QPR training ground decision could face judicial review
PUBLISHED: 11:46 25 June 2013 | UPDATED: 18:36 25 June 2013
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QPR's plans for a £30million new training ground remain in jeopardy as residents plan to raise up to £12,000 for a judicial review against Ealing Council.
QPR’s plans for a £30million new training ground remain in jeopardy as residents plan to raise up to £12,000 for a judicial review against Ealing Council.
Councillors voted in favour of granting planning permission for the development of a training academy and community facilities on Warren Farm.
But members of the Hanwell Community Forum say that decision is ‘illegal’, and served papers to the council.
They claim the site, which is categorised as Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), is effectively green belt, and therefore entitled to protection.
Ealing Council leader Julian Bell refuted suggestions that the site was ‘gifted’ to QPR, and insisted the decision was ‘sound and based on proper planning conditions’.
But residents say that the council has failed to prove ‘special circumstances’ in awarding the lease to QPR, and plan to begin a fundraising campaign to take the case to the High Court.
Carolyn Brown, chair of HCF, told the Times: “We believe the decision by Ealing Council is illegal, and will now be consulting with our solicitors.
“A judicial review is not something that we necessarily want, but it is clear to us that the council have acted irresponsibly.
“We want to make it clear that we are not anti-football. But this is Metropolitan Open Land space and it should be protected.
“A new training ground may be crucial for Queen’s Park Rangers but it certainly isn’t for Ealing’s tax-paying residents.”
Warren Farm Sports Centre is Ealing’s largest sports ground. It is in urgent need of investment, with Saturday and Sunday league clubs unable to use football pitches because they do not comply with the national governing body’s standards.
The site also forms part of the Brent River Park Nature Conservation Management Area.
QPR indicated that they will invest around £30m into the site. Protestors say the area open to the community will be reduced by two thirds, with fencing and security preventing access. They also have concerns over building heights, scale and designs.