Wembley Stadium calls for uncapped full capacity events

Wembley Stadium wants to remove the cap put in place that restricts the venue to 36 full capacity events per year. Removing the cap will allow freedom for the venue to leap from 36 to more than 60 full capacity events! The deadline to have your say on this matter is today, 9th March 2017.

Local residents could be subjected to one event day every week if Brent approves this change. Many people in Brent are still unaware of this horrific planning application, which is especially worrying to Brent’s older demographic who are still none the wiser about what’s brewing up behind the scenes.

The planning application from WNSL (Wembley National Stadium Limited), a subsidiary of the FA, is seeking to remove the cap. Originally imposed by the government, the cap on events took into consideration the community of residents living around the stadium. WNSL wants to remove this cap so that the Stadium’s maximum capacity of 90k can be used over 60 events rather than being capped at 36.

This change has been met with huge opposition, with one comment describing it as a ‘hostile act against the interests of local residents’; this comment was just one of over a hundred objections, calling for the Council to reject Wembley Stadium’s application.

Wembley residents are behind most of the objections but as disruption on event days is widespread, neighbouring areas such as Stanmore and Edgware have contributed too. Reasons for the objections centred around the themes of traffic and travel disruption, parking, anti-social behaviour, air quality and the neighbourhood; even human rights and anti-Semitism were brought up, the following quotes are must-read comment highlights from residents objecting to the planning application.

Traffic and travel disruption

What about the economic costs of congestion, stress and strain on the local services and population, the crowding out of other economic activity, the inconvenience caused by hugely larger attendances at more much larger scale events at the Stadium?
There is very little understanding of the scale factors associated with increasing the numbers of visitors to the Stadium from a maximum of 51,000 to 90,000 on an extra 31 days a year.
– Corringham Road, Wembley

Existing Event Days already cause significant disturbance and inconvenience to local residents. Local travel is disrupted and special consideration has to be given to any sort of shopping trip or travel arrangement of any kind. The proposal to add another 31 events, almost doubling the permissible number is unreasonable and unacceptable.
– Barn Way, Wembley

Whenever there is any event on at Wembley Stadium, the whole area grinds to a halt. The roads become impassable and journeys around this area almost impossible. There is just not enough space for the amount of cars on the road to travel or the availability of parking places.
– Hillside Drive, Edgware

The traffic situation is already ridiculous on non event days, I have liased extensively with Brent Council staff such as Yathav Gunaseelan and Michael Ramshaw about the traffic flow only to be told there was not enough money to improve it. I do NOT want to imagine the kind of chaos that is going to ensue during event days WITH these newly proposed plans. I would love to discuss this in person with the relevant people and express my concerns, however in brief – you are asking to add more chaos to an already disorganised area. There is no foresight in planning.
– Salmon Street, London, NW9


It becomes impossible to organise family gatherings on event days, friends and family cannot park due to restrictions on parking or they get caught up in the traffic chaos either before a match or after.
– Wembley Park/ Barn Hill Residents Association

As a family we like to invite our friends and family over. The whole family come from different directions usually in 3 or 4 cars, possibly more. As it is likely that these event days will occur on a Saturday, this means that our visitors will not be able to park nearby, as we wont have enough visitor passes. 31 days in addition to normal event days will mean that most of the year, Saturdays when most football matches are played will be event days.
– Carlton Avenue East, Wembley

It will also directly affect my personal life as it will mean there will be additional 31 days on top of the 36 events that I can not have more that 2 cars visiting me as brent council only provide two event day visitor permits per household. Will brent council be increasing the visitor permits allowed per household?
– Carlton Avenue East, Wembley

Events at Wembley cause major disruption in Stanmore as visitors park in Stanmore and use train and bus services to complete the last leg of their journey. Parking is an issue as there is limited space as it is.
– Old Church Lane, Stanmore

Anti-social behaviour

Our freedoms are compromised in every way, from people drinking in the streets around Wembley Park Station, litter strewn everywhere, men urinating in the streets or our gardens and non local traffic increasing the load on already overcrowded streets.
– Wembley Park/ Barn Hill Residents Association –

We look forward to a respite from major events over the winter months but a football team would remove that respite as those months are during the height of the football season. In addition, football fans generally are prone to poor behaviour and make the area into a deeply unpleasant environment. Travelling on the Met line in the evening peak of a weekday match is intolerable. Drunken shouting and moronic chanting are endemic and generate an intimidating atmosphere.
– Elmstead Avenue, Wembley

My flat is in close proximity to the stadium. On match days supporters congregate on the steps of our apartment block which can be extremely intimidating.
– Quadrant Court, Empire Way, Wembley

In flagrant disregard of the regulations in the local Controlled Drinking Zone, there is widespread and excessive consumption of alcohol in the streets, especially when large numbers of fans are turned out of the local hostelries one hour before kick-off, while Police officers look on, apparently powerless to act.

This inevitably leads to the public nuisance of widespread urination not just in the streets but also in residents?? gardens, or even behind the Civic Centre.

I believe that, before attracting ever larger crowds to Wembley on match days, measures should be taken to alleviate existing problems, whether that involves a large increase in Police resources or perhaps the Council reviewing the licences of local pubs.
– Barn Rise, Wembley

The application explains that THFC’s fans are well-behaved, but the chants they use contribute to the most abhorrent anti-Semitism I’ve seen in public and even shouts of ‘Yids, Yids, Yids’ or ‘Yid Armyl’ in a tribalistic way I find extremely intimidating
– Chamberlayne Avenue, Wembley

Air quality

A number of fans will presumably travel by coach – this will also have a detrimental impact on air quality in the area that ought to be factored into the consideration of whether to grant this permission, scale it back, or refuse it altogether.
– Carlton Avenue East, Wembley

The neighbourhood

Event Days are an unmitigated blight on this community. It has become increasingly evident that in Brent residents do not count, that the quality of their lives does not matter.
– Preston Road, Harrow, Middlesex

The planning application does nothing to address the disruption to local people yet it seeks to impose further disturbance and expense to residents.
– Kings and Carmel Courts Resents’ Association

There is much for Spurs and WNSL to gain from this application, but little or nothing for the surrounding private residents and businesses. the capacity should be kept at 51,000 for the additional football matches.

Even though some local business around Wembley Park has benefitted, many have not. As for the benefit to local
residence and home owners I do not see visual benefits from the revenue generated from the stadium events. I do not see how a further increase in number of events will change this situation. Brent council or local businesses who do benefit in revenue generation do not seem to be ploughing any revenue back to the residence of Brent. Why should the same bodies then plough revenue back with an increase in more event days.
– Wembley Park Drive, Wembley,

Those of us with children or elderly relatives would feel further imprisoned as it is not safe to venture outdoors when alcohol fuelled fans in vast numbers descend upon the area.

The quality of life for residents and their families would be depressingly reduced as friends and family members would find it either impossible or very difficult to visit either on a casual basis or for family events. People have a right to freedom of movement and enjoyment of family life, deliberately reducing this is contrary to natural justice and respect for residents.
– Chalkhill Road, Wembley Park,

The proposal would mean that there will be hardly a free weekend in the year when we don’t have the considerable traffic inconvenience that these events cause. Such a scheme would not be allowed at Twickenham Stadium, surrounded by its wealthy middle class residents, and I don’t think that just because we are poorer in Wembley we should be treated with the disregard that approval of this application would evidence. Wembley Stadium was not built to be used as a club stadium and should not be used as such.
– St Michaels Avenue, Wembley

This cap originally showed great consideration and was rightly put in place for the benefit of local residents. Removing this cap will negatively impact lives, especially of the aged and those with families. This disregard to residents will deprive them of their weekends which is unfair and inconsiderate.

Justification for removing the cap has no baring and will open up the area to let in twice as much visitors at such a frequency that Wembley would not cope. Think about all the elderly people who find football matches frightening, made to feel like strangers in their own neighbourhood with frequent armies of visitors defecating on the area more so than it has ever been experienced before. The strain on the infrastructure, the transport, the policing, the local communities – Wembley will buckle. If the Council doesn’t reject this proposal, it will be leading the constituents of this borough into uncharted murky waters.
– Quadrant Court, Empire Way, Wembley

North London club, Tottenham Hotspurs are temporarily using the National Stadium until their new one is built, which is due for completion in 2018. The justification for ’Spurs’ to require Wembley at full capacity is unclear, because their existing Stadium can accommodate 36,800 and their new stadium being built will be a 61,000 seater.’

Let’s hope Brent does what’s right by the local people and reject the horrific WNSL planning application, you can have your say on the Brent Council Website.

David Goodwin has been blogging since 2010 and is the author of Blog on the Block where he covers civic & social topics. Goodwin hosts the podcast, Pod on the Block. He is the founder and company director of user experience consultancy Uxfam Ltd.

Leave a Reply

  • I am really unhappy with so many events happening and no consideration is given for local people like us who live exactly opposite to stadium. The cap should not be removed as this will have a great impact on children and residents. We are unable to carry on with our daily routine when there are events. Quadrant Court Wembley Reaident

  • The traffic in Wembley is already appalling and I can’t see how allowing so many full capacity events every year is supposed to alleviate that. Surely, the reason why there is currently a cap in place is to improve the quality of life of people living in the area not only in terms of the traffic situation but also in terms of noise and disruption. Better to leave things as they are I think.

  • Traveling is impossible on event days and we can’t have anyone round because of the parking restrictions. We pay a lot on council tax yet our personal freedom and rights are infringed. The behaviour of the event attendees especially on match days is disgraceful. Can’t council use the money they earn from events to improve traffic flow, increase the number of parking permits for residents and police the events better?

  • funny reading some of the objections, the original capacity was over 100k and then went down to 80k – how about don’t have a house by a major arena – kinda like saying oooo I don’t like trains passing by my house and live by a train station

Further reading