Local Groups Want Brentford FC Plans Reconsidered

Say relocating club must not be detrimental to Chiswick


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Several local groups have called on Brentford Football Club to reconsider its plans for the proposed development at Lionel Road.

The call for withdrawal of the current plans for a large football stadium and residential apartment blocks and hotel, as part of the Brentford Football Club development was made at a public meeting in Chiswick last week. Brentford Football Club was requested to seek a different financial model and come back with a scheme for a stadium which "truly benefits the entire community".

The meeting, which was chaired by local MP Mary Macleod, heard objections from residents in Chiswick who said they would be negatively affected by the plans for the new stadium and particularly the ‘enabling’ residential development, currently ten 14-storey tower blocks.

The Club which is seeking to move from its current Griffin Park location to Lionel Road, near the Brentford Leisure Centre, submitted its planning application last May to Hounslow Council. It wants to increase its capacity from a 6,000 to a 20,000 stadium.

The meeting in St. Paul’s Church in Grove Park heard from Chiswick residents who claimed the development as currently envisaged would cause problems for W4 residents with extra traffic, pressure on public transport- particularly Gunnersbury and Kew stations, and the residential development which they said had not been provided for in terms of infrastructure such as education or health.

The development view from Kew Green

A number of speakers said that they were not against the idea of Brentford Club developing the area- which is currently an industrial site- but they were opposed to the high-rise tower blocks and they also felt the Club had ignored the wishes of the community in Chiswick.

A number of Brentford Football Club fans said that the club members were very well behaved and the club was very active in the community. There would not be 20,000 football fans ‘ all arriving at once’ into Chiswick.

The meeting was attended by a number of local councillors, including Cllr Sam Hearn, Felicity Barwood, Peter Thompson, Adrian Lee and the chairman of the Chiswick Area Forum, Cllr Robert Oulds. Representatives of Brentford Football Club also attended and said they had consulted with the community and would continue to do so.

Mary Macleod said: “Personally, I have always been supportive of the Club’s aspirations as they progress towards the Championship.  However, I do think that residents’ concerns about the impact of the development need to be addressed and I will continue to work together with all involved parties over the coming months to do this.”

A joint statement has been issued by the resident associations and amenity groups:

Brentford Community Council ;Kew Residents Association; Kew Society; Stile Hall Gardens; Friends of Strand on the Green Association; West Chiswick & Gunnersbury Society; West London River Group; Westerly Ware Association,

 Each of these groups has responded in detail to the planning application (00703/A/P11; P/2013/1811) submitted by the Club. While we each have specific concerns relating to our particular area, we have many issues in common and some are summarised as:

The reasons why the Club wishes to move to Lionel Road are fully appreciated. However, providing a new stadium for a football club, even one with the excellent community credentials of Brentford, cannot justify:

  • inflicting irreversible and significant harm on the built and natural environment of Brentford, Chiswick and Kew
  • compromising the quality of life of existing residential communities and of those who might live in the new development
  • overriding national, regional and local planning policy.

The proposed scheme is dictated by the financial and commercial needs of the Club rather than being based on good planning and design considerations.

The scheme for a stadium plus over 900 residential units as currently proposed is fundamentally flawed. It cannot be fixed by tinkering at the edges – for example, by taking off a storey or two from one block – and adding them to another. Its impact on residents, visitors including football spectators, visitor attractions and other businesses is unacceptable in many ways including:

  • natural and built heritage – including the River Thames, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (a World Heritage Site), Gunnersbury Park, Kew Bridge Steam Museum (with its Grade I listed Pumping Station Tower) and the surrounding Conservation Areas in Hounslow and Richmond – the proposals would inflict severe and multiple harm - visual impact, light, noise and air pollution and disrupt access
  • public transport – only limited improvements proposed at Kew Bridge Station and none at Gunnersbury Station
  • traffic – no solution proposed for gridlock at Kew Bridge and the Chiswick Roundabout – increased local and through journey times – impact on residential streets – more noise and air pollution
  • parking – inadequate provision for stadium and residential blocks
  • other infrastructure – no contribution proposed for schools, health facilities, or community facilities for new residents
  • open space – inadequate private/communal space for residents of proposed blocks
  • housing – no houses for families and the elderly, no affordable housing despite these being Hounslow Council’s priorities
  • football supporters –stadium design has been compromised to maximise the residential component and space around stadium inadequate for crowd movement – proposed scheme will not provide the high-quality experience Brentford supporters are expecting

Anyone who has not already sent their comments to Hounslow’s Planning Department, is urged to do so by E-mail: planningcomments@hounslow.gov.uk

Write: Shane Baker, Development Control, LB Hounslow, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow, TW3 4DN.

Quote: Planning Application reference P/2013/1811 in any correspondence


September 14, 2013

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