Okay, the headline is a tad sarcastic considering Brent Council has been often accused of ignoring the interests of local residents over various planning issues including developments around Wembley Stadium but Brent Council last week issued a call for the needs of local residents to be taken into account by any new owner of Wembley Stadium. Brent Council did of course allow an increase in the number of events and a lifting off capacity controls despite local opposition when Tottenham Hotspur moved into the stadium.
In a press release Brent Council said:
At the hearing LINK former England player Gary Neville strongly opposed the sale and suggested there were alternatives to the Football Association's claim that the sale would release funds to support grassroots football. He said the proposed sale wasa short term plan that 'we would regret forever.'Any new owner of Wembley Stadium needs to remember that the iconic home of English football is in the middle of a highly populated residential area and therefore residents' needs should be taken into account.
Brent Council's submission to the Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) Committee calls on any new owner of the stadium to work closely with local residents, businesses and the Council to ensure investment in the local area continues, noting that £1.5billion has been ploughed into the area since 2002.
The Council highlights the importance of working with the local voluntary and community sector to ensure that money donated to community projects goes to the right places and benefits those who need it most.
The DCMS Committee [met] on Wednesday 18 July at 2pm for a public hearing on the future of Wembley.
Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, said:
Brent is proud to be the home of the national stadium. Our job as the Council is to fight residents' corner. The Council is a key stakeholder in relation to events at the stadium and has followed the recent news of a potential sale closely.
It is essential that whoever owns the stadium understands the importance of working closely with the Council and the local community to ensure that the benefits of the national stadium are widely experienced by local residents.
We want to make Wembley a fantastic place to live and work for all its residents. We believe new plans for the stadium must be beneficial for residents and in turn, the economic and regenerative success of the local area will supplement the commercial success of Wembley.
It is likely that any new owner would seek to maximise the number of events held at the stadium.