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Crystal Palace FC has Beckenham training ground expansion plans thwarted

PUBLISHED: 11:19 21 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:19 21 August 2017

Part of Crystal Palace's training ground in Beckenham

Part of Crystal Palace's training ground in Beckenham

Archant

The club hoped to improve medical, changing and office facilities

The access road to Crystal Palace's training ground on Copers Cope Road The access road to Crystal Palace's training ground on Copers Cope Road

Crystal Palace FC says it has “not ruled out” appealing the rejection of an application to expand its Beckenham training ground.

The Eagles’ current ground is lagging behind other facilities, with Championship side QPR and Premier League newcomers Brighton and Hove Albion both boasting bigger training sites.

On Thursday, Bromley planning councillors met to hear proposals to add a two-storey extension to the club’s training pavilion, which would have provided bigger and better medical, office and changing facilities.

Surrounding offices would have been destroyed to make way for the extension, which was earmarked for approval before the plans sub committee meeting.

Dozens of objections came from nearby residents, who complained of over-development following work at the Kent County Cricket Ground, which neighbours the training site.

A spokesperson from Crystal Palace FC, which bought the site for £2.3million in 2013, said the club was “obviously disappointed” with the decision, adding: “It’s a relatively small addition with a building being removed to make space.

“The council’s decision seems at odds with the development that has gone on around our site, with a huge cricket stand overshadowing the road and recently completed, large residential development adjacent to us, all on Metropolitan Open Land.

“We tried to work closely with Bromley for their recommendation for approval and we will continue to engage with them and the local community.”

Lydia Buttinger chaired the meeting, she said: “The proposed development would have led to a very significant increase in overall built footprint on the site and the committee did not deem the scale of such a development to be appropriate. The applicant was required to demonstrate ‘very special circumstances’ and we were not persuaded on this occasion that these were met. For instance the proposed development would have detracted from the openness of the area and we did not feel that the applicant had proved why such a large building was essential to support the training activity on this site. Bromley Council would welcome further discussions with the club to review whether an alternative scheme.”

Last year chairman Steve Parish said he was looking for a new training ground, as its academy players use a nearby Goals facility for training.

But in the wake of last week’s refusal, Crystal Palace FC said it had “not ruled out taking this decision to appeal”.

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