Preston North End

Football club has planning permission rejected

Preston North End Football Club is set to announce its next move after the city council rejected its planning application for a new training ground and housing development.

Preston City Council voted against the full plans for the training ground complex, which included a housing development as well as the gift from private to public ownership of around 100 acres of open space.

The reason for the refusal was that the proposed development would result in the merger of existing neighbourhoods and settlements, failing to protect their identity and local distinctiveness as well as having a detrimental impact on the landscape character and visual amenity of the area of major open space.

The club thanked those who supported the scheme, including the leader of the council Peter Rankin and Mark Hendrick MP.

“For local residents to assume that land in private ownership is there for public use when it is not, versus the opportunity to be gifted circa 100 acres for in perpetuity public use is astonishing,” the club stated.

“For any city to throw away the chance to support its only professional football club in its objective of delivering Premier League football for the first time in history is almost without precedent. 

“The reaction from our competitors has been one of disbelief, but joy, given the support that many of them have already enjoyed from their own local authorities.”

Mr Rankin said he was extremely disappointed with the rejection to the major scheme, which has put in doubt the delivery of the new training ground. 

“While I appreciate and understand the concerns that have been expressed by residents, it represents a key investment. 

“I did hope that appropriate planning controls, combined with the significant public open space, would have been enough to provide reassurance. 

“Preston North End has a huge part to play in the life of Preston and Prestonians and has done for many years. 

“We hope to see them continuing to invest in the team and in the city despite this setback.”

The football club said it would continue to strive in its objectives with or without the support of its own city council. 

“We will shortly be announcing our next move in our attempts to change the current stance of our local planning committee,” the club added.

“In the next few weeks, we urge all of our supporters and all in the local community – whether supporters or not – to get behind the club in our objectives of delivering on all of our plans for Ingol [an electoral ward and suburb of Preston].

“Premier League football brings enormous financial benefits to the city as a whole. 

“The coming weeks will demonstrate once and for all whether or not Preston as a city wishes to distance itself from these objectives or embrace them and work with us for the future economic benefit of all in the community.”

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