Training Ground Project Statement: Ashburton Playing Fields
A meeting was held on Thursday 29th September at Croydon Council to discuss the availability of Ashburton Playing Fields as a possible site to develop a training ground by Crystal Palace Supporters’ Trust for Crystal Palace Football Club.
Present at the meeting were Alan Palmer (Chairman, Crystal Palace Supporters’ Trust), Phil Alexander (Chief Executive, Crystal Palace Football Club), Jon Rouse (Chief Executive, Croydon Council) and Raj Chandarana (Project Manager, Crystal Palace Supporters’ Trust).
Jon Rouse informed the Trust and Club that the political administration at Croydon Council have decided that, following an unprecedented level of opposition from residents and Monks Orchard Residents’ Association, it is their view that Ashburton Playing Fields is no longer politically viable as a suitable location for a training ground.
Mr Rouse stressed his and the administration’s eagerness to identify another site within the borough of Croydon where a training ground could be built, and further discussions will be on-going.
The Trust and Club are disappointed at the decision, as it was felt that Ashburton Playing Fields was an ideal site for the Club and local community, particularly with it being so close to Oasis Academy Shirley, which has a partnership with the Club.
Purley Way Playing Fields remains viable. However, issues such as wind and drainage will need to be overcome. The feasibility study commissioned by the Trust in 2010 will form a solid basis for this. The whole of Purley Way Playing Fields will be examined to see if there is a suitable part of it that could accommodate the plans laid out in the 2010 study.
The Trust has continued to maintain an interest in the old NatWest Sports Club site on Turle Road. Discussions with Merton Council and the new site owners will continue.
Alongside these two areas, a further trawl of sites – both brown field and green field – will also be undertaken.
Phil Alexander stressed the importance of the training ground project as an opportunity for fans to have a real stake in the Club, and that it was vital that the Trust lead on this as the Club is focussing on the stadium development.
The Trust, Club and Council see the training ground project as being key to securing a sustainable future for the Club, both nurturing future talent through the academy and providing an excellent workplace for the senior squad. All are confident that the project will move forward in the coming weeks.
If you have any comments regarding the training ground project, feel free to contact the project manager by clicking here.