New training ground a step closer after council recommend planning permission
Wigan Athletic’s new training complex on the site of the former Charnock Richard Golf Club took a step closer to being realised yesterday when Chorley Borough Council Planning Committee gave the project its unanimous approval.
At a meeting of the council’s planning department, permission was granted and the proposal now requires final approval from the Secretary of State, which is expected to occur within 21 days.
The club purchased Charnock Richard Golf Club last year with a view to transforming the site into training facilities for its professionals and academy, the eventual objective being to attain Category One status under the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) and thus become one of the leading football academies in the country.
The training ground is expected to be operational by August 2016.
Jonathan Jackson, Wigan Athletic Chief Executive, commented:
“This is the most exciting project the club has been involved in since the building of the then JJB Stadium, now DW Stadium, in 1999 and this week’s recommendation was a huge step in the right direction.
“We feel that the site is perfect in terms of being able to provide the club with an infrastructure to grow into the future, and provide an elite football facility for generations to come.
“We would like to thank Chorley Borough Council for their cooperation and help on this matter and to Signet Planning for assisting us through the planning process."
"To compete in the highest levels of English football, Wigan Athletic needs facilities that are comparable with other clubs in the Premier League and Sky Bet Championship.
"The Charnock Richard proposal will allow us to attract players of all ages and also develop future professionals.
"We have a unique story at our club and thanks to the funding and vision of our chairman, David Whelan, we have the opportunity to maintain the success of recent years and continue to realise our ambitions.
"Whilst a new academy and training ground is still a future project, last week's recommendation was a major step forward."