BIAS has issued the following statement in response to Brentford Football Club’s Press Release regarding the redesign of The Bees’ new stadium.
The club has today released some details about its planned changes to the new stadium. BIAS was informed, in a meeting with the club last week, that they felt it necessary to conduct a de-risking exercise on the Lionel Road stadium plans, with the dual purpose of reducing cost and making construction easier. We now understand that this work started in May 2016.
We are disappointed that this exercise has been carried out without any input from fans, who will be the ultimate users of the stadium, and that no consultation with fans or fan groups has been done as part of developing these changes. We believe that this meant that some important changes to the stadium and the business model that supports it have strayed from the interests of Brentford fans, in terms of the match day experience as well as the future sustainability of the club.
We urge the club, stadium team and Matthew Benham to relook at the changes with a focus on the impact on fans. To be able to do this, fan consultation is needed. BIAS will be participating in a fans forum (we’ll give details shortly), where groups and individuals can put their questions to Brentford Chairman Cliff Crown and discuss the impact of the changes. We should also be able to share notes from the pre-planning meeting at Hounslow Council the previous evening. We would also like to express the need for Conor Hayes, Chairman of Lionel Road Development Ltd to be present so that technical questions can be clearly answered.
Ahead of the forum, the BIAS committee has set out our view on the headline changes to the stadium plans below. This is meant as a starting point for discussions, and we want to hear as many comments, ideas and opinions from fans before and at the fans forum, so we can feed these back to the club before the club’s target for planning approval in early September.
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