Plans announced for new stadium for Brentford FC

Proposals envisage £40 million 23,000 seater stadium behind Kew Bridge station and the Brentford Fountain Leisure Centre

An ambitious plan to give Brentford FC a new home has been revealed. The club is in financial difficulties and is being forced to sell its current home at Griffin Park but a supporters group, which is seeking to take control of the club from current owner Ron Noades, believes that the scheme could save Brentford from extinction.

The stadium will have a capacity of 23-25,000 and form part of a leisure complex that will attract visitors (and monorail passengers) at weekends and in the evenings. The scheme also envisages a £60 million monorail which will link the car park at the Western International market with the ground and Kew Bridge rail station on Chiswick High Road.

The plan is being put forward by supporters group Bees United and their partners, Ambersham Group and Millhouse Group. Ambersham Group is the UK representative of the suppliers of the modular system for building the monorail. Millhouse Group is a land development company which is working with Ambersham on a monorail system for Portsmouth. The Chairman of Millhouse Group, Doug White, is a lifelong Brentford FC fan. Amberhsam and Millhouse believe that the monorail scheme can be 100% privately financed and Hounslow Council have expressed interest in a transport development that would not require public funding.

The project is still at an early stage and substantial obstacles remain to be overcome. The project sponsors are hoping that the land at Lionel Road will be "gifted", reducing the total cost of the project by several millions of pounds. This will also remove the need for the costly and time consuming business of issuing Compulsory Purchase Orders. However, the Strategic Rail Authority has already accepted an offer for the land from a third party. The SRA feel they are duty bound to proceed with the sale, but with the possibility of a CPO on the site may result in the existing buyer withdrawing.

The club were recently given planning permission to redevelop the Griffin Park and use the proceeds to build a new ground. They successfully negotiated with local residents to amend the form of the application to a 'red-line' type, which is an application for a change of use of the site, showing proposed site entrances but not the form of any buildings. A condition of the planning approval was that the club should move to a ground nearby and the proposed scheme meets this requirement.

Paul Stedman of the Brentford Independent Association of Supporters praised Hounslow Council's role in the scheme and said, "We understand that these plans have been some six months in preparation, that is to say the same period for which fans representative Luke Kirton has sitting in the Council chamber. The creation of a climate more receptive to the Brentford FC was a necessary precursor of any serious bid to take the club forward, and must count as another victory for fan-power."

The group have also met Railtrack, and believe they will consider supporting a fast rail service into Waterloo, as well as building a new station on the North London Line side of the railway junction to provide a direct service to Stratford, where the line will link directly with Eurostar.

A spokesman for the group said, "Whatever is finally agreed, Brentford would benefit from the facilities within the stadium itself, which will encompass all the amenities the club lacks at present, such as function rooms for business and private use, as well as bars, restaurants, corporate boxes, and parking facilities. These can all be available seven days a week, generating significant income for the club on a daily basis, particularly if the stadium is used more than once a fortnight."

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