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Brent Council approves controversial plans to build homes close to Wembley Stadium

PUBLISHED: 11:42 12 May 2016 | UPDATED: 12:45 12 May 2016

Aerial illustration of how Wembley Stadium will look after Quintain's application was passed by Brent Council

Aerial illustration of how Wembley Stadium will look after Quintain's application was passed by Brent Council

AVR London

Brent Council have given the green light for developers to build around Wembley’s iconic stadium amid claims the safety of football fans will be threatened.

Aerial view of Wembley Stadium (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)Aerial view of Wembley Stadium (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

The controversial application by Quintain to build a new seven-acre park around Olympic Way went ahead last night despite objections from Football Association (FA).

It will now be up to Sadiq Khan, the new Mayor of London, to say whether the expansion can go ahead.

The developer’s plans include a nine-storey car park, 4.850 new homes and new offices along Wembley Park Boulevard to add to the regeneration of the area.

The FA argued high rise blocks close to the stadium will “severely damage the iconic view and status of the stadium”.

The football giants said changes to the flow of stadium visitors due to development will mean fans will be held for a time after games have finished, confirmed by the council’s highways officers in the committee report.

Julie Harrington, the FA’s operations director, said: “I ask the community to reject this application. The proposals are not in the best interests of the local community and it creates a genuine public order and safety concerns which would serve as a retrograde step for the stadium.”

Two members of the eight-strong committee, including the chairwoman Cllr Sarah Marquis, were absent from the application hearing which was passed with four votes and one abstention.

Members discussed matters relating to transport, safety and design and decided the plans should be granted approval subject to a number of conditions which include improving transport, safety and the exit of fans from the stadium.

A spokesman for Quintain said: “The safety of fans and all visitors to Wembley Park is our top priority at all times. We categorically reject any suggestion that our plans, which have been developed with pedestrian movement specialists and transport specialists alongside the officers at Brent Council and TfL will put fans at risk. To be clear our preferred future coach park pedestrian solution, endorsed by Brent, does not involve any holding pens for fans.”

“Quintain has been building at Wembley since 2002 and has always worked in close partnership with Brent Council, Wembley Stadium, The Met Police and TfL to deliver a safe and enjoyable experience for fans at the stadium and we will continue to do so. All events are discussed with stakeholders in advance, including Brent and the Met Police, and these are a joint decision to implement. We have developed a clear and workable solution for event day traffic management in our new masterplan and we remain in detailed discussions with Wembley Stadium to address the wider transport issues they have raised.”A council spokeswoman said: “These plans mark the next phase in the regeneration of Wembley and will create much needed new homes, jobs, leisure and educational facilities around the iconic home of football.

“While these plans will help accelerate the transformation of Wembley, the committee did consider all representations in detail and these concerns have been taken on board with the series of additional conditions which were imposed.” “Safety always comes first and we are confident that the plans will ensure that fans and other visitors to the national stadium can continue to enjoy these facilities while providing the significant regeneration which the area needs.”

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