Supreme Court ruling brings QPR’s Warren Farm dispute to end after seven years

The long-running legal battle over Queen’s Park Rangers (QPR) new training ground has finally reached its conclusion, following a ruling in the Supreme Court, nearly seven years after the dispute began.

The dispute had reached the ‘permission to appeal’ stage, where three of the 12 Supreme Court Justices took written submissions from both sides, before rejecting attempts to overturn planning permission for the site on the Warren Farm sports ground development.

QPR chief executive officer Lee Hoos said: “We’re delighted that all legal avenues to frustrate this process have now been exhausted.

“A new training ground, which brings together the first team and the academy, is an important part of a strategic long-term plan for the club.

“The delays have been very frustrating. Not only have they delayed us securing a new training ground for the club but they have delayed the huge community benefit to residents from improved sports facilities and the programmes that QPR in the Community Trust will run at Warren Farm.”

QPR had initially aimed to move into their new training ground for the 2013-14 season, but a long-running legal dispute has delayed the project.

The saga began in 2012 when the Championship club identified the Warren Farm site as their first choice site for a new training ground, but plans were halted after they received a number of objections from local residents, despite Ealing Council granting planning permission for the development in April 2013.

In October 2014, the plans were revised again following more objections and a more modest and less costly plan was put in place with the hope that the club academy would still be able to obtain Category One status. These plans were again approved by Ealing Council in September 2015 but local objections continued.

During 2016, Ealing Council Regulatory Committee rejected an application for a footpath across the site of the proposed training ground, which would have halted QPR’s plans. This caused the Hanwell Community Forum to join previous objectors in seeking a judicial review of the original decision to give planning permission for the training ground.

Then In March 2017, the High Court upheld Ealing Council’s decision to grant planning permission, but the opposition did not accept this verdict and took the case to the Court of Appeal, where the decision was upheld in a review during March 2018.

Following the Supreme Court verdict, the club are now set to begin construction on the Warren Farm site.

Tony Kent, long-term QPR supporter and Head of Property Litigation at International law firm – Mackrell Turner Garrett says:

“From a fan’s point of view, the end of this saga is a great relief and will represent a major step forward in the club’s progression, bringing improved facilities for the team and academy.”

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Mohit Pasricha

Mohit Pasricha

Solicitor at Mackrell Turner Garrett
Mohit is a solicitor and Head of Sports Law at Mackrell Turner Garrett, advising and representing clients within the sports sector by providing specialist advice on a wide range of commercial, corporate and intellectual property matters. His clients include clubs, commercial sponsors, sports agents, and individual sporting professionals.