The latest round of the long-running battle over the proposed new training ground for Queens Park Rangers FC sees another win for the local planning authority and the club.
Warren Farm in Southall is a large area of Metropolitan Open Land (effectively London Green Belt) and designated Community Open Space. From the mid-1960s until 2013 it was used for formal sports and recreation. It has since then been a vacant site, though used by some members of the public for informal recreation and access albeit with dubious legal right to do so. The site has been earmarked for the new training ground and academy facility for QPRFC, comprising numerous football pitches and other facilities. The proposal has been vigorously opposed by a local group known as Hanwell Community Forum. It has thus far brought failed judicial review challenges to the original planning permission, to the development agreement between Ealing Council and the club and to the latest planning permission. It also submitted a failed application to add two public footpaths across the middle of the site, which went to a public inquiry. The Court of Appeal’s judgment is the latest round of the battle between the parties. The claim essentially boiled down to a critique of the officer report to committee, and whether the Council erred in its approach to “very special circumstances” and Policy 7.18 of the London Plan. Both grounds of challenge were rejected.
Stephen Whale represented Ealing Council in the High Court and Court of Appeal. He also represented the club at the footpaths inquiry. Reuben Taylor QC represented the club in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
For a copy of the Judgment, click here.