The Honorary President of the Football League Lord Brian Mawhinney has given his public support to a campaign to stop the site of Bristol’s potential World Cup stadium from being registered as a “town green”.

Lord Mawhinney is also Chairman of the England 2018 Technical Bid Panel, which is the organisation behind the selection of the 16 English host city stadiums, and Bristol’s development plans were a lynch pin in the city’s successful candidacy.

Ashton Vale is a 42-acre site in South Bristol that was granted permission for a £92 million stadium and neighbouring wetlands and wildlife area by Bristol City Council in February this year, following a three-year application process.

However, in May the Council received an independent planning inspector’s report recommending that the area – half of which is a former landfill site – be given special designation as a town green.

The report was invoked by a small number of residents who live nearby and are against the stadium plans.

Lord Mawhinney signed the petition supporting the campaign “A City United” in front of the home crowd at Ashton Gate during the half-time interval of the City game against Queen’s Park Rangers on Friday evening.