AFC Bournemouth have applied to keep the South Stand at Vitality Stadium in place for a further five years.

The temporary seating has been in use since summer 2013, initially for a period of five years.

Permission was granted to extend this for a further five years, with the consent currently due to expire in two months’ time.

The club is now seeking permission from BCP Council planners to retain the South Stand until 2028.

After completing a takeover of the club late last year, American businessman Bill Foley said Cherries’ current home “is not adequate” for the Dorset outfit.

Chairman Mr Foley said the training ground development at Canford Magna must be resolved before attention can turn to looking at the stadium situation.

A letter submitted to the local authority as part of the planning application on behalf of Cherries by Savills says it is “imperative” that the South Stand is retained.

The letter by associate Philip Saunders says: “The current South Stand is a durable, presentable and well-maintained structure. It has been in safe use for almost 10 years now and is unobtrusive in its surroundings. There would be no planning benefit in requiring a removal of the South Stand at this time.

“There is a clear and continuing need for the South Stand. The Vitality Stadium has by far the smallest capacity of any Premier League Ground and only a handful of current Championship clubs have a lower capacity.

“Retention of the South Stand means that the total capacity of the Vitality Stadium will remain below that originally consented in 1996.”

The application is currently being assessed by council planning officers.

As reported, work restarted on the new training ground at Canford Magna earlier this season.

Bournemouth Echo: Cherries chairman Bill FoleyCherries chairman Bill Foley

Speaking about the stadium situation in December, Mr Foley told the BBC: “I would love to stay here and improve this stadium and maybe look at a transaction with the ownership to acquire the stadium. I am just not sure that is going to work for us.

“I really believe that we need a facility that is first class, that is up to date, that has got the right hospitality assets. We have many seats, we have the right premium seating and our feeling internally is really that probably takes a new stadium but we haven’t made that decision. We are still open minded.”