It's ten years ago this week since Chingford's MP put his weight behind plans for dog racing to return to the historic East London venue.

A rival planning application to reopen Walthamstow Stadium as a dog track is to be submitted.

It comes a week after the venue's owner London and Quadrant (L&Q) handed over its paperwork to build a housing estate at the site to the council.

It means the authority will now have to rule on both planning applications and declare whether or not a return to greyhound racing is viable.

L&Q has always ruled out selling the stadium on the basis that rival bids were flawed, while the council has always stressed its independence and apparent unwillingness to take sides over the issue.

Chingford MP Iain Duncan Smith announced that millionaire businessman Bob Morton will submit the plans for greyhound racing, 120 affordable homes and a leisure centre within the next week.

Anyone can apply for planning permission for a site even if they do not own it.

The news has been welcomed by campaigners from the Save Our Stow (SOS) group, who have been working with Mr Morton on the bid.

SOS head Ricky Holloway said: "We've always said the plans are viable and this will help prove it.

"Bob's plans will benefit the whole borough and preserve its heritage.

"It will create jobs, bring back dog racing, provide a leisure centre for all sections of the community and have housing. It's what people want and it's a no-brainer for the council."

Mr Duncan Smith said he backed Mr Morton's plans and agreed they were viable.

He said: "Everybody wants the dog track back. I've not heard from a single resident who agrees with what L&Q are doing. The only people who want this type of housing estate are them and some people at the council.

"L&Q overpaid for the site and they're never going to make that money back. It's a matter of keeping up the pressure until they sell."

Dozens of residents came to the stadium this morning to talk with Mr Duncan Smith where he made the announcement.

Kay Walker, 45, lives nearby in Rushcroft Road and came along to see what the fuss was about.

She said: "No-one wants a large housing estate there. Whatever they build is going to overshadow my garden and it's already difficult enough to park.

"I would much prefer a smaller amount of homes and to have dog racing back again.”

Both applications are expected to be decided by a council planning committee later this year.