£2.5bn regeneration of Wembley Stadium gets green light despite warning from FA

£2.5bn regeneration of Wembley Stadium gets green light despite warning from FA

A £2.5billion regeneration scheme around Wembley Stadium has been given the green light despite warnings from football chiefs that it was a “recipe for disaster”.

The FA said funnelling thousands of departing fans “like cattle” down narrow streets to two new car parks to the west of the national stadium would see them held in a “kettling pen” on match days.

It said it risked repeat scenes of violence which saw Manchester United’s team coach attacked by West Ham fans at Tuesday’s historic last game at the Boleyn Ground.

A local politician warned that replacing the existing easy-to-access car parks risked a repeat of the Hillsborough disaster.

But plans for the car parks were approved last night by Brent Council, along with a scheme to bring 4,850 new homes, 350,000sq ft of new offices and shops, two new hotels, a new seven-acre public park, student accomodation and a 600-place primary school to Wembley Park as part of one of the biggest regeneration schemes in Europe.

The FA could now call on new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to call in the plans based on their safety concerns.

Sport England and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have also both written to the council to formally raise concerns.

The plans “created genuine public order and safety concerns”

Julie Harrington, operations director at the FA

Julie Harrington, operations director at the FA, last night told the council’s planning committee the location of the car parks off South Way “created genuine public order and safety concerns which would serve as a retrograde step for the stadium.”

She said: “Tuesday night’s disturbing scenes at West Ham’s Boleyn Ground only go to show that we absolutely cannot be complacent when it comes to fan management around the stadium.”

She said developer Quintain was ”working from a position to maximise profits” rather than to “protect fan safety”.

She said: “The holding of fans, the kettling of fans, that’s a return to the 1970s in my view.

“Even a short amount of time holding people, irate fans from teams that have lost, or rival fans mixing together is too much.”

Transport consultants working for the FA presented analysis showing fans could have to wait for up to three hours to board coaches under the new layout.

Ms Harrington warned that the FA “would not be able to attract major events to Wembley if fan’s can’t leave the car park.”

She said: “If fans can’t get to their coaches and can’t get to their vehicles, if up to 9,000 fans are pooled behind the stadium with nowhere to go, if 15,000 fans are pushed down back streets to their coaches, it’s a recipe for disaster, a public order disaster, and the FA will not stand by and see fans treated in this way.

“We cannot be complacent about the huge steps forward made in stadium safety in the past two decades. No-one should believe that its acceptable to herd fans like cattle. We must learn from past mistakes.”

Councillor Michael Maurice, the only member of the planning committee to vote against the proposals, told the meeting: “Up to 5,000 fans kettled? We don’t want to see another Hillsborough.”

He added: “Surely there should be no kettling at all, many of the fans might be somewhat inebriated. Surely if you start putting 10,000 to 15,000 people in a confined space you are asking for trouble.”

Objectors are also opposed to the size and scale of seven residential and commerical tower blocks of up to 19 storeys which were also given outline approval. Critics say they could block “iconic” views of Wembley from across London.

Sam Stopp, a Wembley Central councillor who is not on the planning committee, said: “If this goes ahead it will be so obscured it may no longer be a major draw. The arch is the something special, it’s not about profit, wealth and greed. What it suggests to young girls and boys is hope, and if they can’t see it it will be very sad and depressing.”

Quintain rejected the FA’s concerns but said it would continue to work with them to try and find a solution, while council officers rejected comparisons with Hillsborough.

Anne Clements, Quintain’s Senior Planning Manager,told the committee: “We reject any assertion that our future plans for pedestrians are unsafe and we do not accept claims about the impact on leaving times at the stadium.”

Speaking after the meeting Max James, chief executive of Quintain, said: “We are delighted that Brent Council has approved our new plans, accelerating the delivery of thousands of new homes, jobs and a fantastic new park in this prime location next to the iconic Wembley Stadium.

“We are excited to be playing such a pivotal role in creating the next chapter of this great city. We are creating a vision for Wembley which will truly fulfil its global heritage as the most famous sports and music destination in the world, now combined with modern urban living.

“We are committed to working with all stakeholders, including Wembley Stadium, to make the scheme a great success.”

A spokesman for Quintain added: “The safety of fans and all visitors to Wembley Park is our top priority at all times. To be clear our preferred future coach park pedestrian solution, endorsed by Brent, does not involve any holding pens for fans.”

“We have developed a clear and workable solution for event day traffic management in our new masterplan and we remain in detailed discussions with Wembley Stadium to address the wider transport issues they have raised.

Source: Evening Standard

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Wembley regeneration plans get go ahead

Wembley regeneration plans get go ahead

Wembley regeneration plans

Plans for 4,850 new homes, a new school and student accommodation around Wembley Stadium have been given the green light.


The creation of 7,000 new jobs, new retail and leisure space as well as new community facilities and parking spaces around the national stadium all formed part of the planning applications, which were submitted by property developer Quintain. More than £80million will also be provided by Quintain to improve local infrastructure.


After listening to a number of representations about the proposals, including hearing speakers from The FA, the council’s Planning Committee granted approval to the applications yesterday evening (May 11).


During the three and a half hour meeting, Members discussed in detail matters relating to transport, safety and design and found that, on balance, the plans should be granted approval subject to a number of conditions including ones to improve transport, safety and the exit of fans from the stadium.


A council spokesperson said: “These plans mark the next phase in the regeneration of Wembley and will create much needed new homes, jobs, leisure and educational facilities around the iconic home of football.


“While these plans will help accelerate the transformation of Wembley, the committee did consider all representations in detail and these concerns have been taken on board with the series of additional conditions which were imposed.”


“Safety always comes first and we are confident that the plans will ensure that fans and other visitors to the national stadium can continue to enjoy these facilities while providing the significant regeneration which the area needs.”


Quintain’s plans will now be subject to consideration by the Mayor of London.


To view details of the planning applications

Source: Brent

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Harlesden bus crash: moment Londoners rush to help trapped passengers

Harlesden bus crash

Londoners put on a heartwarming display of “community spirit” after a bus crashed into a shop in Harlesden yesterday.

Four children were among 17 people treated by paramedics at the scene in the centre of Harlesden, north-west London, at 2pm.

Three people, including the driver of the “packed” No 18 service, were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

The 11-ton bus knocked down traffic lights and careered off the road, leaving the shopkeeper diving for cover when the crowded bus slammed into his shopfront.


Shopkeeper Abdel Chentouf, 49, from Edgware, was with a customer and two friends inside his jewellery shop Waves when the bus came crashing through the glass.

He told the Standard: “I saw the guy was driving towards the shop without any attempt to use the brakes. It was the building that stopped the bus.

“We moved out the way. Luckily it wasn’t speeding. People were screaming on the bus. It happened so quickly.

“Part of the ceiling collapsed and it’s cracked on the stairway. It was shocking. It’s the same as when people have a road accident – you feel demoralised and really down.

“They are saying the building’s not safe. The driver was shocked and sweating.”

The four men were trapped in the shop and had to be freed by fire fighters with ladders through a back window.

Video footage of the aftermath captured the walking wounded being helped away from the scene by the emergency services.

One man was seen limping away with his arms around two firefighters while a woman was taken away in a wheelchair. A police officer also walks past holding the hands of two small children.

Shane Lawrence, 42, a university student from Harlesden, said: “I heard a really loud sound like the pavement was being torn up. I had my back to it but I heard the road being ripped up.

harlesden bus crash
The shopkeeper had to dive for cover after the crash yesterday (Nigel Howard)

“The sound was deafening as he was coming to crash.

“As I turned around the bus went into the shop. I was stunned. There were lots of people who walked around to the bus and everyone was helping people off the bus.

“People went up to the top deck to help the older people off. The bus was absolutely packed. I saw somebody pull a little boy from the bottom deck.

“You could see someone inside the shop trying to push their way out but they couldn’t because the bus was blocking everything.

Emergency crews removed the bus from the shopfront yesterday (Nigel Howard)

“He couldn’t get out. Anyone who was walking past that at the time, in front of the shop or window shopping, would have been hit.

“I just helped anyone trying to step off the bus. Nobody hesitated everyone just ran over to help.

“It was packed I’d say there were 35 to 40 people on there. Most of them looked shaken and shocked.

“But everyone got them off the bus really quickly there was a lot of help there. There is definitely a community spirit here. It just shows people do care about one another.”

A man who lives in a flat above the shop said: “The bus should have turned but instead it crashed into the shop.

“It just came flying in. The engineers have to come and look and need to support it. They are relocating me for the night. He didn’t use any brakes or anything it went straight into the shop. I felt the bang.

Smash: the bus careered into a shop front (@DjShortyBless)

“When I came downstairs the driver was there, shaken.”

The air ambulance landed nearby and dozens of police officers, firefighters and paramedics attended the scene while the road was cordoned off between Acton Lane and Manor Park Road for several hours.

London Fire Brigade station manager Sam Kazmanli said the building was “severely damaged” and another 45 people were evacuated from neighbouring properties.

Harlesden bus crash
Smash: the bus crashed into the front of a shop (Hetty Los)

Kevin Brown, of London Ambulance Service, said: “We sent multiple resources to the scene including a single responder in a car and a number of ambulance crews.

“We also sent our incident response and hazardous area response teams, alongside London’s Air Ambulance. We treated 17 patients at the scene.

“We took three patients as a priority to hospital.  A further nine adults and four children with minor injuries were also taken to hospital and one was treated and discharged at the scene.”

Tony Akers, Transport for London’s head of bus operations, said: “There will be a full investigation into the incident.”

No arrests have been made.


Source: Evening Standard

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Minicab Gatwick Airport

Minicab Gatwick Airport. Minicab Gatwick Airport.

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Minicab Kensal Green

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Twin towers plan unveil for old oak common By Squires.

Squire and Partners has submitted plans for Old Oak Common’s first residential tower blocks as part of a wider scheme for up to 534 new homes

The two skyscrapers – which would be up to 33-storeys tall – are the stand-out elements of a redevelopment of the former Elizabeth Arden factory in the west London development zone, which is scheduled to become a transport hub with the arrival of Crossrail and HS2.

Developer Essential Living’s plans for the 1.16ha site in Wales Farm Road would remove all current buildings, except for the north-western façade of the current factory building. The private-rented specialist said the retained structure would underscore an ‘Art Deco influence’ for the scheme, which is dubbed ‘The Perfume Factory’.

Under outline proposals lodged with London Mayor Boris Johnson’s Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, the development would provide a mix of flats, four bedroom houses, 6,147m2 of live-work space, 2,175m2 of business space and 1,381m2 of retail and restaurant space.
Development director Quentin Keeble said the scheme would also feature a winter garden and a ‘ladder’ of commercial space that enabled start-ups to graduate from shared desk space to larger office environments.

Squire and Partners has submitted plans for Old Oak Common’s first residential tower blocks as part of a wider scheme for up to 534 new homes

The two skyscrapers – which would be up to 33-storeys tall – are the stand-out elements of a redevelopment of the former Elizabeth Arden factory in the west London development zone, which is scheduled to become a transport hub with the arrival of Crossrail and HS2.

Developer Essential Living’s plans for the 1.16ha site in Wales Farm Road would remove all current buildings, except for the north-western façade of the current factory building. The private-rented specialist said the retained structure would underscore an ‘Art Deco influence’ for the scheme, which is dubbed ‘The Perfume Factory’.

Under outline proposals lodged with London Mayor Boris Johnson’s Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, the development would provide a mix of flats, four bedroom houses, 6,147m2 of live-work space, 2,175m2 of business space and 1,381m2 of retail and restaurant space.

Development director Quentin Keeble said the scheme would also feature a winter garden and a ‘ladder’ of commercial space that enabled start-ups to graduate from shared desk space to larger office environments.

‘We are also highly focused on improving the public realm and enhance the local area and we believe the Perfume Factory gives Ealing the ideal chance to develop its first digital hub and tap into London’s booming digital economy,’ he said.

Earlier this week, Johnson’s office announced that Design Council CABE had been appointed to set up and manage an independent review group tasked with improving the quality of development proposals for the corporation area.

It said the appointment had been made following a competitive tender process and that the review group would operate along the planning, landscape, conservation, and engineering (PLACE) principles set out in last year’s Farrell Review.

The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation area straddles three London boroughs and is earmarked for the delivery of up to 25,500 new homes.

Squire and Partners’ Perfume Factory proposals

Squire and Partners’ Perfume Factory proposals for the former Elizabeth Arden factory in west London

  The Elizabeth Arden factory 
 The Elizabeth Arden factory as it is today

 Source: Architectsjournal

Tube strike: Industrial action suspended

Tube strike: Industrial action suspended, but February strikes ‘remain on’

Rail union RMT backed out of the walkout just over 24-hours before the strike was set to begin.

Tuesday’s Tube strike is off

Rail union RMT have confirmed that they will no longer be taking part in the planned 24-hour walkout this week.

The Tube strike was initially planned to take place on Tuesday (January 26) from 6.30pm.

RMT confirmed just over 24 hours before the Tube strike was set to take place that they have suspended industrial action after a debate with London Underground bosses on Monday (January 25).

Despite the strike cancellation however, the union are still in dispute with LU bosses on pay conditions, the Night Tube and stations staffing.

Rail union ASLEF told getwestlondon last week however, that they believe “the Night Tube will happen.”

General Secretary for RMT, Mick Cash said: “RMT’s executive has agreed to suspend tomorrow’s action over pay and night tube to allow for further consideration and consultation on the current offer.

“The union makes it clear that we remain in dispute and the strike action scheduled for February remains on.”

Two strikes are still in place in one week in February, with a 24-hour strike starting from 6.30pm on Monday (February 15) and another starting on Wednesday (February 17).

Mick Cash continued: “RMT also remains in dispute over station staffing and the week of action on that issue, scheduled to begin from the seventh of February, also remains on and the union is finalising the details for the continuation of that industrial campaign and the on-going fight over the threat to jobs, services and safety.”

Steve Griffiths, LU’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Following constructive talks at ACAS, all four trade unions have suspended their strike action due to take place this week.

“Our very fair offer reiterates our previous guarantees on protecting the work life balance of our staff and a four-year pay deal which remains within our business plan.

“Meanwhile we continue to progress plans for the implementation of the Night Tube, including the recruitment of 700 new staff to operate this exciting new service.”

Source: Getwestlondon

Brent Council cracks down on fly-tippers

Brent Council cracks down on fly-tippers

Sanket Mevada, of Bassingham Road in Wembley was fined £1052 for dropping litter on nearby Norton Road.

Sanket Mevada, of Bassingham Road in Wembley was fined £1052 for dropping litter on nearby Norton Road.

Fly-tippers be warned: Brent Council is coming after you.

The practice is now to be called “illegal dumping” by the local authority to make sure the borough’s residents understand the gravity of the offence.

It forms part of wider council policy changes to tackle anti-social behaviour.

The news comes after the Times learned that 34-year-old Sanket Mevada, of Bassingham Road, Wembley, was fined £1,052 last month by Willesden Magistrates’ Court for dumping two black bags full of rubbish in nearby Norton Road.

As well as sanctions on individuals, the council is looking at licensing all landlords following a pilot in Wembley Central, Willesden Green, and Harlesden to combat fly-tipping. Overcrowded households with a high turnover of residents are said to result in mattresses and other items routinely thrown out into the street.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, cabinet member for the environment, said: “It is completely unacceptable to dump household rubbish on the streets. The council provides a number of bins for residents to dispose of their rubbish correctly.

“It is damaging for the appearance of the local area and is a public health issue.”

Report illegal dumping using the Cleaner Brent app or emailing waste.enforcement@brent.gov.uk.

Source: Kilburntimes

Pothole puts all UK cars at risk

Pothole peril puts UK cars at risk
A pothole in a road in Tooting, SW London

BREAKDOWN callouts to motorists whose vehicles have been damaged by potholes have risen by almost a quarter in a year, the RAC said.

There were more than 25,000 incidents last year involving damaged suspensions, wheels and shock absorbers, figures released by the motoring organisation to coincide with the second National Pothole Day show.

Drivers in East Anglia made the most calls for help (4,547), but the largest rise in callouts over the past year was in the south east of England where the increase was 62%, to 2,686.

The north east of England saw callouts rise by almost a third to 3,783, while incidents in Scotland increased by more than a quarter to 2,537.

The biggest headache for drivers was damaged suspension springs, with 42% more incidents reported last year compared with 2014.The RAC described the rise in callouts as worrying.

Chief engineer David Bizley said: “Potholes can wreak havoc with vehicles and are therefore understandably hated by motorists.

“It is very worrying that our patrols have dealt with more pothole-related breakdowns in 2015 than they did the year before because we did not experience a particularly cold winter in either year.”

Recently announced investment should help improve the condition of Britain’s roads but there is still a way to go, Mr Bizley said.

Some local authorities have invested more in road maintenance to address the backlog but problems experienced, even in mild weather, suggest the fight against potholes is being lost, he added.

“We shall only win the battle once sufficient preventative road surface maintenance is undertaken to prevent potholes appearing when the first bad weather arrives.

“On top of the £6 billion already promised, the Chancellor made available further funds in the Autumn Statement and whilst this is still not enough to meet the shortfall, it may hopefully mean we will see a decline in ‘pothole generated breakdowns’ this time next year.”

Drivers are being encouraged to report potholes using the RAC Report Pothole app.

Source: Yahoo News