Plans to find a new home for a stadium for Brighton and Hove Albion's women's team within the city will be discussed by councillors.

Brighton and Hove City Council will discuss plans to build a purpose-built stadium somewhere in the city for the women’s team, who currently play their games 20 miles away in Crawley.

The Labour administration said that having the club based outside the city amid the rise in popularity of women’s football is now detrimental to participation and development of the women’s game.

A motion calling for the council to support “in principle” the return of the women’s team to the city will be discussed next week.

The Argus: Council leader Bella Sankey backs the plans to find a new home for Brighton and Hove Albion's women's teamCouncil leader Bella Sankey backs the plans to find a new home for Brighton and Hove Albion's women's team (Image: Brighton and Hove Labour)

Council leader Bella Sankey said that the rise of women’s football at a local and national level deserves recognition and “requires practical support to ensure the women’s game continues to grow”.

She said: “It’s been over 100 years since the Football Association introduced a ban on the women’s game being played at the professional grounds and pitches of clubs affiliated to the FA. 

“Despite this ban being lifted in the 1970s, we are still a long way from women’s football reaching parity.

“Look how the Albion men’s team has roared to success once we got the Falmer stadium built. It’s about time we brought the Albion women’s team home to our city too. 

“Our motion to full council demonstrates our full commitment to working with the club to deliver this for the Brighton & Hove Albion women’s team and all the fans.”

Head coach Melissa Phillips said that, while the team have great support in Crawley, they want to be back in Brighton.

She said: “Football in Brighton is at an all-time high and so is the growth of the women’s game. 

“We know we can bring that same sense of pride to the community that our men do.

“It is really encouraging to have the support of Brighton & Hove City Council in helping us to find a suitable location within the city to provide a permanent home for the team.”

Captain of Albion’s women’s team Vicky Losada, who joined the club in the summer, said the club and the city’s commitment to supporting women’s football is “something we should all be really proud”.

“It would be amazing for me and my teammates to be back playing in the city we are proud to represent,” she said.

Brighton and Hove Albion's men's team are based at the Amex Stadium in Falmer, the second-largest stadium in South East England.

The stadium, which opened in 2011, came after the club's former home of Goldstone Ground was sold to developers. The Seagulls spent two seasons at Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium in Kent before returning to Brighton as tenants of Withdean Stadium for more than ten years.

Albion’s women’s team are currently eighth in the Women’s Super League - the top tier of women’s football in England, above Arsenal but below West Ham.

Councillors will discuss the proposal at a meeting of full council on October 19.