Lewes District Council is likely to fail in its legal challenge to the Falmer Stadium, according to Steve Bassam.

Albion fan and former leader of Brighton Council, Lord Bassam of Brighton claims the council's legal justification for the challenge is "flimsy".

The Labour peer has produced statistics showing that only one in four legal challenges to planning decisions succeed.

The figures, obtained from the House of Lords library, show that only ten out of 41 legal challenges against Secretary of State planning decisions have succeeded this year.

Lord Bassam said: "Even if the council was fortunate to get past a court hearing and persuade a judge they had a case, the Deputy Prime Minister is unlikely to alter his decision.

"There are no recent records of that taking place, especially on such flimsy grounds as Lewes District Council has cited.

"Having read the council's justification for its proposed challenge, I cannot see any reason to believe that it can win. This casts doubt in my mind as to the whether its actions are genuine.

"I think it is a delaying tactic designed to put off the dreadful day when it has to get real and deal with the city council and the Albion properly. The council is being vindictive and hoping the club will suffer financially. Every month that it holds things up adds costs to the development."

Later today, Albion fans will be descending on the full meeting of Lewes District Council.

However, the Falmer issue is not on the meeting agenda because the cabinet's decision to challenge the Deputy Prime Minister's verdict did not require the ratification of the full council.

Lord Bassam added: "What Lewes should do is work for the greater benefit of local communities, support the regenerative effects of the scheme and get maximum benefit for those who live in the Lewes district.

"Instead, behind closed doors, the council has taken a secret decision, based on information it is not prepared to put into the public domain at a cost to local tax-payers.

"From a Lib Dem authority which prides itself on openness and transparency, I find this hypocritical.

"Residents will be right to be angry. I hope that the councillors who were not consulted press the cabinet members and get them to reconsider.

Otherwise, I can see local residents themselves giving the Lib Dem group a vote of no confidence on this issue and rightly so."