Anger as Brent Council earmarks £17.8 million to spruce up Wembley Park

Wembley Park

Wembley Park - Credit: Archant

A row has broken out over a decision by Brent Council to give away £17.8 million of public money to developers to spruce up Wembley Park.

Paul Lorber

Paul Lorber - Credit: Archant

The cash will be used for improvements such as replacing the ‘pedway’ steps up to Wembley Stadium.

The money, pledged at council cabinet meeting in July last year, is from the Community Infrastructure Levy which comes from new developments built in the borough.

In its report the council said the contribution would be contingent on developers Quintain, “not pursuing development site adjacent to the Civic Centre”.

But now Paul Lorber, former leader of Brent Liberals on the council, is querying the expenditure saying it would be better spent on helping neglected parts of the borough with residents expressing discontent on social media.

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Mr Lorber said: “Quintain have planning permission to build on the land outside the Civic Centre. The council are worried it will ruin their view so they are effectively paying them not to pursue the planning application.”

“I know I have put in bids for improvements to Sudbury but they are rejected. If the council had consulted properly local residents would have made their views very clear.”

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He added: “My biggest issue is of course public money being handed over to Wembley Stadium and a private developer when there is such a desperate need for cash to deal with the massive backlog of work to Brent’s crumbling roads and pavements.”

Cllr Shama Tatler, Brent Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said: “It’s disappointing a year down the line that individuals are attempting to make mischief out of a decision designed to deliver positive outcomes for Brent residents. This work will attract new business, new jobs and leave a lasting legacy of ensuring Wembley is more than just a match-day destination.

“More than half the work will be funded by Quintain including a new square, lighting, outdoor seating, public safety measures to make way for a new entrance to Wembley Stadium, a huge asset for the whole borough.”

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