Brentford eye move from Griffin Park to Lionel Road
Brentford aim to submit a planning application for a new stadium at Lionel Road to Hounslow Council in May.
The Bees completed the purchase of a 7.6 acre site last summer with a view to building a new 15,000-seater stadium.
Brian Burgess, who is one of two executive directors of Lionel Road Developments Limited, the company Brentford has set up to build the new stadium, says the club must move if it is to progress.
"We have got to move on to a new purpose-built stadium, like so many other clubs have, to a stadium that generates a lot more revenue," Burgess told BBC London 94.9.
"Griffin Park is a wonderful old stadium but it is over 100 years old and the facilities are very antiquated.
Lionel Road stadium timeline
- November 2002: Brentford's Supporters' Trust identify Lionel Road as a prospective new home
- December 2007: Brentford given an option to buy land
- June 2012: Club complete purchase of 7.6 acre site at Lionel Road
- January 2013: Plans shown to local residents and fans
- May 2013: Club aim to submit a planning application to Hounslow Council
- Summer 2014: Club hope to begin works at Lionel Road
- July 2016: Provisional date for new stadium to open
"We don't have the means of earning revenue from match-day hospitality and other activities on non-match days.
"Griffin Park is not suitable because it is hemmed in by terraced housing and is in a very residential area.
"There is not enough space to knock it down and build a modern stadium.
"We are working out what sort of scheme we want to go ahead with; what does the stadium look like, how much will it cost and how can we pay for it?
"We are working on financial viability and we hope that within a month we will be able to make a decision that we definitely want to go ahead and put in a planning application.
"The new ground has got to be paid for from the proceeds of selling Griffin Park to a house-builder and getting planning permission for residential development on other surplus land at Lionel Road and selling those plots on for new homes.
"We are hoping to get the planning application submitted to the local authority in May so that we can get consent this year and we hope to stay on schedule to have the stadium open in July 2016."
The Lionel Road site, which lies between Kew Bridge railway station and the M4 motorway, was first identified as a prospective location for a new ground in 2002.
Brian Burgess Lionel Road Developments Limited
“We are working on financial viability and we hope that within a month we will be able to make a decision that we definitely want to go ahead ”
Residential property will be involved in the plans for the site, which lies only two miles from Griffin Park, which has been home to the club since 1904.
The west London club have been showing preliminary plans for the new ground to local residents and fans this month, while the Brentford Independent Association of Supporters will hold a forum to discuss the move next week.
Bees chief executive Mark Devlin says it is crucial fans have their say in the move.
"Most fans get very attached to their stadiums and no-one really wants to move," Devlin told BBC London 94.9
"They've all got their favourite spots and their favourite seats that they have sat at, their fathers have sat at and their grandfathers have sat at.
"We understand the emotional attachment and our fans made it clear they want us to develop a new stadium that maintains some of the atmosphere that could be generated at Griffin Park.
"The architects are looking at how they can incorporate some of that into the new designs.
"It is not going to be easy because it is a difficult site within which to build a stadium.
"The feedback from fans has overwhelmingly been positive about the need for a new stadium."
Burgess added: "We want to ask local people and supporters what they think of it, what there concerns are, and what they like about it so we can take those views into account as we finalise the scheme and designs.
- Opened: 1904
- Current capacity: 12,763
- Record attendance: 38,678 v Leicester City in February 1949
"Supporters I have spoken to are very keen and very supportive.
"They have seen other clubs we competed with in the past like Swansea, Hull and Reading going up the leagues as a result of a new stadium and all the income it generates.
"We want to follow them.
"They realise that to compete Brentford has to have a modern stadium with modern facilities."
Devlin says that a new stadium will help the club to attract more supporters and could transform their future.
"If we are to improve our fanbase, we need to have more modern facilities," Devlin added.
"We are a football club but we have to talk about our catering facilities and toilets. A new stadium will allow us a really good opportunity to build our fanbase.
"There are some travel and transport issues but we have a group of experts working on that.
"We have got an excellent project team working on the new stadium and have been talking to residents from very early on.
"We got the local authorities and safety advisory groups involved at a very early stage to ensure we can move forward as quickly as possible to gain planning, which we would like to try and achieve in the middle part of this year."