Plans for Lionel Road are Moving Ahead
Hopes for Planning Application in May
With that now infamous tweet back in June last year, swiftly followed by a quote of a Lionel Ritchie song (geddit?) the wheels were set in motion to start developing the long hoped for Lionel Road Stadium (again).
Brentford FC has a long history of wishing to move out of Griffin Park but it's easier said than done. Funding a new stadium with London land prices and lack of suitable local spaces has turned a new stadium into a long running saga.
But when Matthew Benham, who now owns 96% of Brentford FC, provided the funding for the Club to buy the land, he breathed new life into the Lionel Road project.
The first thing to make clear is that building a 20,000 seater stadium is hugely expensive. In order to fund the stadium it will be necessary to get outline permission for the three corners of the site and sell them on to developers, as well as the existing Griffin Park which cannot be built on until the new stadium is open.
Even with the enabling development there is likely to be a financial shortfall. Rather than cut corners in the stadium design this will have to be met by sponsorship.
Brentford FC hope to submit a planning application by May of this year and have had a public consultation this January as well as a fans forum last week that concentrated on the stadium. Comments are being taken on board despite a very tight schedule.
The site is very small, being physically limited by the railway lines. The stadium will take up most of the space with small corners on the West and East being available for development and a larger triangle on the South which will be the more attractive site for developers. The photos below show the display boards from the exhibition taken at a recent presentation to the Brentford Chamber of Commerce.
The main issues of concern are the effect on local transport and traffic, both on match days and with the added load to the system of the new residents. The height of the residential blocks will affect surrounding views, and the infrastructure in Brentford has not seen any great improvement in recent years. There is certainly a hope that this new development acts as a catalyst to help re-generate the immediate surroundings as well as the stations at Kew and Gunnersbury.
Brentford supporters want this new stadium to work and to be built, to help secure Brentford FC's future. A detailed summary of the points raised and answered during BIAS' recent fans forum is on BIAS' website. These concentrate on the stadium itself.
Brian Burgess, who leads the Lionel Road Stadium Group is well aware of all the issues and is doing his best to bring forward a plan that will keep supporters, residents and the local community happy as well as providing a stadium for the future. Brian said to BrentfordTW8.com "The Club has been a part of the Brentford community for over 100 years. At Lionel Road South we would like to create a new home for the Club and the Community Sports Trust that is fit for the 21st century and regenerates that part of Brentford. We are consulting local people and working hard to take account of their comments because it is important to the Club that it continues to be a good neighbour, as it has been at Griffin Park"
There will be another consultation on 21-23rd March, both at the Hive and in Chiswick before an application for planning is submitted.
February 14, 2013