The end of an era in the East End of London is drawing closer as West Ham United have sold Upton Park to Galliard Homes.

Club officials confirmed that West Ham and the property developer had reached an agreement which will see the creation of 700 homes on the site of the Hammers' current home ground. West Ham are moving to the Olympic Stadium in 2016 leaving Upton Park redundant but the club are keen to support the area of the capital in which it was founded by providing new housing.

The Hammers are aiming to replicate the scheme adopted by Arsenal when the Premier League side left Highbury for the Emirates Stadium in 2006. The Gunners redeveloped their old stadium into Highbury Square which consisted of flats and green space but the landscape of Highbury was still maintained despite all the fittings being removed.

Karren Brady, West Ham's vice-chairman, explained that the decision to choose Galliard Homes to take on the project was due to being a London company. Ms Brady noted that the club wanted remain true to its East London origins and by joining forces with a company that has roots in the region will help deliver the vision that satisfies the club's supporters.

"The deal demonstrates that we have been true to our word by securing the regeneration of two areas of East London through our move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016. We are confident that West Ham United fans will be excited about their vision and the way they plan to respect more than 100 years of West Ham history at Upton Park," Ms Brady added.

West Ham was named as the preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium in 2013, managing to beat off competition from the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient. Balfour Beatty was recently named as the company tasked with converting the ground from athletics use into one suitable for football.

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