QPR’s seven-year battle over Warren Farm: a timeline

QPR: Warren Farm
QPR’s proposed redevelopment of the Warren Farm Sports Ground in Southall has faced repeated legal challenges.

QPR’s long-running legal battle over the club’s proposed new training ground is likely to be resolved within weeks – or not until late next year.

West London Sport revealed in April that objectors to Rangers’ planned training base at Warren Farm would seek to take the case to the Supreme Court.

In response, QPR co-owner Tony Fernandes insisted on Twitter that the club “won’t give up” in the ongoing legal dispute over the future of the Southall site.

Objectors are challenging a Court of Appeal judicial review which upheld Ealing Council’s initial granting of planning permission.

The next step is a ‘permission to appeal’ application, which is due to shortly be considered by three of the 12 Supreme Court Justices.

Their ruling is expected as soon as the end of this month and certainly by the end of November.

They will take written submissions from both sides and decide whether there are sufficient grounds to refer the verdict of the judicial review to the Supreme Court.

A decision in QPR’s favour would pave the way for the club to finally begin work on the site.

However, if permission for an appeal is granted, it is likely to be around nine months before a Supreme Court hearing takes place, dragging the ongoing saga well into 2019.

QPR: Harlington training ground
QPR’s current training base, at Harlington, is owned by Imperial College.

It is approaching seven years since West London Sport first revealed QPR wanted to build a training ground at Warren Farm.

And it is four years since West London Sport revealed Rangers had scaled down their plans, having considered scrapping the project altogether.

Here’s a timeline of some of the key events during the long battle over Warren Farm:

January 2012
West London Sport reveal that QPR want to build a new training ground on the site of the Warren Farm Sports Centre.

February 2012
Non-League Southall FC also express interest in building on the site, but it comes to nothing.

March 2012
QPR confirm they are looking to build a training ground at Warren Farm. Philip Beard, then the club’s chief executive, subsequently tells West London Sport Rangers are in “the final stages” of drawing up their proposal and want building work to commence “as fast as possible.”

April 2012
QPR submit plans to Ealing Council to build a training ground on the site – the plans are subsequently revised in light of objections from local residents.

April 2013
Planning permission is granted by Ealing Council – QPR’s intention is to begin work within months and for the new training ground to be open by late 2015.

January 2014
After plans are revised again following more objections, a development agreement is signed by Ealing Council and QPR, who at this stage believe the training ground will be ready in 2016.

July 2014
West London Sport reveal QPR are considering scrapping the Warren Farm project.

August 2014
Tony Fernandes confirms QPR are considering scrapping the project and tells West London Sport it is because of delays caused by a series of objections lodged by opponents.

October 2014
West London Sport reveal QPR are set to go ahead with Warren Farm project – but a cheaper, scaled-down version with significantly more modest plans than the original proposals.

May 2015
QPR submit a revised planning application.

September 2015
The revised plans are approved by Ealing Council – but local objections continue.

July 2016
An application for a footpath across the site of the proposed training ground, which would have scuppered QPR’s plans, is rejected by Ealing Council’s Regulatory Committee – but the Hanwell Community Forum seek a judicial review of the original decision to give planning permission for a training ground.

November 2016
The Save Warren Farm group launches a crowdfunding appeal to raise money for the legal challenge.

March 2017
High Court upholds Ealing Council’s decision to grant planning permission – but opponents take case to the Court of Appeal.

March 2018
Court of Appeal’s judicial review upholds Ealing Council’s decision. Objectors are given 28 days to appeal.

April 2018
West London Sport reveal appeal has been lodged. Confirming the news, QPR say they will not give up.

October 2018

West London Sport reveal a  ‘permission to appeal’ application is expected be considered by Supreme Court Justices within weeks. They will either throw the latest appeal out, potentially paving the way for QPR to begin work, or grant a Supreme Court appeal, which would prolong the legal battle until at least late 2019.