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Community feels ‘disregarded’ as Spurs move to Wembley Stadium

PUBLISHED: 10:03 04 May 2017

Wembley Stadium (Photo: Ady Kerry)

Wembley Stadium (Photo: Ady Kerry)

Ady Kerry /AK Pictures

Residents feel “disappointed, disregarded and let down” at news Spurs will play all home games in Wembley saying it will badly affect their quality of life.

Tottenham Hotspur announced on April 28 that it will play all their home games at Wembley next season.

The move had been fiercely opposed by residents living near Wembley Stadium who had formed the group Wembley Champions and launched a petition in March in a last ditch attempt to halt Tottenham Hotspurs plans to hold all its home games next season in front a full house.

Their concerns include the impact on people who live around the stadium from crowds, traffic chaos, litter and anti-social behaviour.

But Brent Council disregarded the petition by granting Wembley bosses’ application for 22 extra full-capacity events to be permitted between August 1 this year and July 31 2018, which would allow Spurs full use of the ground for its one-season switch to the national stadium.

Spurs will move into the national stadium for the 2017-18 campaign while work on their new 61,000-seater ground is completed.

Tottenham, who have played at White Hart Lane since 1899, last month extended the deadline for a final decision on Wembley but triggered the option already agreed with the FA last week.

Wembley resident Paolo Di Paolo said he felt like “a victim” while Jaine Lunn, resident, said: “We always knew it was a done deal.” Niral Babla of Wembley High Road Business Association added: “It seems the inevitable has happened. We look forward to working with the relevant concerned parties to ensure the promises made of support to mitigate the effects of the additional events will be upheld.”

Cllr Ketan Sheth, chair of the planning committee who represents Tokyngton, said: “Now that the planning application has been granted, I very much hope that all the stakeholders will be able to work collaboratively to ensure that the local residents, businesses and the visitors to the Stadium have a positive “Wembley experience”.”

Chairman Daniel Levy said: “The Lane means a huge amount to each and every one of us and we needed to gain greater certainty on the delivery of the new stadium before we made the final decision to commence with the decommissioning of our iconic, historic home for some 118 years.

“Wembley will be our home for a season and then we shall return to what will be one of the best stadiums of its kind and the most unique in the world playing host to NFL games too - a stadium that will be key to our future growth and success.”

The FA has insisted that they have measures in place to ensure events are held in a way which benefits the local community.

A Brent Council spokesman said: “The application was considered taking into account planning law, the merits of the application and the feedback received from residents, before it was approved subject to a number of measures being put in place, to deal with the effect of more people being in Wembley, on the extra match days.

“These measures include steps to control traffic, parking, street cleaning, event management and control of public safety, such as alcohol sale and street trading.”

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