Wembley National Stadium, Olympic Way, Wembley, HA9 0WS (Ref. 18/4307)
PROPOSAL: Proposed variation of Condition 1 (event cap) and 2 (temporary traffic measures) of planning permission reference 17/0368 (dated 18/08/2017), to allow for 8 (3 events at 90,000 capacity, 5 at a 62,000 capacity) additional major sporting Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (THFC) events between 15 January 2019 and 12 May 2019.
RECOMMENDATION: To grant planning permission, subject to the completion of a satisfactory deed of variation to the existing Section 106 legal agreement.
That the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to issue the planning permission and impose conditions (and informatives) to secure the matters set out within the Committee report.
That the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to make changes to the wording of the Committee’s decision (such as to delete, vary or add conditions, informatives) prior to the decision being actioned, provided that the Head of Planning is satisfied that any such changes could not reasonably be regarded as deviating from the overall principle of the decision reached by the Committee nor that such change(s) could reasonably have led to a different decision having been reached by the Committee.
Mr Colin Leadbeatter (Principal Planning Officer) introduced the report and answered Members’ questions. Members were informed that the application, originally submitted seeking permission to lift the major event cap to allow 17 additional events (10 capped at 62,000, 7 up to full capacity), had been reduced following significant amenity concerns raised by officers having considered the comments received from local residents, businesses and other consultees. The applicant had amended their proposal to only seek full capacity matches (up to 90,000 people) for 3 UEFA Champions League matches between February and April 2019, and 5 events at a maximum capacity of 62,000, comprising three potential FA cup matches and two Premier League matches.
He continued that the proposed 90,000 capacity matches would be limited to only the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Home leg, the Quarter Final Home Leg and the Semi Final Home Leg relating to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, and for no other club/event/reason. Similarly, the five events proposed to have a maximum capacity of 62,000 relate to specific FA Cup and Premier League matches. The remainder of the games played by Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley during that period would either fall within the existing cap or would have a capacity of less than 51,000 and therefore would not be restricted by the “event cap”. He then drew Members’ attention to the following minor changes that are proposed; removal of the wording relating to seating of the top tier of the stadium and traffic management measures on North Circular Road to reflect the reduced number of events being sought.
Mr Leadbeatter referenced the supplementary report which removed the start date of the application (15 January 2019), amplified the level of local support for the application and informed Members about an addendum Planning Statement and Environmental Statement which reflected the reduction in the number of events being sought over the original submission. He drew Members’ attention to a separate paper circulated that updated the Heads of terms in respect of mitigation measures and the costs for each event.
He discussed two comments received after the publication of the Supplementary Report. The first was from a Harrow Councillor who raised concern regarding traffic, parking and other associated impacts associated with the stadium in Harrow. Within the second comment Councillor Nerva (Brent) requested that a condition is attached requiring unsold tickets to be allocated to Brent school children. In responding to these comments, Mr Leadbeatter highlighted that Harrow Council have responsibility for their own streets and spaces, that approximately £100,000 was secured for Harrow Council through the 2002 Stadium consent and that the Harrow Council Planning Department raised no objection to the proposal. In responding to the point raised by Councillor Nerva, he set out that a condition requiring tickets to be made available for Brent Students would not meet “the six tests”.
Ms Donna-Maria Cullen (Tottenham Hotspur Football Club; THFC) and Mr Chris Bryant (Wembley National Stadium; WNSL) addressed the Committee. Ms Cullen informed the Committee that the delivery date of the new stadium at White Hart Lane which had slipped, was nearly ready for test matches and that this application was a contingency plan to enable THFC to play the remainder of this season’s matches at Wembley. She clarified that although the application included 3 cup matches, these were subject to THFC progressing through to next rounds. She added that over 20,000 Brent residents were able to attend matches last season through their ticketing scheme.
Mr Bryant added that WNSL, committed to supporting THFC, endorsed the comprehensive set of measures set out in the Section 106 Heads of Terms to address the issues highlighted by officers. He continued that THFC would continue to contribute to the costs outlined in the separate paper circulated at the meeting and also continue their work under the Spurs Foundation. Ms Cullen, in responding to an email request from Councillor Nerva confirmed that there would be an allocation of tickets made available to the local community for free
The Principal Planning Officer was invited to offer further clarify on the application to include mitigation, transportation, consultation and other amenity issues. The Officer reaffirmed that the application was for potentially 3 full capacity matches for which only 1 was confirmed and although the other 2 were subject to progression, WNSL or THFC would not be able to use them for any other events. He added that for match attendances of up to 51,000, no permission or additional mitigation measures would be required. He also drew Members’ attention to the set of mitigation measures which updated the Heads of Terms for which THFC would bear the costs.
Members heard that the number of local objections were far fewer than when the previous application was submitted. Members queried the absence of a response from the Metropolitan Police. He set out that they are members of the Wembley Stadium Safety Advisory Group (SAG), who meet regularly and oversee Stadium event arrangements. Mr Leadbeatter also informed members that other initiatives including anti ticket touting and pirate parking were on-going. Mr John Fletcher (Transportation Officer) added that on-going transport measures including local bus diversions would continue. It was clarified that these would be in place for major events both below the threshold for the cap (51,000) and above.
Members welcomed the reduction in the number of proposed additional high capacity events from 17 to 8, and that these will relate to specific matches and cannot be used for other events should they not be required for the specified game. Furthermore, Members welcomed the mitigation measures to be secured and the other commitments made by WNSL and THFC
DECISION: Granted planning permission subject to the completion of a satisfactory deed of variation to the existing Section 106 legal agreement, as recommended.
Voting on the recommendation was unanimous: For 8; Against 0; Abstention 0.