But residents hope to challenge council decision in court
Queens Park Rangers have announced a development agreement for Warren Farm has been signed with Ealing Council, meaning planning permission for the club’s new training complex can now be issued.
QPR say that under the development agreement, the club will build a new multi-purpose community sports complex and elite training facility, which will provide a base for the club’s first team and academy, as well as give local people access to high-quality community and sports facilities.
QPR Chairman Tony Fernandes says: " We are committed to building the club in the right way and putting in place the foundations for future success.
"The academy is an important part of this, and this agreement is the next step in strengthening the long term prospects of QPR.
" We are delighted to partner Ealing Council and are particularly excited about playing our part in providing fantastic new sporting facilities for local residents, and to build on the excellent work of our Community Trust to strengthen our ties with the community and provide opportunities for all."
The club, which aims to bring the new facilities into use in 2016, says the new training complex will bring together the academy with the first team. It will provide state-of-the-art- facilities where our young players can develop, and represents important progress for the club’s long-term ambitions.
The improvements to the site will also include enhanced football and cricket pitches, a new artificial turf pitch and multi-games areas suitable for sports such as netball and tennis. There will be a new changing block and facilities catering for disabled users, as well as bookable community space in the new clubhouse. Access to the site will also be improved, making it safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
A Community Sports Development Programme, or CSDP has also been drawn up as part of the agreement, which will see QPR offer a range of sports programmes for local people, as well as other opportunities to take part in community activities. The CSDP focuses on encouraging local people, particularly young women, older people and people with disabilities, to get involved in sport.
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, says: " Warren Farm is in dire need of redevelopment, so it is fantastic that QPR has committed to such a huge investment into the site. “Signing this deal is the next step towards bringing Warren Farm back into use and transforming it into a thriving hub of community activity and sport.
" QPR’s plans have a strong focus on community involvement and I’m looking forward to seeing it all come together."
The plans however have proved controversial, with campaigners in Ealing accusing the council of giving away the 60 acre site in Windmill Lane, Southall. They say that in October Ealing Council signed away protected Open Land to the football club for a "peppercorn rent".
The community, who have a website Save Warren Farm explaing their objections, are planning to take Ealing council to court, by means of a Judicial Review after pre Action Papers were served on the council on Wednesday October 23 challenging their decision to dispose of Warren Farm.
January 3, 2014