Wembley plc, the principal land owner and developer, is keeping the project under wraps but is expected to seek planning permission for the scheme in north-west London this summer. One source on the the project said: “This is a landmark development of international significance.”
Insiders say the scheme will give Lord Rogers the opportunity to put his ideas for regeneration, outlined in the urban taskforce report, into action. The development will include the demolition of Wembley Arena and Conference Centre to make way for a new 20 000-seat arena.
Shopping will be a significant part of the development, which will also include residential, office and hotel elements. The source said: “This is a total mix, but the scheme is entertainment- and leisure-led.”
Transport improvements, a central issue in the debate over the National Stadium scheme, will also be addressed, said the insider.
He added that the proposals would improve the new stadium’s chances of obtaining planning permission from Brent council.
Wembley has teamed up with two other unnamed land owners that own adjacent plots to expand the scheme to 30 ha.
As well as Rogers, the design team includes engineer Ove Arup & Partners, WS Atkins, QS Davis Langdon & Everest, engineer Hoare Lea & Partners and engineer Jan Brobrowski. It is understood that Brobrowski will work specifically on the new arena.
A Brent council planning spokesperson said the authority had not had any formal discussions with Wembley plc over an application. She said the plans could clash with the council’s, but added: “We could accept specialist retail, such as sports shops. The council’s brief is to maintain the town centre.”
Wembley plc chief executive Nigel Potter remained tight-lipped. He said: “It’s a mixed-use development, that’s what we are still working on. There’s not really much else to say.” Wembley plc announced plans to redevelop the area when it released its 1999 financial results in February.
Chairman Claes Hultman said: “I believe that our vision is augmented by a political momentum to ensure the redevelopment of both our site and the regeneration of the wider Wembley area.”
The saga of the stadium’s redevelopment took another turn this week when Brent council announced that it was postponing a decision until next month. The planning committee had been due to decide next Tuesday – and was expected to refuse permission.
The move came after a meeting on Monday between the council, developer Wembley National Stadium and the government-appointed taskforce responsible for regenerating the neighbouring area.