Sunday 8 May 2016

'You can gaze across to Wembley, if it wasn't for the towers in between' -'iconic' stadium views trashed

The Old Music Hall song LINK  had the verse:

'Just by clinging to the chimney,
You can gaze across to Wembley,
If it wasn't for the 'ouses in between.'

Now it is Quintain's speculative luxury tower blocks and private student accommodation blocks that are getting in the way of the views of Wembley Stadium.  When the new stadium was built the 'iconic views' were supposed to be preserved but Brent Council's Planning Department has done little to further this aim.

This can already be seen from Barn Hill:

And the views on Olympic Way from Wembley Park Station are closing in:

The current view from Chalkhill Park, which runs parallel to the Metropolitan and Jubilee lines, will be obscured by the  new development which is being discussed at planning on Thursday while Monday's application will put tower blocks in front of the stadium as viewed from White Horse Bridge.

Residents are not happy about this and the Football Association has put in objections. Martin Glen, Chief Executive of the Football Association wrote:
The proposals which look to develop high rise blocks close to the stadium will severely damage the iconic view and status of the Stadium.
Whilst regeneration is vital, it needs to be balanced with Brent’s and the FA’s duty to protect the spirit of what is a great venue.
Wembley is a part of a national identity and positive celebrations of this should not merely be unhindered, but enhanced.
The aim of the FA’s objection is to retain the visual power of the stadium to help stimulate every aspect of life in Brent, retaining the emotional response Sir Norman Foster intended for the stadium
Brent Planners argue on 'Protected Views':
Policy WEM 6 of the Wembley Area Action Plan sets out 13 protected views to the Stadium. The submitted assessment includes verified views from these locations with wire line drawings of the proposed buildings.

This shows that the proposed buildings do not intrude significantly into the space between the roof of the stadium and the arch within the majority of views. The view from the Welsh Harp Reservoir (protected view 5) shows that the proposed taller element of the building within plot E03 projects into the space between the roof of the stadium and the arch. However, it is considered that the dominance of the arch is maintained within this view.

The submission shows that elements of plots NE04 and NE05 project significantly into the space between the stadium roof and its arch when viewed from Chalkhill Park, and obscure the lower parts of the arch on one side. The majority of the arch is still visible, but the development reduces the amount of space that is visible between the roof and arch. Whilst the amount of sky visible below the arch is reduced significantly, the arch continues to be visible. Whilst this would not be considered to be appropriate within a primary approach to the stadium, such as along Olympic Way or from the White Horse Bridge, regard must be given the nature of the space from which it is viewed. Chalkhill Park is a local park within an urban locality and the majority of the arch continue to be visible. On balance, this is considered to be acceptable.
It is likely that the F.A. will attend either or both of the Planning Committees to try and stop Brent Council from trashing the national stadium


This morning a local resident sent the photograph above with this comment: Interesting article on the ever decreasing views of the stadium.

Couldn't work out how to add this photo to the comments, 115 Chalkhill Rd used to have unspoilt views of the stadium and arena, over the oadt few years, so many high rise buildings have been erected we can no longer see the arena and our view of the stadium is rapidly disappearing. The work on the old retail park will no doubt eclipse whatever view we have left of the stadium.

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