Seagulls’ state-of-the-art ground plans unveiled

An artist's impression of what the new ground might look like
An artist's impression of what the new ground might look like

LANCING looks set to be the second home for Brighton and Hove Albion footballers if their dream for a state-of-the-art training ground becomes a reality.

This week, Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club revealed its big plans for Lancing as it submitted its application for the long-awaited training ground and academy.

Since April, a large-scale development, on land known as New Monks Farm, has been on the cards for Lancing but no official plan had been submitted.

Now, Adur District Council has confirmed a plan for the area, near the A27 and Shoreham Airport, has been received but will not be verified until the end of the week.

Martin Perry, Albion chief executive, said the training ground and academy would help “take the club forward” and would “totally transform” the club. In a statement in Monday’s official match programme, Mr Perry said the aim was for the training facility to be completed and up and running by the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014.

Mr Perry said Lancing was chosen due to its location and “ease of construction and planning issues”, adding: “We’re confident everything will go through in the normal way and we won’t have the kind of difficulties we encountered with the stadium planning applications.”

It is hoped once the academy is up and running, it will be regarded as one of the top-level academy training facilities in the country.

Mr Perry said the Albion’s manager, Gus Poyet, had been “completely immersed” in the process, adding: “We consulted him on the number of pitches, the design of pitches and the facilities he wanted inside the training ground.

“Gus and his team have been delighted and really motivated by the involvement they have had in the process.”

He added: “The building is designed to be aspirational.

“In the academy wing, each age range can see the next step and aspire to cross into the first-team section of the building and all of its facilities.”

The large site will not only include a pitch which mirrors the one at the Amex, both in size and make-up, but will also include three other full-sized pitches and a three-quarter sized pitch.

The site will also contain training grids and a rehabilitation area for the first team and the development squad.

Also on the site will be an academy, with two full-sized pitches, two three-quarter-sized pitches, a half-sized pitch and a synthetic 3G all-weather surface plus a half-size indoor pitch.

The state-of-the art training centre will house the first team facilities as well as a full-sized gym, a football and media zone, a player relaxation zone and a players’ dining room.

As yet it has not been revealed how many pitches local residents will be able to use to make sure the facility benefits the local community as stated in the conditions of land use.

Once the application has been verified, the Herald will reveal the full plans.