Sunday, 6 January 2019

Planning Officers recommend approval of Spurs' extra Wembley games

Brent Planning Officers have recommended that the January 16th Planning Committee LINK approves the application for Spurs to hold eight additional matches at Wembley Stadium between January 15th and May 12th if their new stadium is not ready. Five of the games would be capped at 62,000 and three at 90,000. Neither Brent Council, nor Quintain have been willing to comment to Wembley Matters on how these extra games would impact on the plans to remove the Stadium pedway and replace  with steps before Euro2020. LINK

Submissions from residents were 30 to 1 objecting. No submissions were received from  Barry Gardiner MP, Barnhill Residents' Association or Wembley Stadium Residents Advisory Committee. I can find no record of comments from Tokyngton Ward councillors that include Council Leader Muhammed Butt.

Wembley Central and Alperton Residents' Association acknowledged the economic benefits but stipulated that should permission be granted the sporting events should not be carried over for other events if Spurs return to their new stadium.

This is the officers' conclusion after considering the issues in detail:

The objections received indicate that there is a level of impact currently experienced by events at the stadium from Spurs matches. These mostly relate to anti-social behaviour and transport. Some impacts are expected, as it is a large stadium in a location with residents and businesses nearby. 

Additional events, limited to a capacity of 51,000, can take place at the stadium irrespective of the outcome of the application. 

The original cap on events was imposed to manage the impacts until such time as specific transport improvements had been made. Whilst most of these have taken place, not all of them have been realised. Circumstances have changed since the original planning permission in 2002, which suggest that the final piece of transport infrastructure (the Stadium Access Corridor) will not be provided in the originally envisaged form, but other changes to the road network are now envisaged. A further change is the level of development within the area, which has increased the population and will continue to do so. Therefore, the Council considers that the cap remains relevant. 

Clearly, to increase the number of events to accommodate Tottenham Hotspur would imply a commensurate increase in the impact, albeit that it is proposed to be temporary and only in relation to 8 games. 

In analysing the impacts there has been some concern about the level of economic benefit which would result, and this is primarily centred on visitor expenditure. In any event it seems common sense that there would be winners and losers on event days, dependent on the type of business. This makes it all the more important that the social impacts on event days are further mitigated. A number of additional measures have been secured to deal with some of these issues. 

Transportation issues have been extensively raised, and there are ongoing efforts to reduce the number of vehicles on a match day. A number of mitigation measures are proposed to continue this work. Some of these allow for existing work to continue, and others are new or updated. The pirate parking initiative is considered particularly important. On an individual event basis, Tottenham Hotspur do have the ability to influence their supporters’ behaviour over the course of a season, which is more difficult than for visitors on a one-off basis such as the FA Cup final. Addressing transport issues will also contribute to reducing noise and air quality issues. 

In summary, it is recognised that there is a level of impact being caused by major events now, and that this would increase with an increase in the number of high capacity major events. However, the measures proposed would ensure that this is mollified as much as is reasonably achievable. All are considered necessary to mitigate the increased number of matches which this application proposes. A further consideration is that Tottenham Hotspur could use the stadium for major events up to 51,000 now without restriction, and were they to do that then no additional mitigation measures would be formally secured. 

The proposed additional mitigation would apply to Tottenham Hotspur events, and with some of these being within the existing cap would represent a theoretical improvement for these major events. 

The proposal is, on balance, recommended for approval.


Jaine Lunn said...

No surprises, foregone conclusion as predicted in previous posts.

Philip Grant said...

With the news today that the Spurs move back to their new stadium will not take place until at least March, it appears that most of the extra matches requested in this application will take place at Wembley.

If the club progresses in the F.A. Cup, and the Champions League knock-out stages, then any further delay might mean even more Spurs games at Wembley this season.

The Planning Officers report says, in its understated way, 'that there is a level of impact currently experienced by events at the stadium from Spurs matches.' All that local people are being offered, in return for their recommended approval, is some 'mitigation'!

I was at Olympic Way on Sunday and, as far as I could see, there was no sign of any preparatory work on site for the replacement of the pedway with new steps.