The Future Finally Approved

The saga of Preston's training ground has been ongoing for several years now. Preston have trained to the west of the centre at Springfields for a number of years.

Several years ago it was identified that Preston did not have adequate enough facilities compared with other teams at a similar level. The major issue was lack of indoor facilities.

Plans were mooted and knocked back for a grandiose indoor facility at Springfields. The site was not viable and so the club had to look elsewhere pottering on over the past few years.

It was either by chance or design that owner, Trevor Hemmings, was flogging a dead horse over a piece of land that he owned which was refused planning permission for houses long before there was an idea to use the facility as a training ground.

The land at Ingol had been earmarked for several hundred houses initially but with a covenant on the land meaning it had to be used for sporting purposes presented the perfect opportunity to combine park space, housing and a training facility.

The golf club had closed due to issues withdrainage. There was rumour and counter rumour about who controlled the drainage to the golf course but nothing proven.

It was prudent on behalf of North End given the land could be used for little else and the sale of the houses could be used to fund the new training facility.

The application was knocked back earlier in the summer but after a vocal opposition including a strong opposition from the original decision from supporters the revised poposals were approved by the Council.

I can undesrtand the fear of locals in that no one wants 850 houses built next door to them or a big drill looking for shale gas but the reduction in the number of houses sould allay these fears hence the reason to approve the plans.

So what does this all mean for the club? Preston will have a state of the art training facility. It won't mean promotion to the top flight and it won't mean attracting top players but it will put the club on an equal footing with others in the division to help with the development of players.

Tenders are already out for the construction of the site and I expect it won't be too long before the first spade is put in the ground.