Bees delight as stadium plan gets final approval from Eric Pickles

Sutton Guardian: Approval: Eric Pickles Approval: Eric Pickles

Brentford Football Club overcame the final hurdle and gained planning approval to build a 20,000-capacity stadium in Lionel Road.

The application was referred to Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government’s office after English Heritage objected due to the perceived impact of the proposals on nearby Kew Gardens.

Eric Pickles’ Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Planning Nick Boles confirmed the Bees were free to proceed with their plans to relocate from their Griffin Park ground.

Cliff Crown, Brentford chairman, said: “Our vision of an exciting new hub at this brownfield site has taken another major step forward.

“We would like to express appreciation to the minister and his case officers for their support and recognising the significant benefits this development will bring.

“We firmly believe this is a once-in-a-generation chance to create a vibrant new stadium that will add to the buzz that is going on around Brentford.”

Hounslow Council gave the plans the green light in December before Boris Johnson gave his seal of approval last month.

Councillor Jagdish Sharma, leader of Hounslow Council, said: “This is great news for Brentford Football Club and the borough.

“It not only means the Bees will have a top class stadium, it will help the continuing rejuvenation of Brentford itself.”

Campaigners had argued against the plans, which could include three tower blocks of up to 17-storeys and 910 flats, a hotel and retail units.

Martin Taylor, planning trustee of the Kew Society, said the stadium would be a “great resource for the community” but raised concerns over the enabling development.

He said: “Obviously there is still an awful lot to be done.

“There is still quite a lot of representation to be made and planning permission is still required for the individual tower blocks.

“We still have concerns over the effects on traffic and pollution in Kew.”

Sale of outline planning permission to an external developer will make up much of the £71m required to build the stadium.

The stadium in Lionel Road is due to be complete by 2016 with the residential development finished by 2023.

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