Consultation on Linford Christie Stadium Now Open

Council asks for views on redevelopment involving facilities for QPR

Linford Christie Stadium

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has launched a public consultation over the future of the Linford Christie Stadium on the edge of Wormwood Scrubs.

The online consultation  which is open for 12 weeks - until 12 June - asks people for their views on three options for the stadium, where it says the faciities are outdated and are no longer of a standard which users are entitled to expect.

1. Do nothing. The council says that under this option there is a high risk that the stadium and related facilities will have to close.
2. Improve the current facilities. This might be possible through partnership with a sponsor, directly by the council or by a community-led redevelopment, with the potential to raise additional revenue for essential works and ongoing management and maintenance.
3. Major redevelopment – to bring new facilities that can be managed and maintained sustainably in the long term. This could involve a performance venue or stadium of up to 45,000 seats, accommodating sports and entertainment as well as retaining an athletics track and facilities for other users. Such a facility might be developed by the council and let to its main users.

A report to H&F's Cabinet about the Linford Christie Stadium says the Council has spoken to a number of stakeholders,
including the current occupiers and users of the site, local professional football clubs, and venue operators in order to understand both market demand for this type of proposal and the community needs.

These consultations have identified the following potential demands for the site:

Community/University Demands

Imperial College – multipurpose athletics, training and biomedical facility
Thames Valley Harriers – ongoing clubhouse and athletics facilities
Kensington Park Dragons – a main pitch, stand and facilities capable of meeting FA level 5 requirements
Ongoing provision of five a side and 11 a side football pitches, grass and all weather, hockey, cricket and baseball facilities
Facilities on the Scrubs for changing and refreshments

Operator Demands

A multi-use entertainment venue with a capacity of 20,000 to 45,000 for a range of functions (e.g. concerts, trade shows, exhibitions, theatre)
Capacity for football and other sports provision within a range of 30,000 to 45,000 that can be co-located with an entertainment venue
Flexible conference facilities for up to 2,000 people within a separate facility
A separate performance box of between 6-8,000

The report says specialist architectural design firm Populous has produced a high-level masterplan vision that can accommodate all of these demands, but is flexible so that changes are possible if a final option is brought forward.

Though these options do not mention QPR by name, each one could see the football club moving to the stadium from its current home in Loftus Road.

The most ambitious 'optimum' scheme would include all facilities, and with the most expensive construction option and 45,000 seats, including a roof that can be lowered or raised. This would cost an estimated £425 million and would see QPR effectively 'ground sharing' a 45,000 seat arena with operators of 'concerts, trade shows, exhibitions and theatre'.

The second option is for a 42,000-capacity stadium costing £350m, while the third option is for a 35,000-capacity venue costing £316m. Both options would see QPR take the stadium on a long-term lease.

The final option is QPR’s preferred choice - sale of the land to the club for a 'traditional stadium' of 35,000 capacity but with no entertainment venue.

While this would be the cheapest option at just £70.4m, the council says it would result in a cumulative loss to the borough of £12.1m over ten years.

QPR's proposals, revealed last November in a report called 'A Vision for a Redeveloped Loftus Road Site' are for the site to be redeveloped to add between 450 and 550 new homes, housing around 1,200 residents, plus 18,500 square feet of retail space.

You can read an executive summary of the report here and download the full report here.

This led to a major row erupting between QPR and H&F Council, who accused the club's wealthy owners of 'playing property developer in White City'.

As well as the online consultation, H&F Council is also writing to residents in the local area around the stadium and Wormwood Scrubs.

March 21, 2019