Fri, 29 June 2012
Brentford Football Club’s plan to move to a new community stadium took a massive step forward yesterday (28 June), when the club bought a 7.6 acre site in Lionel Road, Brentford from Barratt Homes who had originally acquired the site in January 2008, for a development in partnership with the club.
The club is planning to build a 15,000 capacity stadium on the land with the option of extending to 20,000 seats at a later stage. The stadium will also provide a new home for the award winning charity, the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. In addition there will be some residential property built on the site and on Brentford’s existing ground at Griffin Park which will be used for family housing once the new stadium is completed.
The land, bought for an undisclosed price, was paid for by long term Bees supporter Matthew Benham, who at the same time completed a deal to buy Bees United’s 60% shareholding in the club and now owns 96% of Brentford FC.
“This is brilliant news for the club and it’s now full steam ahead for a new stadium. We will be submitting plans for the new development to Hounslow Council within the next year and our ambition is to move into the new stadium in time for the start of the 2016/17 season” said Brentford Chairman Greg Dyke.
“This would not have been possible without Matthew Benham and all Bees fans should be grateful for the financial support he has given the club in recent years. Hopefully by the time we move into the new ground we will already be a championship club.
“The journey to Lionel Road has been a long and, at times, frustrating one but hopefully it is now coming to fruition. I said in the annual report that I believed it would happen in my lifetime and it now looks very likely!”
New club owner, Matthew Benham, said “I am delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement with Barratt Homes and take control of the land at Lionel Road. The club can now get on with preparing plans for an exciting new community stadium that will provide a great boost in terms of much needed new homes and jobs in Brentford.”
The site, which is currently occupied by industrial tenants and used mainly for waste transfer, is located between Kew Bridge station and the elevated M4 motorway close to Chiswick roundabout.
The club has been working closely with Hounslow Council for many years to achieve a satisfactory long term solution to the club's need for a modern stadium. On hearing the news, the council leader, Councillor Jagdish Sharma commented: "This is good news for Brentford and the borough as a whole. The Lionel Road project will deliver significant community benefits so Hounslow Council will continue to support the football club in its efforts to develop a modern stadium and ensure the continuation of its excellent work in the community. It is also a win-win that in tough economic times, the plan will also provide new homes and jobs. We have been proactive in supporting the club’s ambitions because we too are loyal supporters – and long may that continue.”
The project to relocate to Lionel Road has previously received backing from Boris Johnson who expressed his support in a letter to the Brentford chairman, Greg Dyke, shortly before his election as London Mayor.