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Thursday, 25 May, 2000, 19:59 GMT 20:59 UK
Wembley plans set for go-ahead
Wembley
A model of the new Wembley
The 475m redevelopment of Wembley Stadium is set to be given the go-ahead following a report by local planning officers.

After months of wrangling, Brent council officers are understood to have recommended its planning committee approves the scheme at a meeting due to be held next Thursday.

Complications are believed to have been resolved after talks between Wembley, Brent Council and London mayor Ken Livingstone.

Twice within the last six months, the whole scheme appeared close to collapse.



Our officers have done an excellent job and produced a very thorough and clearly thought-out report which recommends we approve the scheme

Brent council leader Paul Daisley

An officers' report recommending the application be rejected had already been written as concerns were raised over the total funding package.

Wembley National Stadium Limited (WNSL) came to an agreement with central government over a 30m shortfall in funding, only for more problems to be encountered when WNSL were approached for an extra 3m.

Brent Council leader Paul Daisley said: "The processing of this major planning application has proved to be a very challenging task for our officers.

"Working under the spotlight of the national media, they have had to take into account a range of sporting, regeneration, transportation, community and listed building issues, as well as all the technical aspects of the application.

Major upgrade

"They have done an excellent job and produced a very thorough and clearly thought out report which recommends that we approve the scheme, subject to conditions.

"It is now up to members of the planning committee to make the final decision."

However, having given their verdict, it is unlikely councillors will go against the recommendations - so the cornerstone of England's 2006 World Cup bid is now almost certainly secure.

Should the plan be given the go ahead, work will commence on the project immediately after October's World Cup qualifier between England and Germany.

The full application is for 90,000-capacity stadium, a 200 bedroom hotel, plus office accommodation, visitor centre and conference facilities.

Most importantly for Brent, it secures a major upgrade to the local transport infrastructure, with major work planned to the three local railway stations - including the Wembley Park Tube - and the adjoining road network to ease the notorious Wembley traffic congestion without causing major disruption to residents.

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