|May 2011, before the UEFA Champions League Final between Barcelona and Manchester United (Photo Philip Grant)|
Meanwhile Planning Officers appear to have changed their Recommendation through a recent published Supplementary Report which hands over decision making from the Committee to the Head of Planning (I am not sure if there is one at present). This seems to undermine the democratic involvement of councillors in such a massive multi-million development.
The Football Supporters Federation have also objected to the planning application:Recommendation in original report:
To resolve to grant planning permission, subject to the Stage 2 referral to the Mayor of London and subject to the completion of a satisfactory Section 106 or other legal agreement and to delegate authority to the Head of Planning or other duly authorised person to agree the exact terms thereof on advice from the Chief Legal Officer, subject to the conditions set out in the Draft Decision Notice.
Recommendation in supplementary report:
To delegate authority to the Head of Planning or other duly authorised person to grant permission, subject to the Stage 2 referral to the Mayor of London and subject to the completion of a satisfactory Section 106 or other legal agreement and to delegate authority to the Head of Planning or other duly authorised person to agree the exact terms thereof on advice from the Chief Legal Officer, and subject to the conditions set out in the Draft Decision Notice, an additional condition regarding design standards and amendments to conditions 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 19, 22, 26, 29 and 36 as discussed above.
Football Supporters’ Federation opposition to planned redevelopment around Wembley Stadium
The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) represents more than 500,000 football supporters, with our membership comprising both individual fans and organised supporter groups for clubs across England and Wales. The FSF’s role is to ensure that the collective voice of football fans is heard on important issues and our members are always keen to engage in our work. Our recent campaigns have included our successful work to secure lower ticket prices for away fans in the Premier League, opposing The FA Chairman’s recent “B-team” proposal, and campaigning to enhance the diversity of football crowds.
I am writing to you today to ask you to oppose the recent planning applications for redevelopment around Wembley stadium (15/5550 and 15/5615) as implementing these proposals as they stand will have a hugely detrimental effect on supporters at Wembley Stadium.
For many fans, coming to Wembley Stadium to support their club in The FA Cup semi-finals or final, the League Cup final or the Football League Play-Offs is a once in a life-time opportunity and one that remains hugely special to the millions of people who have enjoyed seeing their teams play at the national stadium. In addition, hundreds of thousands of fans of the England national team also come together for matches at Wembley.
Of course the fans’ experience of Wembley is based on much more than the outcome of the game itself and the whole match day experience from beginning to end is important to football fans.
We are concerned that the planning proposals submitted for the redevelopment around Wembley have been created without football supporters in mind. We understand that the current proposals will mean that supporters would need to queue for over two hours to exit the new multi-storey car park, and that the proposals for the new coach park would see fans leaving the stadium in an anti- clockwise route and then joining the back of the queue towards the south of the stadium before being allowed back to the Carey’s/VDC coach park. Supporters would be held at the south of the stadium after the match before they are allowed to get back to their coaches.
These plans mean that there will be significant delays for fans when arriving at and leaving the stadium. Meanwhile, queuing or grouping fans together at best will create a poor experience for fans and at worst could lead to public order problems. We also have concerns for the safety of fans leaving the stadium and accessing the coach park at VDC/Carey’s, in particular as the current proposals will lead to conflict between pedestrians and vehicles, something which we feel is not acceptable.
Football fans appear to have been completely forgotten in creating these new proposals which would ruin supporters’ experience of Wembley and surely endanger the prospects of Wembley attracting world-class events in the future.
We recommend that the Council rejects the planning applications and works with supporters, Wembley and the developers to create a solution which ensures that Wembley Stadium retains its status as a world-class sporting venue.
Kevin Miles Chief Executive The Football Supporters’ Federation