Brentford Football Stadium

Brentford Football Stadium

Update 28/04/2017

Use of the stadium for both rugby and football has been approved by Hounslow Council.

Update 05/04/2017

Site clearance work has now started and work on Phase 1 of the scheme, to build the stadium, will start later this year.

Brentford Football Stadium Rugby use

Update 04/01/2017

Richmond Council have notified us that they are not objecting to the use of the stadium for rugby as well as football subject to agreement of funding by Hounslow Council for new CPZ arrangements in Kew which forms part of the original Section 106 agreement for the development.

Update 30/09/2016

Hounslow Council are considering allowing the use of the Brentford Stadium for rugby as well as football under a legal process (Section 73) which is for changes to an approved scheme where the changes are not substantially different from the approved scheme. We, together with other amenity groups in Hounslow and the London Forum, consider the inclusion of rugby matches, possibly during the week as well, to be a substantial change, even if the built structure is not altered, and not suitable for a Section 73 process which is for minor changes. We hope Hounslow Council will reconsider and allow for full consultation on the proposals which could have a significant further impact on traffic congestion and consequent air pollution. Transport for London had already raised concerns about the traffic impacts from the Stadium and its enabling developments even without this further intensification of use. We have asked Richmond Council if they would also object to this use of an inappropriate process and liaise with Transport for London on the traffic and air pollution issues. Richmond Council did object to the original application on grounds of the visual impact of the enabling developments and traffic and parking impacts..

Update 03/09/2016

Hounslow Council have now issued their General Vesting Declaration which gives notice of the Council’s intention to take ownership of the land included in the Compulsory Purchase Order needed for the scheme to proceed.

London Irish Rugby Club have announced that they have started formal discussions with Hounslow Council to explore the potential to play rugby at Brentford Community Stadium. This may mean a fixture every Saturday – once for football and once for rugby.

More information is expected soon on the overall project timetable.

Update 31/05/2016

We understand that no further action has been taken by those opposing the CPO within the time limit allowed for any further challenge. Hounslow Council will now proceed with the legal action to acquire the remaining land for the scheme.

Update 12/04/2016

The Inspector has confirmed the Compulsory Purchase Order to acquire the remaining land needed for the scheme to go ahead. The Inspector’s decision has been approved by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Update 12/12/2015

At its Planning Committee meeting on Thursday 10th December Hounslow Council approved the “reserved matters” application for the first phase of this development. We are grateful to the West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society for representing our views on design features at the Committee meeting, as well as those of other amenity groups in the area, Historic England and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Latest News 11/10/2015

The Public Inquiry to review the use of the Compulsory Purchase Order to acquire the remaining land still needed for this scheme has concluded its public hearings. We now await the outcome.

In the meantime Hounslow Council has consulted on a planning application (ref 00703/A/P11) for the “reserved matters” for some of the enabling developments.  The overall outline for the enabling developments has already been approved but detailed applications need to be made for the scheme. We, and other community groups in Hounslow as well as Historic England, have made a number of objections. You can see our submission here: Kew Society objections to Brentford enabling developments reserved matters

Latest News 3/8/2015

The Public Inquiry to review the use of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to acquire the land still needed to redevelop Lionel Road as the new base for Brentford Football Club will start to hear evidence from 8th September.

We have always said that we do not oppose the building of a new stadium for the Bees at Lionel Road. But we have, with other community groups in Hounslow, questioned the justification for the “enabling” developments which will result in increased traffic congestion, consequent air pollution and undesirable changes to vistas from key heritage sites – the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Museum of Water and Steam, Kew Green – and the river towpath and other open spaces north of the river.

Hounslow Council’s planning documents say that the area is predominantly low lying and that high rise buildings should be appropriately located so that vistas and the character of local areas are respected whilst the area is regenerated. The stadium development runs counter to those policies. It also includes no affordable housing. This is all justified on the basis that the development cannot be afforded without the funds that will be generated from the sale of tower block accommodation on this scale.

We have asked to see the financial viability assessment in full so that the community can assess whether all alternative routes to funding really have been exhausted but this is still being withheld as commercially sensitive. Separately from the Inquiry, we are still waiting to hear from the Information Commissioner whether he will overrule this decision by Hounslow Council.

We have also asked the Council to show us the report they commissioned to review our independent assessment of traffic congestion and air pollution  which they claim is flawed. The evidence we presented was not considered before Hounslow made their decision on outline planning permission. If they think it is flawed, we think it entirely reasonable that we should see why they think this is the case. We hope that this evidence will be disclosed as the CPO inquiry proceeds. But the lack of access to financial viability data and traffic and air pollution evidence ahead of time puts us at a disadvantage.

We have been continuing to pursue every angle possible to see whether there really is no alternative to funding the new stadium other than by “enabling” developments of 910 high rise flats and a hotel. With others, our objections to the use of CPO powers have led to the Secretary of State calling the Public Inquiry and to the release of some hitherto withheld viability information. Some information has still not been released and we would be faced with the significant costs of both continuing our Counsel’s instructions and engaging 3 professional expert witnesses on traffic/pollution, development viability and Town Planning if we were to be represented at the Inquiry. Reluctantly we have decided not to be professionally represented but will instead rely on our original written evidence.

Another CPO objector, First Industrial Ltd, who own one of the plots of land needed to take forward the development has made similar objections to ours and we will be watching how the Inquiry proceeds with keen interest.

Latest News 29/3/2015

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has granted the Public Inquiry which we and other community groups asked for into the use by Hounslow Council of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to acquire the remaining land needed for the enabling developments. The next step is for Hounslow to make its “Statement of Case” setting out its justification for using the CPO. We are also awaiting the result of our appeal to the Information Commissioner for release of the financial information which would establish why Brentford Football Club and Hounslow Council think there is no alternative route to funding the stadium other than through the proposed high rise flats and hotel.We are not opposed to the new stadium but the enabling developments would have a long-term impact on vistas from several heritage sites in the area and on traffic and air pollution, already a significant problem in this part of London.

Update 8/2/2015

The plans for the enabling developments at Lionel Road have progressed a stage further with a Compulsory Purchase Order now  issued by Hounslow Council  to the owners of the land still needed for the developments. We have written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, to record our objection and to call for a Public Inquiry, based on the advice we received from Planning Counsel on the relevant grounds for objection. We have included in our evidence the independent studies we commissioned on increased traffic and consequent air pollution which were not considered on full when the planning application was approved.  Landowners and other amenity groups have also objected and Zac Goldsmith MP has written in support of our objections.

We have also now written to the Information Commissioner asking for a review of Hounslow Council’s decision not to release the financial viability information we asked for to enable us to assess whether it really is the case that the only way to fund the new stadium is through these enabling developments. We do not object to the new stadium but to the enabling developments which are inappropriate in this location.

Latest news 31/10/2014

We met with Richmond Council to discuss both the scope for further action on planning applications, expected soon, on the enabling developments at the Lionel Road site for the new football stadium, and concerns over aspects of Hounslow’s draft Local Plan.

On the enabling developments, we shared with Richmond Council legal advice we have received from Planning Counsel as well as a survey we commissioned on transport impacts of the scheme. To object to the applications for the enabling developments in a way that would reduce the densities and heights of the buildings, we will need to identify new information, not available when the outline approval was given. We are exploring all avenues. This includes: the potential objections to the use by Hounslow Council of Compulsory Purchase Orders to acquire land needed for the scheme; a study of the pollution impacts of traffic congestion; and a Freedom of Information request to get sight of the financial viability case for the whole scheme, based on a recent case in Bristol which provides a precedent for more openness on this data.

Our position remains that we do not oppose the new stadium but are very concerned about the scale of the enabling blocks of flats and hotel because of their visual impact and the additional traffic generated, leading to more congestion and air pollution.

We are also concerned that Hounslow’s Local Plan proposes medium rise developments close to the river. We have objected to this and made a number of comments on the plan. Richmond Council have also raised concerns with Hounslow. The Plan is being reviewed by an Independent Examiner who will choose which topics to consider from those raised in the consultation. The Inspector has already asked Hounslow Council to conduct a new consultation on “minor amendments” it proposed to its plan. We have submitted comments and have asked to speak at the public hearing.

Background

Hounslow Council have approved plans for a new stadium for Brentford Football Club at Lionel Road.  We are not opposed to the stadium but have objected to the associated “enabling” developments of 910 high rise flats and a hotel which the Club maintains are needed to fund the building of the new 20,000 seat stadium. The Kew Society, alongside amenity groups in Brentford, presented the case against the proposals at Hounslow’s Planning Committee meeting on 5 December 2013.

The Club need to acquire 3 additional plots of land to complete the sites for the enabling developments and then sell to developers who will need to apply for full planning permission within the parameters set out by the outline permission granted now. The stadium, would be built first, opening in 2016, and the enabling developments over a ten year period to 2023.

Our concerns centre on the visual impact close to listed buildings and the World Heritage Site of the Royal Botanic Gardens and the traffic congestion and associated increased air pollution. An independent traffic survey we commissioned demonstrates that:

  • the enabling developments alone “will significantly increase journey times and congestion during the modeled weekday pm peak” whilst “match day impacts will be over and above this impact”;
  • on non-match days, northbound traffic from Kew Bridge is predicted to have its journey time extended by 94%, from 2.22 minutes to 4.36 minutes;
  • on non-match days, southbound traffic between Chiswick roundabout and Gunnersbury Avenue is predicted to increase from 3.52 minutes to 9.33 minutes, a 147% increase in journey times;
  • vehicle speeds are predicted to fall to walking pace.

The roads affected are part of Transport for London’s strategic road network including the South/North Circular road and access to the M4. Many bus routes would be adversely impacted and no account has been taken of the planned Cycle Superhighway.

Update 11/11/2014

We are keeping an eye out for the applications which may come in any time now to proceed with the enabling developments at the Lionel Road site for which outline planning permission has been granted. We are also watching for any Compulsory Purchase Order by Hounslow Council for the land still needing to be acquired for these developments. We have legal advice on what our next steps might be and have made a Freedom of Information request to Hounslow Council for sight of the financial viability data which underpins the case for the enabling developments of flats and a hotel. Hounslow have turned down our request. We have asked for this decision to be reviewed. The financial case for the scheme is, in our view, essential information to explain to the community why the funding of the stadium, which we do not oppose, requires such high density, high rise housing in this sensitive location close to listed buildings and the Royal Botanic Gardens World Heritage Site, contrary to the Council’s stated policies on the kind of developments which would normally be acceptable in this area.

We are also discussing with Richmond Council the action they are taking to ensure they receive the funding agreed for Richmond in the Section 106 agreement for any new CPZs that may be needed in the Borough.

Update 30/9/2014

We met with Richmond Council to discuss both the scope for further action on planning applications, expected soon, on the enabling developments at the Lionel Road site for the new football stadium, and concerns over aspects of Hounslow’s draft Local Plan.

On the enabling developments, we shared with Richmond Council legal advice we have received from Planning Counsel as well as the independent study we commissioned on transport impacts of the scheme. To object to the applications for the enabling developments in a way that would reduce the densities and heights of the buildings, we will need to identify new information, not available when the outline approval was given. We are exploring all avenues. This includes: the potential objections to the use by Hounslow Council of Compulsory Purchase Orders to acquire land needed for the scheme; a study of the pollution impacts of traffic congestion; and a Freedom of Information request to get sight of the financial viability case for the whole scheme, based on a recent case in Bristol which provides a precedent for more openness on this data.

Our position remains that we do not oppose the new stadium but are very concerned about the scale of the enabling blocks of flats and hotel because of their visual impact and the additional traffic generated, leading to more congestion and air pollution.

 Update 13/7/2014

Permission for the new stadium was granted on 12 June, with outline permission for the enabling developments. Hounslow Council are now preparing Compulsory Purchase Orders to acquire the land still needed for parts of the site. We expect full planning applications for the enabling developments to be submitted in the Autumn. A key on-going issue is the effect of the developments on air quality because of increased traffic. We are commissioning an independent study to review these impacts in readiness for the new applications. We are also pursuing Freedom of Information enquiries to obtain access to financial data on the scheme, used to justify the enabling developments.

Update 5/6/2014

We are continuing our involvement in the development of the site on Lionel Road. Negotiations are still on-going for acquisition of all the land needed for the developments and a Section 106 agreement has still to be finalised. Options for improving traffic flow and cycling safety are being considered and will be subject to public consultation. We have said that the options appraisal should take a comprehensive strategic view, bearing in mind that plans for housing development are concentrated in the east of the borough as identified in Hounslow’s draft Local Plan.

Applications for the building of the proposed flats, which have outline planning permission, are expected this Autumn. We will be looking closely at these.

Update 25/4/2014

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, decided not to call in the plans for a new 20,000 seat stadium and outline plans for a hotel and 8 residential tower blocks on the grounds that the decision was best made locally. The GLA has also decided not to intervene. We are continuing to work with 7 other local amenity groups and the Royal Botanic Gardens  to oppose the proposed development of high rise flats which will still need full planning permission. These developments will worsen the already congested traffic around Chiswick roundabout and the surrounding areas as well as the already poor air quality. We will be meeting with Brian Burgess from Brentford FC (Lionel Road) to discuss the current position. We are also examining the Section106 agreement and plans for Compulsory Purchase Orders by Hounslow Council to acquire the land needed for the developments.

Update 5/3/2014

The GLA have decided not to intervene in the decision of Hounslow Council to approve this development. In their decision, the GLA referred to the traffic impacts which they said would at least double the delays on Chiswick roundabout, Kew Bridge and Kew Road. This confirms our findings based on the independent report we commissioned from traffic consultants. The traffic implications, mainly as a result of the blocks of flats, are the basis of our concerns about this development, together with the visual impact of the high rise blocks of flats. We are disappointed that the GLA have decided not to intervene as the problems of congestion around the A4/M4 and north and south circular roads will impact not just Kew but major road arteries in and around London as a whole. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, was due to have made his decision by the end of last month but has applied for more time to consider. He will be looking at the impacts on adjacent heritage sites which include the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Kew Bridge Steam Museum.

We are asking Richmond Council for their views on mitigation of traffic impacts if the scheme is approved and have also asked Taylor Wimpey, the developers of the Old Inland Revenue site, to consider these in its own traffic analysis for their proposed development.

Update 12/2/2014

We remain very busy on the proposed new Brentford Football Stadium and associated development of flats and a hotel. Evidence we commissioned from independent Traffic Consultants has gone to the GLA, local key interests, including our MP, and the local press. Zac Goldsmith MP has sent our concerns to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. An electronic petition against aspects of the scheme has also been widely circulated for signature. We have also written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, who needs to consider the application because of the heritage issues raised by us and English Heritage amongst others. We expect his decision by the end of this month. The GLA have asked for the draft Section 106 agreement between the developers and Hounslow Council to be completed before they consider the application. We are asking for sight of this too.

Update 18/1/2014

We continue to be very busy on various planning issues, notably our opposition to the proposals for enabling developments of 910 flats and a hotel associated with the development of a new stadium for Brentford Football Club at Lionel Road  which the Club maintains are needed to fund the building of the new 20,000 seat stadium. The Kew Society, alongside amenity groups in Brentford, presented the case against the enabling developments, rather than the Stadium itself, at Hounslow’s Planning Committee meeting on 5 December 2013. The meeting was attended by over 500 people, mainly football supporters.

Hounslow approved the application for the stadium, with outline permission for the enabling developments. Once the 3 additional plots of land to complete the sites for the enabling developments have been acquired by the Club and then sold to developers, the developers will need to apply for full planning permission within the parameters set out by the outline permission granted now. The stadium would be built first, opening in 2016, and the enabling developments over a ten year period to 2023.

No planning permission exists until reviews by the GLA for compliance with the London Plan and, because of heritage issues, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, are complete. We expect the GLA to complete its review by the end of this month.

We commissioned traffic consultants to review new evidence submitted by the Club on traffic impacts. This will be crucial in demonstrating what we believe to be non-compliance with London Plan requirements for new developments.  We have submitted our evidence to the GLA. The critical new findings are:

  • traffic modelling reveals that the enabling developments alone “will significantly increase journey times and congestion during the modelled weekday pm peak” whilst “match day impacts will be over and above this impact”;
  • on non-match days, northbound traffic from Kew Bridge is predicted to have its journey time extended by 94%, from 2.22 minutes to 4.36 minutes
  • on non-match days, southbound traffic between Chiswick roundabout and Gunnersbury Avenue is predicted to increase from 3.52 minutes to 9.33 minutes, a 147% increase in journey times
  • vehicle speeds are predicted to fall to walking pace.

The roads affected are part of Transport for London’s strategic road network including the South/North Circular road and access to the M4. Many bus routes would be adversely impacted and no account has been taken of the planned Cycle Superhighway.

No modelling or investigation of queuing implications of the plans or the consequence in terms of vehicle emissions and pollution have been offered. Nor have the implications of plans to close both Lionel Road and Capital Interchange Way at match times been investigated.

This new information, as well as our continuing concerns over the visual impacts of high rise tower blocks on conservation areas and the World Heritage site of the Royal Botanic Gardens, the match day parking consequences for roads around Kew Green and the inadequate exploration of alternative stadium funding options are powerful arguments for the GLA to either take over the planning application from Hounslow or direct Hounslow to turn it down. We urge members to add their individual voices to the case for these proposals to be turned down by writing to David Blankson-Hemans at the GLA at David.Blankson-Hemans@london.gov.uk, Patricia Charleton at Transport for London at PatriciaCharleton@tfl.gov.uk, Tony Arbour, the elected GLA member for this area, at tony.arbour@london.gov.uk and our local MP at zac.goldsmith.mp@parliament.uk.

Update 25/11/2013

The Hounslow Planning Committee will be considering the application for a new stadium at Lionel Road and the enabling developments at their meeting on 5 December 2013. The meeting is at the Hounslow Civic Centre in Lampton Road at 19.30 and is open to the public. We have made a request to speak at the meeting and we are continuing to work with community groups in Brentford on objections to the scheme. The London Borough of Richmond have also now lodged objections because of the visual impact on Kew, including the Kew Gardens World Heritage Site, and the traffic implications.

Update 8/10/2013

There was an excellent turnout to the meeting arranged by Zac Goldsmith MP on the development of a new 20,000 seat stadium for Brentford Football Club to be part funded by 910 new high rise flats and a hotel. Giles Dixon (Joint Chair of the Kew Society) represented the views of the Kew Society alongside panel members from Richmond Council and Brentford Football Club. On a show of hands it was clear that the audience did not object to the development of the stadium as such but had considerable concerns over the need for the high rise flats and over the traffic and parking issues in this already congested area. There was a call for more transparency on the nature of the funding of the scheme to demonstrate why the flats were needed, particularly with such high densities and as high rise developments.

We continue to work with other local amenity groups in Brentford to oppose the plans. New information is now available on Hounslow Council’s website on traffic and parking issues in response to the concerns we have raised.  We are analysing these data carefully.

Update 3/9/2013

We have submitted our objections after taking advice from Counsel and commissioning a study of the traffic and parking implications. We are not objecting in principle to the stadium but are strongly opposed to the plans, which are in outline only, for 910 high rise flats and are concerned that the traffic implications overall have not been fully assessed.

We are continuing to work with other local amenity groups, local Councillors, our MP, Richmond Council, English Heritage, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the GLA and others. The Kew Society Patrons are also involved – Sir Donald Insall has written to Transport for London (TfL) reinforcing our concerns over traffic issues.

Hounslow are due to make their decision in October. We are considering obtaining expert planning advice on our next steps since this is a very important issue for Kew as well as Hounslow residents with a potential long-term legacy of below standard housing for residents, dominating the skyline near the World Heritage Site of the Royal Botanic Gardens and the listed Kew Bridge Steam Museum.

Update 19/3/2013

The proposed development is being exhibited over three days and you are invited to go along and see for yourselves on the following dates:

  • Thursday March 21st, 5.30 – 8.30pm
  • Friday March 22nd, 1pm – 5pm at the Brentford Football Club, Griffin Park, Braemer entrance.
  • Saturday March 23rd, 10am – 1pm at the Brentford Fountain Leisure Centre in the sports hall.

Update 7/2/2013

A major new development which is nearing formal application stage is the proposed move of Brentford Football Club from its current Griffin Park venue, which will be re-developed for housing, to derelict land at Lionel Road, adjacent to Kew Bridge Station. The stadium capacity will increase from 15,000 to 20,000 and the build will be funded by selling parts of the site to developers for 900 flats, including some blocks of 18 storeys, and a 150 bed hotel. This is a very significant development and we are considering the implications for Kew in terms of traffic and parking generally and particularly on days when events are held, and the visual impact particularly from the river and along Kew Bridge. Public exhibitions of the proposals are being arranged by Brentford Football Club which you may want to consider attending. The next ones are likely to be in April.

Update 31/10/2012

In 2011 a major redevelopment of the Lionel Road site by Barratt Homes and Brentford Football Club involving a new 15,000 seat stadium, new leisure centre and two 25 storey blocks of flats was abandoned when the developer, Barratt Homes, pulled out. However Brentford Football Club now has funding to acquire the land and want to go ahead with a new scheme. The Kew Society will be actively participating in meetings of the Lionel Road Group from October 2012 to consider the new scheme.

 

 

 

 

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