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I would ask all BEESOTTED readers (and genuine football fans in general -ED) to respond to this as a matter of some importance.

Since securing a positive outcome at the meeting of the Hounslow Planning Committee on December 5th those who opposed the decision and who oppose our stadium and enabling plans, have been working hard to influence key political and professional people in the Mayor’s office and the Greater London Authority. These opponents of the scheme feel spurred on because they are talking to political friends.

The decision of December the 5th has been referred to the office of the Mayor of London and a decision will be considered on or by January 29th. So far we have been passive in this matter but it has become alarmingly apparent that there is a concerted effort to undermine and reverse the Hounslow decision.

Brentford supporters now have less than two weeks to reverse the flow of negative submissions to the GLA and Mayor and to register in an emphatic way the strength of our case and of the stadium proposals.

We are asking for as many Brentford supporters as possible to produce a letter outlining why the plans should be supported. These letters need to be sent to two key people:

David Blankson-Hemans who is the Senior Strategic Planner for the Mayor of London and GLA. Basically he makes the recommendation to Sir Edward Lister & Boris Johnson. [email protected]

Sir Edward Lister who was a long-standing Conservative leader of Wandsworth Council, is the Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning for the GLA. [email protected]

In all communications two things are vitally important.

1). Mention the reference number for the planning decision   No. P/2013/1811

2). Write your name, address and post code

While as many letters to these two people are important, can we please emphasise how crucial it is for anyone reading this on BEESOTTED who lives in Chiswick, Kew, Brentford, Acton, Ealing to register your support for our stadium proposals to both of these people and to the Mayor. The centrepiece of the anti case is that local opinion is against the plans and we must demonstrate this to be false, by having many submissions from Bees fans who reside in these local districts.

Copying the letter to Boris Jonson may also be of value although he is likely to rubber-stamp the recommendation coming from the two people above. Local Chiswick and Kew residents who oppose out plans have directly lobby Johnson. [email protected]

We need letters to be polite, reasoned and persuasive. Highlighting the unique quality of the club is important. Also, highlighting that without the enabling developments the stadium cannot be built and this would leave the Club in limbo.

Points that might be included in submission include the following:

Summary of Benefits arising from the proposal.

Brentford Football Club has been focused on delivering a new Community Stadium at Lionel Road for in excess of 10 years. The London Mayor expressed support for the Club’s proposals in 2008 and confirmation of that support is now required to deliver a new Community Stadium and associated residential development that will:

  • Generate significant new jobs and homes on a brownfield site;
  • Stimulate local economic growth and benefit local businesses;
  • Respect local heritage assets and views via the provision of a high quality residential design; and
  • Underpin and enhance the significant community work delivered by the Club and the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust in Hounslow, Ealing and Richmond

Planning and Economic Benefits

The Brentford Community Stadium project will contribute significantly to economic growth, including:

  • New jobs (over 200 per annum in construction plus over 300 Full Time Equivalent long term);
  • New homes on brownfield land (910 at Lionel Road and over 100 at Griffin Park); and
  • Increased revenue for local businesses.


This project will revitalise an unsightly industrial corner of Brentford and transform it into an attractive link between the Thames riverside at Kew Bridge and Gunnersbury Park.

Brentford Football Club as a local business is unsustainable at Griffin Park because the facilities are antiquated and the site is not suitable for redevelopment as a modern stadium. Without the Community Stadium development project, the economic, social and environmental benefits that the Club, the Trust and Stadium would bring are all at risk.

The project will help to secure the sustainable future of the Club and the multi-award winning charity Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. The Trust, housed together with the Club in purpose built facilities will continue to extend and improve its work with communities in Hounslow, Ealing and Richmond.


Benefits for Local Business Community

The Community Stadium facilities and the Club’s football matches together with the new homes would bring a number of benefits to the local business community including:

  • Increased expenditure by supporters, rising to over £4 million per annum, of which £3 million will be spent directly in the Borough;
  • Total spending by the new residents is estimated of up to £17 million per year, of which £11 million is expected to be retained within the Borough;
  • Facilities available for local businesses, organisations and community groups to hire for conferences, seminars and other meetings; and
  • Closer relationships with local businesses from the provision of high quality match-day hospitality facilities including lounges, boxes and premium seats.


Partnerships with local stakeholders

The Club prides itself in its good neighbour approach to neighbours over the past 100 years at Griffin Park and is committed to continuing this approach for the next 100 years. It has always recognised and been committed to working with Hounslow and other stakeholders to provide necessary mitigation to counter and minimise the effects of the development.

Heritage and views

From the outset the project team has been very mindful of the concerns of local groups regarding the impact of the views on the World Heritage Site and nearby conservation areas.  As a result of comments made there has been reduction to the heights of the residential buildings and amendments to the massing. Second, a total of 33 views from points in the surrounding area have been taken and were presented to the Committee. Also, a detailed Design Code has been agreed in relation to the outline part of the application. This would be used to ensure that the development of the residential buildings and associated infrastructure is sensitive to the surrounding urban landscape, which includes conservation areas, listed buildings and their settings, registered historic parks and gardens, and the World Heritage Site, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

Opponents of the Club’s proposals have been circulating a leaflet with a very misleading image of the view from Kew Bridge. This leaflet also contains inaccurate statements. A decision should not be based on this inaccurate information in this leaflet.

The opposition have tried to make headway arguing that our proposals compromise vitally important aspects of local heritage. It has been conclusively proven that the proposed development has nil impact on the views from Kew Gardens. There is also minimal change to the views from the Thames towpath on the Kew side. The planning officers from London Borough of Richmond upon Thames did not submit an objection on such grounds. No building of interest or significance will be damaged or impeded by our proposals. What will happen is that the ugly, dirty and unsafe waste transfer site at Lionel Road will be transformed into modern housing and a new stadium thus significantly adding to the pleasantness of the area.

It is also important to point out that Brentford F.C. is the key heritage focus in all of Brentford and that the whole plan is designed to keep this in the place where the club originated. Brentford F.C. is Brentford heritage. There is no basis whatsoever for thinking that strand-on-the-green will be compromised as supporters head for home after games.

Section 106 Obligations and CIL payments.

Section 106 items fall within planning laws that allow for developers to mitigate the impact of what they are proposing by funding other, socially useful development in the area where they are building


Section 106 payments in the order of £2.6 million, including:

  • £175,000 to TfL towards additional peak hour bus services along the A315 corridor.
  • £2 million towards education including a £500,000 provision in kind towards the provision of new facilities for the Hounslow Interim Education Centre (IEC).
  • £210,000 contribution towards the funding for CPZ surveys and for CPZ implementation for match and non-match days.
  • £91,000 towards sustainability improvements including travel vouchers and new public realm improvements between the new Stadium and Gunnersbury Park.
  • £118,000 sustainability contribution to Phase 1 of the Gunnersbury Park regeneration programme.
  • £35,000 for additional studies to promote improvements to the flow of traffic in the vicinity

There is a forecast payment to the Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy that is estimated to be in the region of £4-5 million by the time the development is completed.

Affordable housing

The Club has also committed to agreeing a set of viability assumptions with the Council and to sharing, on an “open book” basis, the actual costs incurred and values realised during the life of the project. If this process reveals that, the project economics turn out better than expected, affordable housing contributions will automatically be triggered. So it is very misleading to argue that there is no provision for affordable or social housing within the scheme that we are proposing.

Training and employment opportunities

Construction training and long term operational skills opportunities will arise across the stadium, residential, retail and hotel development, in partnership with local businesses and education providers.

Kew Bridge Station

The Club has agreed a commitment of £250,000 to Network Rail as a contribution towards Kew Bridge Station improvements. This £250,000 for the station itself is in addition to the improvements the Club will make to access routes, including opening the underpass beneath Lionel Road South from the London bound platform and providing links to this on the Club’s own land, via a ramp which will give disabled access and via stairs which will enable pupils to walk between the station platforms and Kew Bridge School without crossing any public highway.

Griffin Park

In addition, the Club is committed to Section 106 contributions in respect of the redevelopment of Griffin Park under an existing outline residential planning permission. The redevelopment of Griffin Park will also deliver new homes on brownfield land and contribute to the regeneration of Brentford town centre.

Sports and Recreation through the Community Trust

At the Houslow Planning Committee Meeting it was evident that the greatest impression was made when we began speaking about the remarkable range of activities, long tradition of service the community and plans for future expansion of the work of the Community Sports Trust. If you have personal experience of this, please mention it in your letters.

Letters from organisations weigh heavily in such a situation so if you are able to write to the GLA and Mayor’s Office in a representative capacity please do so. We would like everyone who reads this to bring it to the attention of fellow BEES fans.

See you all on Saturday at Walsall (18th) and then the following Friday for the evening game against Gillingham (24th).


Steve Cowan on behalf of the Stadium Action Group