Update on the club's stance after the Coventry City Council Planning Committee meeting's decision...
The club would like to keep supporters updated following Coventry City Council Planning Committee meeting on August 4th, at which the application by Wasps to develop a Training Centre at the Higgs Centre was discussed.
We would like to highlight the following points:
Our Concern: Our concern regarding the application by Wasps is to ensure that the proposals do not displace our academy at the Alan Higgs Centre and that the crucial Category 2 status can be maintained.
Summary: Now that the unanimous decision has been taken by members of the Planning Committee to defer a decision on the application pending the resolution of the concerns raised by Sport England, we hope that all parties can work together to ensure that all necessary information can be produced and any issues arising can be discussed to enable Sport England to take a position on the application.
The Issue At Hand: As set out in the recommendation to the Council Planning Committee, the issue that has to be addressed is as follows:
"Sport England – further comments have been received but Sport England still believe that there is insufficient information to allow them to understand how the site will be used in the future and the potential impact on the Academy and therefore they consider they are unable to make an informed judgement as to whether the proposal meets their Policy Exception E5 and as such recommend that the application is deferred. They require information on what facilities will be available and at what times, what facilities are required and at what times for the Academy to maintain their Category 2 Academy Status, how the users of the site will work together in the future and during construction works, and the relocation of the current sporting use on site and the impact of this on the Academy."
What We Have Done: We have written to the Council to say that we would be extremely happy to cooperate fully with all relevant parties to ensure that Sport England has all necessary information about the football academy and its Category 2 status. We have previously provided this information to Coventry Sport Foundation (CSF) but we are more than happy to sit down with all parties and discuss how the facilities at the Alan Higgs Centre can be programmed in order to allow Wasps to develop its training academy without displacing the football academy or threatening its Category 2 status.
Going Forward: We were pleased to see that the Chief Executive of CSF, Paul Breed, has confirmed in his email to David Armstrong (28th July) that CSF agrees that further dialogue should take place to determine the programming of facilities at the Centre, so it seems that everyone is now in agreement that this important process should indeed proceed. We are pleased to say that both the FA and the Football League are lending their full support to this process and have confirmed their intent in taking part in the discussions.
To read full letter, CLICK HERE.