1. ITV Report

Preston North End: council 'throw away' chance to support club

Preston North End say their city council's decision to reject plans for a new training ground amounts to throwing away support for the club.

An artists' impression Credit: Preston North End

The plans were rejected by Preston City councillors on Thursday, despite being approved by the council's own planning officers, because of attached plans to build 450 houses along with the training ground.

The council did approve the specifics of the training ground, but the club say that development can't go ahead without the housing, which would bring in the revenue needed for construction.

Credit: Preston North End

The statement in full reads:The statement in full reads:

Following last Thursday's disappointing vote with regards to our full plans for a training ground complex to include a housing development and the gift from private to public ownership of circa 100 acres of public open space, we have now had time to reflect.

First of all we would like to place on record how grateful we are for the reaction of our supporters, the Leader of the Council, Peter Rankin, and Mark Hendrick MP. This morning we welcomed the public position that our local newspaper, the Lancashire Post, has taken in also voicing its support for our plans.

For local residents to assume that land in private ownership is there for public use when it is not, versus the opportunity to be gifted circa 100 acres for in perpetuity public use is astonishing.

For any City to throw away the chance to support its only professional football club in its objective of delivering Premier League football for the first time in history is almost without precedent. The reaction from our competitors has been one of disbelief, but joy, given the support that many of them have already enjoyed from their own local authorities.

As we said last week, we will continue to strive in our objectives with or without the support of our own City Council.

We will shortly be announcing our next move in our attempts to change the current stance of our local planning committee. In the next few weeks we urge all of our supporters and all in the local community whether supporters or not to get behind the club in our objectives of delivering on all of our plans for Ingol.

Premier League football brings enormous financial benefits to the City as a whole. The coming weeks will demonstrate once and for all whether or not Preston as a City wishes to distance itself from these objectives or embrace them and work with us for the future economic benefit of all in community.

– Preston North End statement