Cargiant say a new stadium on their land at Old Oak Common is not a viable option
- Credit: Archant
QPR could build a new stadium in a different part of west London, according to Cargiant’s managing director Tony Mendes.
Mendes, a season ticket-holder at Loftus Road, says his company are currently working on relocating to a new site but are pushing ahead with their own plans to redevelop on the 47 acres that they own at Old Oak Common.
The relocation has been forced following a decision by Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to approve a scheme by the Mayor of London to regenerate Old Oak Common with the creation of a brand new city with up to 24,000 homes and more than 55,000 jobs.
Mendes told the Brent & Kilburn Times: “There are various options where QPR could build their stadium and keep the club in west London.
“I think QPR want to build a stadium for free. They want to build residential units around the stadium to pay for it.
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“We would like to build our scheme for free and relocate Cargiant for free, but we can’t. There is no such a thing as a free dinner.
“We have committed £140m towards our relocation already, plus 10s of millions on planning fees and professional fees that we have paid to bring our scheme forward.
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“The Greater London Authority asked us a year ago to regenerate this area and to relocate ourselves – we are doing both. We are consistently speaking to the GLA about our masterplan and getting their input every step of the way.”
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes recently stated that “there is a compelling argument for how a new stadium will transform the area”.
Fernandes added he was confident the club will find a way to work with the major landowners at Old Oak Common and remains optimistic that he will find a way to deliver a new stadium.
But Mendes disagrees with Fernandes’ view on regeneration.
He said: “A stadium can bring life to a regeneration area if it is on the outskirts of a city. You only have to look at what Manchester City have done. There was nothing there and the club have built up that area.
“Here, we are 10 minutes away from Westfield, we have 170 acres of prime parkland and 1.2 kilometres of canal. There will be three or four stations of all different lines.
“It will be a busy environment and a stadium would kill it to a certain extent. More than anything it is just not viable to do it. The cost of infastruture will only double. If it was [viable], we would build a stadium. Why wouldn’t you?”
Mendes added: “QPR have been very vocal about how many residential units and jobs they will provide but there will be fewer homes and jobs if a stadium was built.
“The whole Old Oak Common regeneration area will deliver around 55,000 jobs and 24,000 residential units. We want more homes, not less, because you have to provide a high percentage of affordable homes. The number has yet to be agreed but it is going to be high – the local authority and the GLA will want it to be high.
“We estimate that, if a stadium was built, there would be 3,500 fewer residential units built. There will also be fewer jobs because the majority of staff don’t work in a stadium unless it is matchday.
“Our scheme will have the wow factor. We will enhance the canal front, provide the schools, green spaces and other community needs required for a development this size. We want to make it an area where people will want to come and live.”
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