West Ham submits fresh proposal to build new training building
- Credit: Jacob Ranson
West Ham United has submitted an application to build a new training facility at the club's Rush Green site.
Havering Council is now considering the proposal, which would also see the women's team adopt the site as their main base alongside a new training building accessed from Wood Lane.
If granted, work will begin on the new facility in November ahead of completion the following September.
A design and access statement - prepared by Aitchison Raffety - explains that due to Covid-19, the club was unable to press ahead after permission had been granted for this proposal in 2018.
With this permission now lapsed, a fresh application has been made, as West Ham say the need for development remains.
Beyond the need to upgrade the men's facilities, the proposal has been submitted to improve facilities for the ladies' team, which competes in the Women's Super League (WSL).
To this end, a single-storey standalone structure has been included in the plans for the female players.
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The site is in the Green Belt, which means it is protected land and can only be built upon in "very special circumstances".
According to the design and access statement for the proposal, such circumstances were found when Havering Council was determining the 2018 application.
Exceptions can be made when the building is intended to provide facilities for outdoor sport and recreation.
This statement argues that an exception should be made on the basis of the building's purpose, but if not, that very special circumstances have already been proven.
Reference is also made to how the club positively impacts the local community, with the West Ham Foundation "widely recognised as one of the leading social and community outreach organisations in east London and Essex".
It concludes: "The proposed new building is appropriate and much needed to provide further facilities for West Ham United Football Club and to allow the West Ham United Ladies Team to continue to compete in the WSL and continue to be a significant benefit to the national sport of football."
A decision is expected by October 13.
Comment on the application by searching for reference P1506.21 on the council's planning portal.