Queens Park Rangers Football Club has abandoned approved plans from Populous for a modern training ground in west London
The Championship outfit said it was ‘pursuing an alternative site’ for the facility and would no longer be using its planning consent for Warren Farm Sports Centre in Southall.
Stadium specialist Populous was appointed by QPR for the project back in 2012 and pledged to ‘create an unparalleled centre of excellence for QPR’s first team and academy’.
Ealing Council granted permission for the scheme in the summer of 2016 but local campaigners, who want Warren Farm to remain a fully public space, challenged the decision.
A judicial review was heard in 2017 and the council’s approval of the scheme upheld. However this was then appealed and the legal process has rumbled on - with permission granted for further judicial review proceedings - until QPR changed its mind on the site.
The council and football club said in a joint statement last week: ‘Ealing Council has announced that it will push ahead with plans for community sports facilities at Warren Farm following QPR’s confirmation that it is pursuing an alternative site for its training ground.
‘QPR have invested considerable time and financial resources into Warren Farm but have had to change [their] approach after an alternative site became available to buy earlier this year.’
QPR chief executive Lee Hoos said a non-disclosure agreement was in place regarding the new target location for the training facility.
He added: ‘In the spirit of the excellent working relationship we have with Ealing Council, we have made them aware of the situation and assured them we remain firmly committed to helping them develop the [Warren Farm] site for community use.’
Planning documents submitted by Populous for Warren Farm said its scheme strived ’to establish a new typology with professional sports sitting alongside a development academy and community sports’.
The practice added that it would allow the club’s first team, academy, staff and the local community to use the site ‘in a coordinated, harmonious and functional manner’.
As well as training facilities for elite footballers and younger players, the scheme would have featured headquarters for the QPR in the Community Trust, an indoor sports hall, a community sports hub with changing facilities, social and recreation spaces, community football pitches, cricket ovals, and spaces for other community activities.
The club said it was ‘reviewing’ whether it would work with Populous on the plans for the new site.
Populous declined to comment.