Backlash over fresh Wembley Stadium proposals
PUBLISHED: 11:49 09 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:49 09 March 2017
Ady Kerry /AK Pictures
Residents and traders are kicking hard against proposals from Wembley National Stadium Ltd (WNSL) to temporarily increase its number of full capacity events.
In their application to Brent Council’s planning committee, WNSL has requested that its current 37 events be increased to 68 to accommodate Tottenham Hotspur home fixtures next season.
WNSL have highlighted the 31,000 staff positions created as part of the proposals as well as the £14.5million boost to the local economy and its donation of one per cent turnover from the stadium for community programmes.
However, some residents are dismayed by the existing traffic, public drinking and litter problems posed by the hordes of fans attending matches.
“From our perspective it does impede on the quality of life of residents,”said Denise Cheong of the Wembley Champions residents’ group.
Niral Babla, chair of the Wembley High Road Business Association, said customers actively avoided the area on event days due to the congestion around the stadium.
“It begs the question that with more events, what is going to change? It is just going to get worse,” he added.
Barnhill Cllr Michael Pavey said: “To make matters worse the stadium group appears to have made clear that if this application isn’t agreed, they will simply exploit a loophole to hold the additional events anyway – but will cap them at “just” 51,000 people.” He added: “The group’s willingness to bulldoze this through makes a mockery of their stated commitment to work with the community.”
A council spokesman said: “An application to temporarily increase the number of major events at Wembley Stadium for the 2017/18 football season is subject to extensive consultation with local residents and businesses, ending on March 9.
“A total of 41,000 letters were sent to residents within the controlled parking zone at the beginning of February seeking their views and the online planning application comment facility was publicised widely, including in the Brent magazine which goes to all residents.
“The planning applications committee will make a decision on March 23 based on the merits of the application.”
WNSL insisted they are fully committed to ensuring events are delivered in a way that benefits the community with several measures in place to faciloitate improved event delivery and that the result of the consultation will have no impact on future applications.
Moreover, they have held two public exhibitions to raise awareness of the proposals providing feedback opportunities.