Yesterday, Coventry City’s plans to move its training ground to a new facility and to redevelop the 8 acre Ryton site for housing to help fund the new facility were heard by an Inspector examining the Rugby Local Plan.
The Sky Blues plans for Ryton have been included in the emerging Rugby Local Plan and are supported by Rugby Borough Council and by Sport England. At yesterday’s hearing the club were able to update the Inspector on the timescale for relocating the training facility to a new site to allow the Ryton site to be developed for housing and the Sky Blues are confident that the Inspector will endorse the allocation when he reports to the Council later this year.
The Ryton Training Ground is a place with much history and emotional attachment for current and former players and staff, as well as Sky Blues fans. It currently is the training ground for first-team and under 23s players, as well as housing offices for football and medical staff, plus the club commercial, administration and finance teams.
However, the requirements of a modern training ground facility and staffing have outgrown the Sky Blue Lodge building, which is now approaching 40 years of age, and the land available at Ryton is insufficient to provide the level of facilities the club needs. As such we have been exploring alternatives.
CCFC have secured an option to purchase land to develop a new state of the art training ground, on a site which is significantly larger than the current 8 acre one at Ryton. Due to commercial and legal sensitivities, the exact location of the site is confidential at this stage but once these have all been addressed more details of its location and what level of facilities will be developed will be revealed.
Training facilities for the first team and under 23s will be significantly improved, providing an elite environment for players and staff for many years to come – including changing rooms, gym, kitchens, dining room, laundry, offices and other facilities.
The club, together with its land promoter, will be working alongside the District Council and Sport England to submit planning applications for the new training facility and for the redevelopment of Ryton for housing. If approved, Coventry City will begin work to move the training facility to the new site which will release the Ryton site to be developed for housing.
As the new training facility will be a significant improvement on the existing facility at Ryton, the requirements of the Council and Sports England as set out in the Local Plan will be satisfied. Only once the new training ground is operational will any redevelopment work take place at Ryton.
Due to uncertainty about when the Inspector will report on the Local Plan it is difficult to be precise on the timescale for submitting the planning applications for the new training facility and for the redevelopment of Ryton. Site investigations and plans are being worked on over the next 2-3 months and it is hoped that planning applications could be submitted to Rugby Borough Council in the Autumn.
Coventry City will keep fans updated as to news on the decision and plans for the training ground.
Current facilities at Ryton:
External view of the Sky Blue Lodge building
Under 23s changing room
First team changing rooms