Wembley rebuild on verge of collapse

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The Independent Online

The future of the development of Wembley Stadium - the cornerstone of England's 2006 World Cup bid - is once again in serious doubt after Brent Council said it was on the verge of rejecting the plan as it does not incorporate an acceptable transport funding strategy.

A report into the Wembley planning application will be released next Tuesday, with a final decision on its acceptability due on 15 May. It is already widely known that officers have recommended that the application should be turned down because adequate funds have not been put in place to ensure the local transport network is capable of carrying the increased number of people using the complex.

A meeting between all parties last month held open the possibility that the problems could be resolved, so Brent agreed to defer the report's release to give time for financial assurances to be made.

However, Brent Council's chief officer, Paul Daisley, last night confirmed that none of the parties - including Wembley - had been in touch and unless there was any movement in the next week, the application would be doomed to failure.

"Once the report is released, it would be very difficult to go against the officers' recommendations without good reason," Daisley said. "We have a legal duty to respond to the planning application and we can't hold it up forever. At the very least we need something substantial enough to allow the final decision to be put back from 15 May. As it stands, the report is very clear and the application will be rejected."