Fulham FC’s new training facilities will be “comparable with other top flight clubs”, claims the club as permission has been granted to begin work.
The new site, close to the existing facility in Motspur Park, will be used by the first team and under-23s – ending the current situation of overcrowding.
Fulham, set for relegation back down to the Championship at the end of this season, bought the current site while the club was in the third tier of English football.
Craven Cottage is hardly used for anything other than matches, and the club runs all other business from Motspur Park.
The existing site is limited by its size and the age of the buildings, and has left Fulham lagging behind other Premier League clubs.
Not having facilities like a hydrotherapy pool or underwater treadmills, the club argued in documents submitted to Kingston Council, are “essential in top level professional football grounds”.
Fulham looked at leaving Motspur Park for a larger site further afield, in Elmbridge or Kingswood, but with the new development – on an old BBC staff sports ground – it will stay in the area and run across two sites.
The new ground will have five irrigated pitches (one with under-pitch heating), two areas for goalkeeping work and three ancillary training areas.
The main building will have gyms for fitness and rehab, medical treatment and physiotherapy rooms, cryotherapy and hydrotherapy, including a pool, hot and cold pools and a jacuzzi.
There will also be rooms for coaching, scouting, video and match analysis as well as security and kitchens.
The site was sold by the BBC in the late 1990s to become a private members club, but this was unsuccessful.
Other failed plans for the site included a crematorium, but the application was withdrawn.
In 2016, the pavilion building had to be demolished for safety reasons after being damaged in an arson attack.
Eventually, the site was bought by Fulham in 2017, who have been using it for training since 2018.
Building work will begin this summer, for the pitches to be used in the 2019/20 season.
Other work will begin shortly afterwards.