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Brentford FC's new Lionel Road stadium gets the final thumbs up

Fans are elated as the new stadium becomes a reality following months of nail-biting waiting to hear if Eric Pickles would give the final approval.

An image of what Brentford FC's new Lionel Road will look like

Brentford FC fans are celebrating this morning after Eric Pickles gave the third and final green light for a new stadium in Lionel Road to be built.

Whoops of joy were heard around Hounslow as Nick Boles, Mr Pickles' Under Secretary of State for Planning, confirmed to the club that the club can now press ahead with building the 20,000 capacity stadium in Lionel Road South.

The final decision comes after months of fans waiting on tenterhooks for the much-desired stadium to replace the current Griffin Park. 

Hounslow Council granted the club planning permission for a new home in Lionel Road in December last year and then Boris Johnson gave the green light  last month on February 18.

The waiting to see if the 20,000 capacity stadium with 910 new homes, a hotel and retail, set to cost £71 million, would be given the final go-ahead by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has been a drawn-out one.

The application was referred to his office after English Heritage objected to the application due to their perceived impact of the proposals on nearby heritage assets, including Kew Gardens, where may buildings are Grade I and Grade II listed.

Several residents groups who petitioned Boris Johnson and Eric Pickles to reject the current plans will feel let down this morning as they continue to worry about the impact of having 11 tower blocks surrounding the stadium of seven to 17-storeys high.

Cliff Crown, Brentford FC chairman, said: "Nick Boles’ confirmation of the decision of the GLA and Hounslow Council is great news.

"Our vision of an exciting new hub at this brownfield site has taken another major step forward. 

"We would like to express appreciation to the Minister and his case officers for their support and recognising the significant benefits this development will bring. We firmly believe this is a once in a generation chance to create a vibrant new stadium that will add to the buzz that is going on around Brentford. 

"As we said this week at the annual international property event MIPIM, Brentford is on the up as a destination, with new homes, retail, sports and leisure facilities which bring new jobs and vibrancy to the area.

"As a result of the decisions made by local, regional and national public bodies, Brentford Football Club will be returning close to where it was founded in 1889. 

"We are proud of our history at  Griffin Park, where we have always been a good neighbour.  

"In planning for our new home, we look forward to building on our positive relationship with local residents and businesses and also our new neighbours in Chiswick and Kew. 

"By working together we believe we can make the most of the new opportunities for the benefit of everyone.

“Although there is still work to be done, we are delighted to have received the support from the Minister and his Department and are looking forward to moving the project forward."

Building can now start on the stadium this summer.

Leader of Hounslow Council, Jagdish Sharma, said: "This is great news for Brentford football club and the borough. It not only means the Bees will have a top class stadium, it will help the continuing rejuvenation of Brentford itself.”

Steve Curran, Hounslow's planning chief, added that it was fantastic news and he knew Bees' fans everywhere are buzzing.

 
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