Crystal Palace Football Academy plans in Copers Cope Road approved by Bromley Council

The erection of a covered full-size football pitch and the creation of an artificial full-size pitch as part of an extended football academy was approved by Bromley Council’s Development Control Committee on 18 March.

Crystal Palace Football Club’s planning application also included plans for six training pitches ​of various sizes as well as a full size show pitch with spectator seating in Beckenham. ​The application proposes that the public will also be able to use the facilities. The council’s Development Control Committee were persuaded that ​while the proposed indoor pitch is inappropriate development on the Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) in Copers Cope Road, there are very special circumstances to outweigh the harm which would be caused. ​This includes the benefit to Crystal Palace Football Club and the community use.

Councillor Alexa Michael, Development Control Committee Chairman, said: “This site has been used for sport for over a hundred years and securing the long term future of the site and keeping its sporting use is very welcome news. It will also mean that Crystal Palace Football Club will continue to be intrinsically rooted in our Borough, sharing its roots with Crystal Palace, which is also in our Borough.  In addition to the commitment that the facilities will be used by the community, this will be a place where young people will receive football related coaching and a variety of life skills.”

There were concerns raised by local residents about the size and height of the indoor pitch and the impact on Metropolitan Open Land, with the 19 metre maximum height to the apex of the curved roof required for technical engineering reasons.

The academy facilities will be made available to the local community in partnership with the Palace for Life Foundation, with the Foundation delivering programmes for more than 14,000 local children and young adults across south London. The increased access to the new Academy facility will enable this  they can extend their reach in Bromley, especially for disability football, girls’ football, health and wellbeing programmes and employability workshops.

The approval decision is subject to the completion of a legal agreement and a section 106 agreement.​ It is also subject to approval by the Mayor of London.

One thought on “Crystal Palace Football Academy plans in Copers Cope Road approved by Bromley Council

  1. We support the presence of Crystal Palace in the Copers Cope ward but we believe the indoor pitch building is far too large and the very special circumstances, mentioned in your piece , could only justify a more modest building which could achieve all that Crystal Palace realistically require as well as providing a facility that can be used by the local community. This will be the largest such building in the country and where similar buildings have been approved by other Councils they have been in rural settings or in settings where the building is well camouflaged. In this case the building will be right on the edge of Copers Cope Road. We are also concerned that the Planning Director at Bromley Council prevented the Chair of the Development Control Committee from meeting with me and Committee members in advance of the Committee hearing: she was ordered to cancel our meeting. This does not seem to be local democracy in action! The resultant building will be taller than St George’s church in central Beckenham: much too large to be justified by the planning rules and contrary to the legitimate interests of local residents.

    Ian Young, Chair, North Copers Cope Road Action Group

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