THE CLUB is delighted to today unveil plans for a new 40,000 seater stadium as part of a major regeneration project in the Old Oak area in West London.
Queens Park Rangers Football Club and our partners, Stadium Capital Developments, have concluded a letter of collaboration with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham to ‘bring forward an early and very significant private sector investment into the Old Oak Common regeneration area.’
The news follows Boris Johnson's recent announcement that turning Old Oak into a new world-class city quarter is to be one of his main regeneration priorities, and that a Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) is to be set up to promote it.
The plan is to develop a 40,000 capacity football stadium at the heart of the regeneration area, and for this to be the catalyst that will eventually bring about the creation of a residential and commercial area covering several hundreds of acres – larger than Canary Wharf – ultimately generating 50,000 jobs and 24,000 homes.
The scheme has the provisional title of New Queens Park.
R’s Chairman, Tony Fernandes, told www.qpr.co.uk: “Loftus Road is – and always will be – a special place for the club and our supporters, but we need more than an 18,000 capacity.
“With no option of expanding here, we have to look elsewhere and we welcome the Mayor’s and Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s commitment to regenerate the area, which includes an option to develop a new stadium at Old Oak as a key catalyst to bring forward redevelopment, cementing our future in this part of West London.
“Not only will this give us a top quality stadium to cater for QPR's needs as the club progresses and grows over the years ahead, but we are very excited about being the driving force behind creating one of the best new urban places in the world.
“This will be the catalyst for the regeneration of a forgotten area – ultimately bringing new transport, 24,000 homes and at least 50,000 jobs.
“It will create a vibrant new destination in London, boosting local businesses, attracting new visitors and tourism and creating a thriving community.”
QPR CEO, Philip Beard, added: “We look forward to working with the Mayor and local authorities and we will, of course, be consulting our loyal and passionate supporters, as well as the local community, on our exciting plans early next year. We will look to build a stadium QPR fans and local residents can be proud of.
“Loftus Road is renowned for its atmosphere and with the help of our supporters, replicating that at our new stadium will be one of our top priorities.”
Chair of the HS2 Growth Taskforce - which is meeting in London today (December 13) to ensure the capital maximises the benefits from HS2 - Lord Deighton, said: “Regeneration only happens when the public and private sector work together. We welcome QPR and Stadium Capital Development's commitment to the regeneration plan at Old Oak. Delivering modern transport infrastructure such as HS2 and Crossrail can be a catalyst for regeneration in London. The Government looks forward to working with key stakeholders on this.”
Antony Spencer, who – alongside Sir Terry Farrell – is developing the master-plan for Old Oak, commented: “We envisage a new vibrant, mixed-use and high-quality entertainment and leisure development, which will turn this neglected but tremendously well-connected area into a new world-class city quarter.
“We are talking to a number of world-class architects to design iconic tall buildings akin to New York, the Far East and London’s finest, as well as improving and incorporating the waterside environment of the Grand Union Canal. We have assembled a top-class professional team to design tens of thousands of new homes, a 350 bedroom luxury hotel and millions of square feet of entertainment and leisure focused commercial space including: retail, studios and offices, bars and clubs, restaurants, cinemas and other leisure accommodation.”
The announcement comes after many months of discussions with the Greater London Authority and the Boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Brent and Ealing.
Spencer added: “We know we still have a long way to go in dealing with the planning, infrastructure funding challenges and business relocations but we are now in a position to forge ahead as we have secured strategic land holdings in excess of 100 acres. We are confident of securing a planning permission by early 2015 and starting development shortly afterwards.
“We need, however, to work very closely with the public and private sector bodies, such as TfL and Network Rail, to enable the necessary infrastructure requirements. We look forward to working with the GLA, Hammersmith & Fulham and the local boroughs in a partnership approach between the public and private sectors.
“The potential arrival of the MDC, with its planning and compulsory purchase powers, could dramatically speed up the delivery of this site.”