The change of ownership at Swindon Town Football Club has cast doubt about the future of a planned training facility and housing development in Highworth.

Last year, when the club was owned by Lee Power, it applied for planning permission to build a new training facility on part of the site of Twelve Oaks Golf Course on Lechlade Road north of the hilltop town.

The club also put in a proposal to build 18 houses in a small development on another part of the course.

The training facility was granted permission by Swindon Borough Council’s planning committee in October last year while the housing development plan was approved in February.

The picture is complicated by the fact that Mr Power’s company Power Geneva applied for, and was granted, permission to construct a racehorse training facility on a third part of the golf course.

Since then the football club has passed into the ownership of Australian businessman Clem Morfuni after a protracted and complex court battle.

The issue is whether the sites for the training facility and the housing development are owned by Swindon Town, or are still the possession of Mr Power.

The Adver has been unable to contact Mr Power.

Swindon Town FC has not responded to a request for comment – but it is understood that the club is not proceeding with any plans for either site at the moment as there are ongoing court proceedings involving Mr Power and his acquisition of the club in 2013.
Neither of the applications were popular with some in Highworth.

Neighbours wrote dozens of letters objecting to the football training complex citing noise, traffic and light pollution and Highworth Town FC wrote to councillors saying the FA had said it would not help the club with funding for a second pitch if the Robins’ training facility was built.

At the committee meeting where permission was granted Town’s representative said the new centre would save the club £700,000 a year in fees it paid to use three separate training facilities.

The housing development split members of the committee down the middle and was only given consent by the casting vote of chairman Tim Swinyard.