QPR chairman Tony Fernandes confident new stadium will be open by 2018
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QPR chairman Tony Fernandes remains convinced the club will move into a new 40,000-capacity stadium in Old Oak Common, Willesden, by 2018 despite current tenants Car Giant suggesting otherwise.
Tony Mendes, the managing director of the west London car supermarket, called Rangers’ plans for a new stadium “speculative and presumptuous” as his company would need to be relocated for the project to go ahead.
Mendes has also denied reports of an exclusivity agreement with the club and has warned the proposals “may take significantly longer” than was anticipated.
Fernandes, however, is determined to proceed with the ‘New Queens Park’ project.
He said: “It’s disappointing [to see] some of the press that has come out from Car Giant, but I’ve been through this many times, with airlines and stuff.
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“What we are doing is great for the community. I’m not a property developer so I’m not here to make millions and millions of pounds from it.
“I’m here to benefit the 40,000 fans in two ways – one a nice stadium and two we can build some affordable housing.”
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QPR made the announcement about their plans for a new stadium in December 2013 after they gained support from all the major bodies required – the Greater London Authority (GLA), relevant local authorities, Network Rail and the influential Genesis Housing Group.
As part of the project, 24,000 new homes are likely to be built.
Malaysian-born Fernandes says his aim is to help the local community as much as possible.
He added: “It is not easy for people to live in London – certainly not easy for people to live in west London.
“Here I have an opportunity, apart from the little community projects we do, to really impact the community. Our thoughts are on creating jobs, affordable living and building economic benefits for west London through exhibition space and leisure activities.
“We want to make that area an arts and crafts and film area. I think our plan is a community plan that will benefit all generations and create something really special for west London – not just for rich Asians to come and live, but something that will really benefit the community.
“We are making great progress and I still believe those dates are achievable.”
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