Bad news: preparatory works won’t start in 2014. Good news: Brentford FC are still the first club since Arsenal to build a new stadium in London.
Although the Hounslow Council first expressed support for the Lionel Road Stadium plan back in March, it wasn’t until this week that the local authorities finally approved the scheme with signatures. Numerous procedures preceded the rubber-stamping, but finally the project can move forward.
Still, this means it’s delayed significantly compared to initial estimates. Project director Brian Burgess doesn’t want to give any solid time frame changes, but suggests the stadium construction won’t begin this year.
“Once we know more we will then be able to make a new planning application specifically to add things like this to the stadium use.
“Since the 106 document was signed we have been sitting down each day with Willmott Dixon to go through everything and agree which of us will pay for which bits of the scheme. It took longer to get to this point than we anticipated so we are a few months behind schedule. My best guess, and it is only a guess, is that we will be ready to start the preparation work on the Lionel Road site early in the new year.”
This suggests there is very little (if any) chance for stadium delivery in mid-2016. Not being able to move in time before the 2016/17 season may mean Brentford will have to wait until mid-2017 to relocate from Griffin Park.
The new 20,000-seater will still be London’s first new stadium built by a club since Emirates Stadium in 2006. The project is priced at £71 million and will be co-financed by BFC and Wilmott Dixon, the developer behind its residential part.
Both investors pledged to contribute to improving local infrastructure as part of their expenses. The numbers include around £2million for education, as well as £175,000 for buses, £118,390 for carbon offsetting, £210,000 towards Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) and potentially up to £87,000 for affordable housing as there is none planned to be provided within the development itself.