BEES RELISHING THEIR NEW HQ ...but Coventry hopes fading fast
BRENTFORD have taken a major step forward in their new ground project – work is underway at Lionel Road South.
Temporary hoardings have been put up and initial site preparation work has been carried out, including the start of essential demolition work to clear the Brentford Community Stadium complex site.
The Bees plan to build a 20,000 capacity state-of-theart stadium by 2019 and believe it will help them secure the long-term sustainability of the club.
The new stadium is situated next to Kew Bridge station, less than a mile away from the club’s current Griffin Park home.
It will also be home to a professional rugby union team (London Irish) and is at the heart of plans to regenerate the area, including much-needed new homes and commercial opportunities.
Brentford chairman Cliff Crown said: “It’s been a long time coming, but I am delighted that we have now started work at Lionel Road South.
“Once the site has been fully cleared, we can get on with the serious work of building a new and exciting home for Brentford FC.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the London Borough of Hounslow and all our development partners who have helped to get us to this point.”
But Coventry City’s hopes of building a new stadium appear to be over – and chairman Tim Fisher admits a move to Butts Park Arena is most likely.
City are currently contracted as tenants at the Ricoh Arena until 2018 but have now agreed in principle to share the home of Coventry Rugby.
The Sky Blues’ owners, Sisu, are currently at war with the club’s fans and have cancelled plans for a new ground.
Butts Park Arena – which is also home to Non-League side Coventry United and semi-professional rugby league team Coventry Bears – is located in Coventry itself, and Fisher is happy with the proposed plan.
“We weren’t able to close a land deal on our own stadium, full stop,” Fisher told a Sky Blue Trust supporters’ meeting.
“But we have spent a lot of time working with the Football League and Coventry Rugby Club to develop a stadium which would be more than ample in terms of capacity.
“It’s the preferred option because it keeps us in the city. We are committed to staying in Coventry.
“(Coventry RFC chairman) Jon Sharp has made a statement which shows his commitment.
“As long as there is a break-out of peace, I believe Butts Park Arena is an option for a Coventry RFC and Coventry City groundshare.”
Meanwhile, Gillingham are seeking support in their bid for a new stadium to secure the club’s long-term future.
The Gills believe the only suitable site is on land known locally as Mill Hill.
This area is identified in the draft proposals of Medway Council’s Local Plan, the final version of which sets out planning, building and development policies across the area from now until 2035.
As a result, the Gills are asking supporters, local businesses and residents, plus football fans in general, to write to Medway Council in support of their plans before April 18.
“Not only would this ensure that Gillingham Football Club have a longterm future at the heart of the community in Medway,” explained Gills chairman Paul Scally, “such a move would help raise the profile of Medway, gain national and international recognition of the area and assist in placing this part of South-East England firmly on the map for the good and great of everyone.”
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