The long wait for an answer to whether Brentford FC will get its much longed for new stadium is possible before the month is out.
Backing for the 20,000 seater Community Stadium project from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is now all that is needed to make the dream a reality for Bees fans.
Should Eric Pickles give the £71 million development his approval on or before Friday (28) then the builders could be on site as early as this summer.
This positive - but still cautious - news was shared with members of West London Business, the chamber of commerce for the West of the city at its Property Lunch at Holborn’s Grand Connaught Rooms last Friday (21).
Brian Burgess and Chris Gammon were guests at the event and spoke in their roles as executive director and director respectively of Lionel Road Developments Ltd.
This is the company created to see through a scheme which began 11 years ago which would see the football club leave its 100-year-old Griffin Park home and move a mile away to a site currently used for waste recycling in Lionel Road.
Mr Burgess told the attendees: “This is not just about a stadium, it’s a catalyst for a much wider regeneration project.
“We’ve set out to create a community hub and it is very pleasing to have so many authorities agreeing with us that the benefits will outweigh any possible negative impacts.”
A thumbs up from Mr Pickles would follow hot on the heels of the decision by the Mayor of London’s office to grant its own green light last Tuesday (18).
Hounslow Council’s planning committee kicked things off back in December when it formally approved the scheme which will also see 910 new homes and a hotel being constructed.
The aim is to have the stadium ready for the 2016/17 season
During his talk Mr Burgess highlighted figures showing 220 jobs would be created during the construction phase and then a further 300 once everything is finished.
They also estimate the boost in trade to local businesses could total £15 million a year.
Despite this, local residents living around Chiswick, Gunnersbury, Strand on the Green and Kew have grave concerns about traffic impacts, parking problems, noise and pollution and unsightly tower blocks blotting out the view.
Speaking afterwards Mr Burgess told getwestlondon: “It’s been a big boost to get the backing from Hounslow and the Mayor’s office, it demonstrates the merits of this scheme.
“We know there are people who remain to be convinced. We have been speaking to residents since 2008 and if we get Mr Pickles’ final approval we will certainly be talking to them again to tell them how plans are progressing.
“We are not like some developers who build and then move on, we are intending to be at Lionel Road another 100 years and want to create something everyone can be proud of.”
Frank Wingate, the chief executive of WLB, said: “We’ve are long-time supporters of Brentford FC and greatly admire all the work they do in the community.
“What they are proposing is an important regeneration exercise which will greatly enhance an area of West London which is badly in need of it.
“We very much welcome the news about how much footfall to local businesses will increase as a result and hope the final permission for this project is close at hand.”