Ambitious plans to bulldoze Workington Reds’ football ground to make way for a £25m stadium have been lodged.

Council plans to demolish Borough Park were sent to the planning department less than 48 hours after efforts by opposition councillors to stall the project failed.

The council learned at the end of last month that they will host games for the Rugby League World Cup 2021, with the creation of the stadium a cornerstone of their bid.

But proposals for an 8,000-capacity community stadium for Workington Reds and Workington Town have divided opinion across Allerdale since the scale of the project was revealed.

Some have praised the district authority for its ambition amid claims an overhaul of the town’s rundown sports grounds is long overdue.

It has been claimed the project will raise the town’s profile, bring revenue into the area and encourage the next generation of sporting stars.

But opposition councillors have branded it a “white elephant” and a “vanity project”, accusing council chiefs of “railroading” the plans through and “jumping the gun”.

They have also described the venture as “risky”.

Conservative and Independent councillors have also expressed reservations about the spiralling cost of the project.

Council leader Alan Smith has insisted that the stadium is for the whole of Allerdale, not just for Workington.

He said that the wealth of sporting talent in West Cumbria needed “aspirational facilities”, stressing that it was a community stadium to be used seven days a week 24-7.

The sporting venue to house Workington Town and Workington Reds was initially forecast to cost around £15million.

But following news that Sellafield Ltd is interested in moving 300 nuclear workers on the site, the price tag has leapt up by £10m to pay for the extra offices needed to accommodate them.

The stadium, including the 3G pitch and changing facilities would cost around £15.45million, while the offices and new base for NHS staff attached to the venue would cost around £9.55m million.

Allerdale council will now consider whether to borrow the full amount needed to build the stadium.