Tottenham lease confirmed for new academy on large area of land next to training complex

Tottenham Hotspur have been awarded the lease for the area of land despite objections from a large number of local residents

Enfield Council have announced that they will be pushing through plans to award Tottenham Hotspur more than half of Whitewebbs Park on a 25-year lease despite objections.

Spurs were selected by the council as the highest scoring bidder to regenerate the land that lies close to their Hotspur Way training complex, with the club’s plans including the creation of a new women’s and girls’ football academy on the land. The council last week confirmed that they would pressing on with the plans to lease the area to the Premier League club despite objections from local residents.The council received 788 objections, including from some councillors, to its plans after it gave formal notice of the proposal last December, for the land that used to be Whitewebbs Golf Course. The objections included concerns ranging from reduced public access, loss of wildlife habitats and a lack of consultation. Local campaigners are aiming to challenge the decision in court.

An Enfield Council report published last week confirmed it intends to go ahead with the lease, saying it offers “significant benefits” and would “bring a financial benefit to the council of £2m”.

Spurs saw off competition to be named as the preferred bidders for the lease in 2021. Their plans include the creation of the new women’s and girls’ football academy on the land, to feed into Women’s Super League side Tottenham Hotspur Women. They would convert the existing northern clubhouse on the golf course to provide the facility for the academy with new playing pitches. The academy area will cover 18% of the park.

The club also plans to create a Sports Turf Academy, providing employment and training opportunities for a new generation of sports turf, greenkeeping, horticultural and mechanical staff.

READ MORE: The reasons behind Tottenham signing Manor Solomon and why similar transfers could follow

Spurs will also look to restore the southern half of the former golf course to parkland and wild meadows, investing to reinstate 19th century parkland with the southern clubhouse redeveloped into a new café and toilets for park visitors along with other facilities and opportunities for community and educational activities.The council will retain control of the woodlands with investment in improving biodiversity and improved paths for walking, cycling and horse riding. The club said in their proposals that all the work within the leased area including the academy, café and toilets and new parkland would be paid for by them.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said back in 2021 as part of the proposal: “As with our existing training centre, close attention to detail will be paid to ensuring the site’s natural environmental habitat is maintained and enhanced and that all design is to the very highest standards.

“Our proposals will enhance public access, improve opportunities for recreational and community use and build on the fantastic work that has been delivered by our Foundation in Enfield over the past decade.

“The new Women and Girls’ Football Academy will enable us to continue developing the game at grass roots level and to improve participation in the sport. It would be the first of its kind in the UK and it would be in Enfield – an inspirational setting.”

The next step for Tottenham will be to submit the planning application for the new academy and associated work.