BRENTFORD FOOTBALL CLUB AND BARRATT HOMES TEAM UP TO ACQUIRE LAND FOR NEW COMMUNITY STADIUM
Brentford Football Club's plans for a new multi-million pound stadium in West London have taken another step forward as the Club's development partner, Barratt Homes Limited (Barratt), has completed the purchase of a 7.6 acre regeneration site at Lionel Road Brentford.
Brentford FC announced in December that it had, via its stadium development subsidiary, Brentford FC (Lionel Road) Ltd, acquired an option to purchase the site, which is a former railway goods yard, currently occupied for short term mixed industrial uses. Under the terms of a separate agreement, Brentford FC (Lionel Road) Ltd assigned the option to Barratt which now owns the land.
Brentford FC's plan is for its existing ground at Griffin Park to be redeveloped for housing once the new stadium is built and for the land in Lionel Road not needed for the new stadium to be used to build a number of community facilities and a range of residential properties.
The re-development of the stadium is also seen as a catalyst to regenerate the area around Lionel Road, which has been identified by Hounslow Council as the 'Brentford Diamond', a 'Major Development Opportunity'. Currently the land fronting Chiswick High Road, Great West Road, Lionel Road and around Kew Bridge railway station is a mixture of secondary commercial properties. With the significant investment planned for the new stadium, the surrounding sites could be a natural extension for mixed use development, which could include residential, retail, leisure and commercial uses. Hounslow Council has indicated that it may be prepared to use Compulsory Purchase Powers, if necessary to facilitate an approved scheme. Brentford FC confirmed that no residential properties would be required to be relocated.
On behalf of Hounslow Council, the Leader, Councillor Peter Thompson, and Councillor Phil Andrews, Leader of the Community Group, have both welcomed the news that the land has been purchased for the project. Councillor Thompson said "Brentford Football Club makes a tremendous contribution to communities throughout the borough and we fully support their aspirations to re-locate to a modern community stadium in Brentford. This scheme promises some exciting benefits for the local area." Councillor Andrews, who has portfolio responsibility for liaison with Brentford FC, said "I am extremely pleased that we have movement on this project and am proud to have been involved in helping to bring this about. The club needs this new stadium if it is going to move forward and after a lot of speculation and talking supporters are eager to see things happen."
The news has also been welcomed by the London Development Agency (LDA). Deputy Chief Executive Sarah Ebanja said: "The LDA is pleased to see the progress Brentford FC is making in its ambitions for a new stadium to be the centre-piece of a comprehensive community-focused mixed-use development scheme. The level of investment it will draw to the area and the improvements that the scheme can potentially generate to benefit local residents and entrepreneurs is impressive and one that we look forward to being part of."
Brentford FC's stadium project team and Barratt are in the process of negotiating detailed development agreements, appointing professional advisors and commencing feasibility studies. The Club is being advised by Antony Spencer, who introduced the Ashburton Grove site to Arsenal and played a leading role in the development of the Emirates stadium project.
The feasibility studies will ensure the design of the stadium can be accommodated and address the issue of access by fans and associated transport, highways, traffic and parking. The Club intends to liaise closely with Hounslow Council, residents groups and other major stakeholders in the vicinity.