homes and commercial properties, both within the town and further afield, to be rented out by its subsidiary Seascape Homes and Property Ltd on the lettings market.

The strategy is drive by the council’s desire for a regular income stream to replace government grants.

The proposed link road will connect with Deansleigh Road and Castle Lane East, and is intended to relieve regular traffic congestion at the hospital.

In December, the council pledged to help Cherries move away from Kings Park if that was what club bosses wanted to do.

Leader John Beesley said then: “I have met with the chairman Jeff Mostyn and chief executive Neill Blake and we want to make every effort to assist them in finding a suitable site.”

However, a Cherries spokesman has ruled out Wessex Fields.

“There is absolutely no truth in Wessex Fields being the site of our new stadium, or anything to do with the club,” he said.

The spokesman politely declined to comment on which sites were being considered.

The club has previously announced it has “no option” but to move away from Kings Park.

Their ground of 106 years, the 11,300 capacity Vitality Stadium in King’s Park, has been deemed insufficient to handle Premier League crowds.

Mr Blake said they would not be held to ransom by the owners of the Vitality Stadium, Structadene, over a purchase price.

The club sold the stadium to Structadene on a sale and leaseback agreement in 2005 when it was in financial difficulty.

In February, Mr Mostyn revealed the demand for tickets was around double what the club could accommodate.

It has long been rumoured that Cherries’ owner Maxim Demin has already purchased the Playgolf site.

Other sites which have been mentioned, chiefly due to being large enough to accommodate a stadium, include Canford Park Arena in Poole and the land around Bournemouth Airport.

Cherries’ south coast rivals, Brighton and Hove Albion, last month earned promotion to the top flight some six years after moving into the 30,000-capacity American Express Community Stadium.

The club, who were champions of League One the campaign before moving home, last season averaged attendances of just short of 28,000 as they reached the Premier League for the first time.