Burnley Council has approved plans to expand Burnley FC’s Gawthorpe training complex with the development of a 780,000 sq ft area across the River Calder from the existing facility, to include new pitches and an indoor all-weather area.
The club submitted the planning application in order to raise the standard of the facility to meet the Elite Player Performance Plan category one and two standard of infrastructure.
The site will be used to build a new training centre to bring modern facilities for the first team, development squad and youth team players under one roof for the first time.
The project includes an indoor all-weather area with a small spectator gallery, to meet the requirements of EPPP.
Outside, plans include the development of three full-sized training pitches. For youth team players, in addition to the current match pitch and four mini-pitches, Burnley FC will add further two three-quarter size pitches.
A new car park will be built north of the river, accessed via a refurbished bridge over the River Calder. On the south side of the river, the existing top pitch is to be floodlit.
As the site is next to the National Trust-owned grade one-listed Gawthorpe Hall, the application needed to meet the concerns of local residents, environmental groups and the National Trust.
More than half of the proposed site will be enhanced to meet ecological needs.
However, as the new plans fall within the green belt, the scheme could still be called in by the Government for consideration by the Secretary of State.
In addition, due to the development’s location next to Gawthorpe Hall, the deeds have a covenant placed on them with permission required from the National Trust to build certain parts of the project. Discussions are currently ongoing with the National Trust.
Subject to final approval, work is expected to start later this year.
Zerum was the planning consultant for the project. Campbell Driver Partnership was the architect.
Clive Holt, director of Burnley FC, said: “We have been trying to reach this day over a number of years to bring our facilities up to the latest standard. This has been greatly helped by last season in the Premier League and the rewards that brings.
“We now look forward to entering a new era for Burnley Football Club and taking this club forward for generations to come.”