As England’s Lionesses reach the knock-out stages of the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament in France, we are delighted to report that we have secured planning permission on behalf of Brighton & Hove Albion for extensions to their training ground which include the erection of a Club Hub to serve as the new permanent training base for their women’s and girls’ teams, and as a regional talent centre.
Regional talent centres are enhanced coaching centres for girls in the U10 – U16 age groups to support the identification and development of players that have elite potential. Brighton & Hove Albion have been awarded a tier 1 licence by the Football Association for the standard of facilities and quality of coaching available at their training ground, the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre in Lancing.
The facilities will also support the women’s first team which plays in the FA Women’s Super League 1 (WSL1), coached by former England manager Hope Powell.
Extensive facilities also serve community and disability teams
The Club Hub will provide facilities on a par with the men’s senior team including a gymnasium, swimming pool, classrooms, medical and treatment rooms and changing rooms. The Club Hub will also be the focus for the Club’s community and disability teams and will provide changing facilities and toilets adapted for use by people with multiple or profound learning or physical disabilities.
The Lionesses played their final friendly ahead of the World Cup at the Amex in front of more than 20,000 spectators last month; home games for BHAFC’s Women’s Super League team are usually played at The People’s Pension Stadium in Crawley.
Attendances and media coverage of the women’s game have increased massively in the last decade which has doubtless contributed to the growing participation figures in the grassroots game, supported by the FA’s Gameplan for Growth campaign. The women’s game is in a good place and getting better; BHAFC’s women’s squad already contains a number of international players and the Club’s commitment to the women’s game together with the development of state-of-the-art facilities should see the women’s team go from strength to strength.
DMH Stallard’s team of chartered planners and expert planning lawyers has worked closely with BHAFC for many years; we have been involved throughout the development of the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, and in the New Monks Farm regeneration plans for the surrounding area.
If you are looking for advice or assistance with any property or planning-related matter, please do contact us.