A HUNT for “alternatives” sites for a new Worcester City FC stadium was dramatically suspended today - with a crunch decision over Perdiswell now looming.

After months of private talks with club officials, Worcester City Council says it has halted the search after investigating more than 12 other locations.

The decision came after the club’s directors said they were close to submitting all the paperwork for the council to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a proposed 4,100-capacity ground at Perdiswell Park.

A slightly revised plan is due to be handed over this month, triggering a fresh 21-day consultation period before it then goes to the planning committee.

The city’s Labour leadership now says it wants a decision made over Perdiswell one way or the other, suspending any more work on considering other sites.

A vote could be on the cards as soon as December, although the administration would only go as far as saying “in the near future” today.

Both the club and politicians have come together five times since the summer and warned there are now only “a small number” of options on the table if Perdiswell ultimately fails.

Councillor Adrian Gregson, the leader, said: “We have considered over a dozen sites and options since the working party was set up - there are now only a small number of options left on the table.

“The working group is still fully committed to bringing the club home, but with the Perdiswell application expected to go to the planning committee in the near future it’s clearly sensible to wait for that decision before we continue our work.”

Anthony Hampson, the club’s chairman, said: “From the outset the working party has been determined to look at every possibility for bringing City home, so we’ve taken a detailed second look at sites that had been ruled out before.

“Everyone is fully committed to supporting our return to Worcester, so we’ll be back at work once we know the Perdiswell decision.”

After St George’s Lane closed in 2013 the club has been in exile, playing at Aggborough in Kidderminster and now Bromsgrove.

We revealed back in May how Worcester’s Green Party had hatched a deal with Labour to explore “alternative locations” to Perdiswell in return for allowing the current leadership to resume power at the Guildhall.

The two Green councillors, who hold 'kingmaker' status at the Guildhall, said the party "does not favour the football ground being sited at Perdiswell" and used that tactic as a crucial part of its negotiations which swept Labour to power following the elections.

The original application for a new ground on Perdiswell Park, submitted in April 2014, has been bogged in difficulties and has attracted around 1,400 public comments, with more than 1,000 of them in support.

Petitions both for and against the Perdiswell stadium bid have attracted 1,000 names each, with the club's fans increasingly desperate to get the team back home.