PLANS for revamped training facilities at AFC Bournemouth have been unanimously backed by borough councillors.

The proposals, which include creating a new pavilion and third training pitch, as well as various additions required by Premiere League regulations, had been recommended for approval by planning officers.

The Cherries have a short period of time to bring the Goldsands Stadium up to the strict standards required in the top flight of English football since their historic promotion in April.

As well as the enhancements to the training ground itself, which will provide the club with sports therapy, changing facilities and a players' lounge, the plans include a broadcasting cabin and TV studio for reporters, and a boiler room for under pitch heating, plus fencing to improve privacy at its pitches next to the stadium.

At the conclusion of the special hour-long planning meeting yesterday afternoon, all eight councillors on the planning committee unanimously voted in support of each of the applications.

Chairman Councillor David Kelsey said: “In reaching this decision to grant all three applications the board had to consider a number of elements of planning policy and other relevant factors.

"It is important that we balanced support for the club with a duty to preserve access to public land. We feel that the conditions we have made in granting approval ensure that this is the case.”

The conditions implemented by the board include installing bird boxes to compensate for the loss of natural habitats, allowing occasional weekend use of the training pavilion, and improving the appearance of the privacy screening around the training pitches.

Speaking after the meeting, council leader Cllr John Beesley, said: “I am pleased that the council has been able to support the club in their plans for their first season in the Premier League.

"These are exciting times for the club and the whole area as we look forward to welcoming visitors from some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs to our town next season.”

The second application, referring to the addition of new privacy screening fencing, was described as "the most contentious" heard by councillors during the meeting yesterday.

However, it was heard that the screens are commonplace in the Premier League because of "football espionage".

Permission for the screens has been given for one year only, when developers will have to come back before councillors with a more permanent solution.