I'm Your Man Wham!
30 April 2013, 11:30
Badminton England have secured approval to build a new £22m HQ and training base in Milton Keynes.
The governing body revealed plans last year to move from their existing centre in Loughton Lodge to a new facility twice the size at the National Bowl.
But with the project for the National Badminton Centre reliant on the sale of the old site for housing, there were objections from Loughton residents.
Having won its case, BE now hope to be ready to move into the new centre - which will contain a 16-court badminton hall, a 3,000-seater arena, a fitness club, administrative space and athlete accommodation - in spring 2015.
Chief executive Adrian Christy said: "We are experiencing a massive demand for badminton all over the country but in Milton Keynes specifically, the demand for courts outstrips the supply by some way.
"We are also determined to ensure our players have the best possible training environment and the creation of an arena will do just that, as well as enabling us to host major events from national through to international championships.''
"I am incredibly proud of the relationship we have with Milton Keynes Council where their ambition to create an International Sporting City is matched by our own aspirations to be the very best we can be."
The new centre is planned to open in May 2015, just before Great Britain's elite badminton stars begin their bid to qualify for Rio 2016.
The new National Badminton Centre will be built to land just to the south-east of the National Bowl, which plays host to open-air concerts. The Swedish House Mafia performed at The Bowl in summer 2012.
Local people in the Loughton area remain unhappy that 104 homes will be built alongside Lodge Lake, on the site of the old Badminton Centre, on land designated as open space. Badminton England say these homes need to be built to fund the building of the new National Badminton Centre at The Bowl.