Notes of the meeting held in the Sponsors Lounge, Griffin Park at 7pm on 1stOctober 2012.
Attendees: Dorothy Boland, Richard Griffith (Strand on Green Association), John Ormsby (West London River Group), Bela Cunha (Lionel Road North), Geraldine Cox, Veronica Thorne(Griffin Park Residents Association), John Burgess (Brentford Community Council) , Andrew Dakers (spark!, Brentford High Street), John Simnett (local businessman), Kath Richardson, Suzie Betlem (Brentford Chamber of Commerce), Ann Hawker, Mike Simpson, Martin Tewkesbury (Friends of Stile Hall)
Project team: Brian Burgess (BB), Chris Gammon (CG), Steve Lancashire, Chair (SL), Nicholas Vose (NV), Ben Sykes (BS), Richard Watson (RW), Richard Jones (RJ), David Ellis (DE), John Roberts (JR)
1.1 Apologies were received from;
– Donald Kerr
– Phillip Marchant
– Cllr Ruth Cadbury
– Cllr Matt Harman
– Cllr Mel Collins
– Cllr Paul Lynch
– Cllr Steve Curran
– Cllr Colin Ellar
– Robert Colvill
– Sonya Leadlay
– Sarah Ward
2.0 Terms of Reference
2.1 The draft Terms of Reference were presented at the meeting and approved with the following amendments;
– Four additions to the membership list – West London River Group, Holland Gardens Residents Committee, Kew Bridge West Development and the Barratt development on the High Street.
– As long as meetings don’t become too large, more than two representatives from each invited group can attend.
2.2 SL made the general point that the membership list presented is an incremental document, with the view to adding to the membership if necessary. BFC would be grateful to hear other suggestions for members moving forward.
2.3 A revised version of the Terms of Reference based on the discussion will be presented at the next meeting.
3.0 Appointment of Chair
3.1 It was agreed that Steve Lancashire , Four Communications, would continue in his role as chair of the group.
4.0 Project Update
4.1 Brian Burgess (BB), Director of the Brentford Community Stadium, introduced his project update paper, which had been circulated prior to the meeting and is available to view online at: http://www.archive.brentfordcommunitystadium.com/meetings/previous-meeting/
4.2 BB explained the new ownership structure of the Club and the purchase of the Lionel Road site, outlining that the Club had a target of having a new stadium opened in August 2016. To reach this aim there is an expectation that a planning application would be submitted in May 2013.
4.3 BB discussed the enabling work required on the Lionel Road site to ensure the planned BFC stadium is affordable.
4.4 BB also remarked that the Club’s decisions are driven by the need to achieve a sustainable operating business plan for BFC. He emphasised the Club’s desire to continue to be a good neighbour and be part of the community in which the Club operates.
4.5 BB introduced the master planners (Faulkner Brown) who presented a short appraisal of the Lionel Road site and outlined the steps they will be taking in the coming weeks and months as they look to bring forward a proposal for the site.
4.6 SL then opened up the discussion to the floor for questions and comments; the following were received and are themed below with responses given;
– What is happening to the existing businesses on the site?
CG explained now they own the site the Club is taking a much more active role managing the site and this has been welcomed by the occupiers, who will be kept informed of developments.
Transport and parking:
– Are you in discussions with National Rail on how to manage the dispersal of people from the stadium on match days?
– Will Kew Bridge station be the only rail access? Could you look at a new station on the existing freight lines?
– Can you reassure us that the riverside won’t be swamped by fans before and after games? The pubs along the river are already quite full.
– Are you thinking of having parking underground?
– How will you ensure that no further traffic pressure is added to the Chiswick Roundabout and along Kew Bridge Road?
– How will an increase in rat-running on Wellesley Road and Stile Hall Gardens be avoided?
– If you don’t provide adequate parking will fans not look to park elsewhere locally, thus adding to already congested residents parking?
BB and CG explained that
– discussions were progressing with Network Rail
– a detailed travel plan would be developed for both home and away fans with dispersal routes to the railway and underground stations (Gunnersbury, Acton Town and South Ealing were mentioned) and there were a number of bus routes. A study of Brentford season ticket holders had been undertaken to give some idea of where fans would come from. CG explained that part of the Club’s business plan would be to get fans using the refreshment facilities inside the ground both before and after the game.
– the quantity and location of car parking on the site was an integral part of the feasibility study currently under way. No conclusions had been reached yet.
It was suggested that the office car parks near the M4 could be used on match days and that measures would be required to stop fans driving and parking in the residential streets around the proposed ground. BB explained that, as with other new stadia, fans would be encouraged to come by public transport and rather than use their cars.
DE explained there would be a full transport assessment and SL suggested a future meeting focus on this area.
Leisure Centre and other uses:
– Shame that a new leisure centre will no longer be incorporated.
– Pleased to see the existing leisure centre is going to stay.
– What types of activities on non match days are you considering?
– Is there going to be a limit on the types of activity? Are there going to be music concerts?
CG and BB explained
– the Council’s operators (Fusion) had refurbished the existing Centre and were no longer looking for it to be included
– there are no plans for large concerts at present and, if this did emerge as a possibility, it would be limited (to perhaps a week) given the need to maintain the pitch condition
– the Club was looking to develop an agreement to share with a Premiership rugby club and also develop conference facilities at the stadium
– he new stadium would provide facilities for the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, who have grown over their 25 year history and now have 30 full time and 70 sessional staff, and the Learning Zone. Both run extensive programmes and operate from very limited bases. One of the activities they are now running is the Brentford boating arch at Kew Bridge.
Height and density:
– Have you looked at the height of the enabling developments?
BS explained that it was premature to give specific heights at this stage and RW stated they were very mindful of their proximity to three conservation areas and the possible visual impact on Kew Gardens and relevant protected views. BB indicated it was likely to be lower than the 28 and 26 storey towers Barratt were considering to make the scheme viable. He also indicated it was premature to discuss affordable housing levels but the value that may be generated from the corner sites and Griffin Park would be needed to pay for the stadium. It was confirmed there would need to be some negotiations in relation to section 106 and also the new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
– How will you reassure us that your development will not have an adverse effect on the Thames riverside?
– Would be good to see how Fulham’s Craven Cottage football ground operates on match day.
– How will you ensure that light and noise outbreak from the new stadium is kept to a minimum?
BB explained these points would be considered in the EIA and they would look at the Fulham experience and any other relevant grounds. A New Road resident made the point that, generally speaking, current residents around the ground found the Club a good neighbour and there were very few problems with fans on match days.
RJ reported he fully expected a full Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) would be required.
5.1 Questions were raised over the plans for the redevelopment of Griffin Park. There was some concern over what shape the new plans would take. It was agreed that a briefing note would be provided on the Club’s current understanding on the current options being discussed. RJ reported that the Council appeared to have lost the original application papers and if anybody had copies he would be very pleased to get copies from them.
6.0 Date of next meeting
6.1 Date of next meeting was agreed as 3 December 2012 beginning at 7pm in Hospitality/Sponsors Lounge at Griffin Park.