What's your view.. follow @savewarrenfarm or @WarrenFarm4QPR on Twitter and air your views directly to those interested, or see the latest tweets here!

Current status: Supreme Court Appeal Application refused.. full story here. Work expected to start on site in due course.
QPR reduce budget for Warren Farm and submit new full planning application here with related documents here for download. Press article here

Campaign by Save Warren Farm to nominate Warren Farm as an asset of community value, survey here. 

Planning application can be found here
Related Documents (on which the presentation on this page is based) are here
You can officially comment here or in writing to Ealing Council Planning Dept
Advice on how to comment can be found here

New Planning description:
"Redevelopment of the site, following demolition of the existing buildings, to provide a first team training and academy facility for Queen's Park Rangers Football Club, incorporating a two-storey, with basement, training centre building, a three-storey multi-functional operations building, to be built in two phases, an indoor hall building, a single storey maintenance building and single storey plant building, along with three first team pitches and eight academy / youth pitches, plus the re-provision of community facilities incorporating a single storey community building linked to the indoor hall (shared with QPR), with changing rooms, showers, wc's and social space and up to eleven football pitches, including one artificial pitch, and three cricket wickets. In addition, the development proposes associated developments including 263 permanent car parking spaces (plus overspill parking for a further 292 cars), flood lighting, boundary treatments, an additional vehicle and pedestrian point of access onto Windmill Lane, hard and soft landscaping and engineering works to re-grade the site to provide level playing surfaces (with site levels increasing in part by a maximum of 5m)"

About Warren Farm Sports Centre

Warren Farm Sports Centre is an open public space and categorised as Metropolitan Open Land (MOL Policy 17.7 page 232). It is Ealing's largest sports ground, with up to 20 football pitches and six cricket pitches in summer being on well drained land. Sports clubs were using the site mainly at the weekend. Part of Brent River Park the site has a conservation area that runs alongside Windmill Lane from where Little Owls can be spotted. It is referenced several times in the Ealing Unitary Development Plan categorised as part of the Brent River Park Nature Conservation Management Area as well as having local and strategic viewpoints to the east. It is currently derelict, with limited maintenance and in use by local residents for recreational purposes with no official sports activities taking place.

It was actively used by the following User Groups:
  • Local residents (dog walking, exercise, cycling, kite flying, access to Hanwell Flight of Locks and meadows)
  • Saturday and Sunday League Regional Football Clubs
  • Seasonal Cricket Tournaments
  • Tamil School Sports Association Tournaments
  • Warren Farm Radio Flyers

The deal between QPR and Ealing Council

The Sports Centre has seen better days and there is an immediate need for Ealing Council to reduce costs. Ealing Council have selected QPR football club as their preferred partner to develop the site for use as a Category 1 Football Training Academy (all part of the Football Associations EPPP) and Community facility. Indications are that QPR will invest in the region of £30 million into the site. The following facilities and services were proposed in 2012 as available to the community in the plans submitted to Ealing Council alongside the Training Academy:
  • Indoor Hall covering 70m x 50m artificial playing surface marked for multi-sport use.
  • Community Trust Building attached to the Indoor Hall with changing facilities, WCs, offices, stores, first aid office, and multi-use indoor areas for community activities.
  • Community Pavilion close to the outdoor community sports pitches with changing facilities, WCs, kitchen, social space and storage for equipment.
  • 3 cricket pitches to club standards (clay loam wickets) when football not in use.
  • 7 football pitches (92m x 55m) levelled, with sand root zone and automatic irrigation.
  • 2 football pitches (54m x 36m) levelled, with sand root zone and automatic irrigation.
  • 1 Floodlit outdoor artificial outdoor adult football pitch (100m x 64m).
  • 1 Multi Use Games Area (MUGAaccommodating 1 tennis / basketball court.
  • New cycle path and footpath located behind the existing hedgerow on Windmill Lane together with additional native landscape planting along boundaries.
  • Parking for approx. 500 vehicles (including overspill of 250) and 400 bicycles.
  • 24 hour security with CCTV to protect the facilities from vandalism and theft.
  • A Community Trust charitable organisation to implement a community development plan and operate the community facilities.
  • Shuttle mini-bus service linking to public transport hubs.
  • An improved and safer main entrance off Windmill Lane together with a controlled pedestrian/cycle crossing.
QPR will be responsible for constructing, maintaining, repairing and operating the facilities for as long as they hold the lease at no expense to Ealing Council (or the tax payer) who will retain the Freehold and keep the site as Metropolitan Open Land.

An Advisory Panel has been established and meets every 3 months with representation from local resident groups, community groups, QPR Community Trust, Ealing Council and sporting governing bodies to provide on going consultation before and during operation of the facility and to develop a community plan for the facility. Members of the Advisory Panel toured the site on April 22nd 2013 with representatives of QPR, Ealing Council and Local Safer Neighbourhoods Policing team.

Community response

During public consultations a number of responses have been expressed, both positive and negative. The list below is not exhaustive, please get in touch if you wish to add anything here:
  • Investment is welcomed and improvements to the sporting facilities are long overdue, how else would the council be able to find the money needed to build anything similar.
  • It's shameful that Ealing Council have let the site be run down to the extent that it is now forced into a private deal to regenerate it.
  • The area is completely open to the public today albeit on an informal basis, but will be restricted by two-thirds as a result of the proposals with fencing and security preventing access. Hanwell residents in particular would be required to walk around the site and gain access via the new main entrance on Windmill Lane since no provision will be made to access the site from any other point. 
  • The building heights and scale do not fit with the MOL / Green belt status of the area, even after the reduction of 1.2m the indoor hall stands 15.75m (51ft) above ground level at the highest point of the site which is already on a slight hill within the borough and visible from many surrounding points. 
  • The design of the buildings when compared with other football academy designs or sports hubs in similar MOL areas does not respect the local environment. Other academy designs have sunk some of the buildings below ground level to minimise the impact. No attempt has been made by the architects for QPR to do this.
  • Fears that traffic will increase and cause overspill parking taking away local resident parking spaces
  • The boundary fencing will be high and obtrusive.
  • Public consultation has not been proactive and only on request from local resident organisations. In particular Hanwell residents feel that consultation has been lacking.
  • The 200 year lease is too long, 125 years is more typical.
  • Noise and Light pollution will disturb local residents and wildlife
  • The number of cricket pitches will be reduced from the existing 6 down to 3
  • The number of football pitches for community use will drop from over 16 to just 7 and the sizes are smaller than currently exist
  • Can the existing rundown footpath around the site be improved and converted into a cycle lane.
  • Paparazzi will invade privacy in the area for local residents and cause a nuisance
  • The Radio Fliers will be forced off the site due to prohibitive operating restrictions.
  • Fears that increased costs to hire the facilities will force existing users off the site
  • The day nursery will be forced to move and will be a loss to the area.
  • Ealing Council are not getting any money for the lease.
  • Too much emphasis on football when the opportunity exists to support many other sports on the site.
  • Parking is too much / too few. It's gone from 200 in the original plans to over 700 down to 500 recently.
  • The proposed new cycle lane and footpath along Windmill Lane is a major improvement to road safety.
  • Fears that parking at the existing entrance will be lost forcing people to park on local streets that have no spare parking capacity.
A local resident has set up a petition against the proposals and further comments may be viewed there.
Hanwell Community Forum have launched a legal challenge with the support of the Green Party against the planning decision and are seeking funds to assist with this cause here
A web site, www.savewarrenfarm.com voices opposition to the plans.

The history, consultations and estimated timeline

Since 2009 Ealing Council have undertaken a strategic review of sports in the Borough and developed a plan which has included Warren Farm Sports Centre as of strategic importance. the plan has been endorsed by Sport England.
The intention as indicated by Ealing Council in their Pre-Qualification Questionnaire is to dispose of the Warren Farm Sports Centre by way of a long lease of up to 200 years to an organisation with the ability to rebuild high quality sporting facilities which are also accessible for community use at an affordable cost. The selected partner must be able to deliver a scheme that is acceptable in an area of Metropolitan Open Land and demonstrates the ability to provide sport and leisure facilities for the benefit of the community as a whole.
Ealing Council decided in an urgent agenda item at a council cabinet meeting in December 2011 to approve the marketing of a maximum 200 year lease of the siteThe decision passed scrutiny after concerns were raised about the unusual length of the lease. Bidders were sought in response to a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire. A short list was selected and bidders responded to a Request For Proposal (RFP) issued by Ealing Council. 
A decision on the successful partner was announced on 14th May 2012 and QPR Football Club were selected as the preferred partner. Community consultations occurred on 14th June 2012, 20th November 2012, 24th January 2013, and 26th February 2013 with representatives of Ealing Council, QPR and associated companies presenting and taking questions from members of the public. Comments have been submitted on the plans by interested parties. The comments and plans were reviewed and debated at the Planning Committee meeting held on 24th April 2013. The planning application was granted by the Planning Committee and has subsequently been reviewed by the Mayor of London's office (Boris Johnson) and The Secretary of State for Communities (Eric Pickles) without comment. A letter of intent to file a claim for Judicial Review was received by Ealing Council from Hanwell Community Forum. The Council officer decision to enter into a development agreement with QPR was upheld after 90 minutes of debate on 15th August 2013 at an Ealing Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting. An application for a Judicial Review was filed with the Royal Courts of Justice on 30th January 2014 by Hanwell Community Forum. The claim for a Judicial Review was granted by a Judge, and the process proceeded to the courts for a Judge to review. The Judge ruled against the appeal both formal and a subsequent Oral appeal. Preliminary site works such as surveys have been undertaken on site at QPR risk. New plans were submitted in April 2015 which have been scaled back in size and budget. QPR are in the process of selecting a contractor to work with the architects to provide detailed plans of the design and then construct the facilities with the goal being to open them for the 2017/18 football season.

The original intention from QPR was to have the training grounds ready for the 2013/2014 football season, however having secured the preferred bidder spot from Ealing Council, the timetable shifted out to the 2014/15 season instead to allow time for more detailed design, planning and consultation. A challenge by a local residents group in Hanwell delayed any progress while a Judicial Review process was undertaken. The intention now is to open the centre for sports activities commending in 2017. The original architects have changed and Populous appointed who have an extensive pedigree of sports facility design (having designed the stadium for the London 2012 Olympic Games amongst others). Planning permission has been granted. A development agreement was signed on 20th Dec 2013 between Ealing Council and QPR. A Section 106 agreement has been signed. Ultimately a 200 year lease agreement will be signed with QPR only when the construction is complete. QPR have invested in refurbishing their existing training grounds at Harlington (article here) which will provide them some time. In the meantime, Warren Farm will likely remain as it is in an under utilised and derelict condition pending the promised investment to be realised from QPR.
Twitter Feed:
The opinions expressed in the content below are that of the original author on Twitter:

About QPR in the Community Trust

Here's a short video clip on some of the activities of QPR in the Community Trust who are seeking to manage and operate the community facilities for Warren Farm. It's a reasonable reflection of what the local community can expect should the proposals go ahead:
Alternative Ideas
While a Development Agreement has been signed between Ealing Council and QPR, opposition groups believe that alternative options should still be explored. One such option is to develop the site for 100% Community use along the same lines as that taken with The Hub at Regents Park. David Morley were the architects and details of the project can be found here.
The Hub, Regents Park

About this web site

This web site was built in March 2012 and is a place where individuals and organisations can find and share information and views on the proposed plans to redevelop Warren Farm Sports Centre and keep abreast of news relating to the Sports Centre.

The web site is focussed towards the Community aspects of the Sports Centre, leaving the QPR aspects to established football supporter web sites to report.

If you have information about the proposals or wish to contribute then please get in touch by contacting us here, or use the contacts section of this site to direct your feedback to the parties involved.

The site itself is neither for nor against the proposals, but does wish to reflect the needs of the user groups, immediate and local community and is compiled and edited by a local resident.
Any views expressed on this site in the discussion or user groups sections belong to the views of the individuals or groups concerned and are not representative of the site as a whole or those responsible for it. Links to others sites from this site do not imply an endorsement of the content of the linked site and vice versa.

References to this site require prior permission. Press and media should contact us for further details. If you feel that any copyright infringement has occurred with material on this site, then please get in touch so that we can work together to ensure that the relevant information is shared legally.