TRAINING facilities used by Blackburn Rovers could be demolished with 170 homes built on the land currently used by the first team.

Rovers have this afternoon outlined their intentions to integrate their two Brockhall Village-based training centres into a single ‘state-of-the-art’ facility that would bring all players, coaches and facilities together under one roof.

The move would see the site of the current Senior Training Centre vacated, with up to 170 homes, a play ground and a convenience store built in its place.

A spokesman for the club said: “The new facility would be built on the site of the current Academy, which will be financially assisted by redeveloping the Senior Training Centre site for new homes and community facilities.

“The club wishes to make clear that the two pre-planning applications are inextricably linked, meaning the residential development can only go ahead in conjunction with the building of the new training facility on the Academy site.

“The club have enlisted the support of specialist consultants, who are in the early stages of engaging Ribble Valley Borough Council and the local Parish Council, and have submitted a screening request to inform a future potential planning application.

“We look forward to sharing details of our upcoming consultation on the proposals, which present an exciting opportunity for the club, and to running an informative and inclusive consultation process.”

Applications were submitted to the Ribble Valley Borough Council, and published on Friday, regarding the club’s two Brockhall training bases.

Currently, the first-team train at the Senior Training Centre, next to The Avenue hotel, Old Langho, while the Academy site is situated inside Brockhall village itself.

Detailed on the RVBC website outline the application is a ‘screening opinion’ – a process which lets an applicant establish whether an environment impact assessment is needed before making a full planning application.

Such applications usually consist of a brief description of the nature and purpose of the development and subsequent impact on the environment.

The application for the Senior Training Centre reads: “Request for screening opinion relating to the demolition of the existing buildings and construction of up to 170 dwellings with associated infrastructure, a local convenience store, open space and children's play area.”

The Academy application reads: “Request for screening opinion relating to the demolition of existing buildings and the construction of indoor training facilities, ancillary residential accommodation, grounds maintenance building and car parking.”

In 2018, Rovers had planned to switch sites, the first team going to train at the Academy base and vice versa. That was behind the decision to travel to Austria in the first week of pre-season following promotion back to the Championship, as outlined by Tony Mowbray.

However, those plans were shelved, and the two have since remained at their respective bases, as has been the case since Mark Hughes made the change to make the Senior Training Centre at ‘the top of the hill’ during his time in charge.

Rovers, under the ownership of Jack Walker, bought land in the Ribble Valley that would become the club’s state-of-the-art training facility at Brockhall in the early 1990s, with a second site opened in 2001.

In 2017, Rovers Trust saw an application to list Brockhall as an asset of community value (ACV) rejected.

The trust, who were successful in making Ewood Park an ACV in 2013, revealed in June their plan to do the same with the club’s senior and Academy training centres at Brockhall.

An ACV would have acted as a barrier to the sale of the land without notice being given to any community interest group who would have had the opportunity to be a potential bidder.

Rovers objected to the granting of the ACV with the council rejecting the application due to Brockhall being a ‘private facility’ and that ‘activities on the site do not involve the local community’.