Millwall have revealed more detail of their plans for a proposed new training complex in West Kingsdown.
The Lions confirmed in October that they had purchased a significant area of land in the area.
Millwall’s lease at their current base in Calmont Road does not have many years left to run.
“We aim to deliver a new state of the art training ground in West Kingsdown which will provide facilities for players which are fit for and in line with our long-term ambitions including achieving Premier League football status whilst also meeting the needs of the club now,” said the Lions on a website which they have launched outlining their plans.
“Millwall FC and our industry-leading Community Trust are seeking to widen existing outreach and consolidate our current training facilities with a permanent new training ground and academy whilst maintaining the match day site at the Den.
“We chose West Kingsdown because of its excellent connectivity and because it can provide for the needs of a training ground, including offering a large enough site to accommodate the required football pitches and the privacy to the teams that train here.
“Alongside this, we hope to support the local community across West Kingsdown and Sevenoaks through the actions of the Millwall Community Trust, which already uses the power of sport to improve the lives of people in Lewisham, Southwark and the wider Millwall community.
“Minimising the impact that the new training ground will have on the surrounding area and within the green belt is at the forefront of our plans, whilst maximising the benefit to players, coaches, staff and neighbouring residents.
“The majority of the training ground will comprise of open football pitches that will blend well into the surrounding landscape. The academy will comprise medical, rehabilitation and treatment facilities, gym and training facilities, team and staff changing rooms, meeting rooms, press/media provision and other amenities for players and management and an indoor training pitch is also required for the players to train in during the winter and inclement weather.
“These are requirements of the Elite Player Performance Plan, a governing body for football clubs and the facilities proposed have been benchmarked against other similar facilities.
“The indoor training pitch will consist of a sleek yet discrete building located to the rear of the site where it adjoins the M20.
“The academy building has been inspired by our study of local building forms and we have focused on creating a sympathetic roofscape to the indoor training pitch which reflects traditional agricultural buildings and neighbouring homes. The visual impact of the academy building has been carefully mitigated by planted mounds and flint-filled gabion walls.
“The aim then has been to develop a contemporary and unique design solution that is rooted in the local area, but that is also fit to meet the aspirations of a forward looking and dynamic football club looking to provide high quality training facilities for its players and the local community.
“Our vision for the site is landscape-led to ensure that the openness of the green belt is protected as far as possible and has been carefully informed by background studies undertaken by ecologists and arboriculturists.
“A sustainable drainage strategy will be developed for the site and proposals which will ensure that the proposals will not result in any flooding, or exacerbate any existing issues.”
The plan includes new woodland on the west and east to screen development in the northern part of the site and a sweeping approach road, with enhanced planting to help soften the car-parking area.
“We have worked hard to create the most efficient and flexible plans for the new training ground in West Kingsdown with an emphasis on sustainability,” said Millwall in a statement on their new training ground website. “We aim to integrate sustainability measures through careful and considered design at an early stage.
“In October 2021, the English Football League (EFL) announced the GreenCode initiative. This is designed to allow all EFL clubs to focus on sustainability, and use the third party to assist in tracking efforts, improve year performance and highlight credentials as a result of the audit process and accreditation. The club is currently engaged in seeking EFL GreenCode Accreditation.
“The new training ground is an excellent opportunity to implement the ambition of the club’s sustainability strategy which can help Sevenoaks achieve net zero by 2030. Specific considerations for the proposed training and academy facility include: solar, biodiversity net gain, landscape conservation and local materials, electric vehicle charging, natural ventilation, low energy lighting, water conservation, recycling and renewable technologies.”