Football fans and concert-goers making the famous walk from Wembley Park Tube station to the national stadium will soon notice a step-change in entering the venue, after plans for a multi-million pound facelift of the southern end of Olympic Way were given the green light.
Brent Council's Planning Committee last night (Sept 12) approved the application from developer Quintain, which owns the land surrounding the stadium, to demolish the 1970s concrete pedestrian crossing over a now extinct coach park and replace it with steps.
The removal of the concrete barrier that splits Wembley Park is part of the wider regeneration of the area and the final part of work to Olympic Way itself, which is being transformed into a destination in its own right with the arrival of Boxpark later this year and a new temporary theatre at the nearby former Fountain Studios site also in the pipeline.
Visitors to the stadium will be able to access the outer concourse through the new set of steps, while new lifts will also be provided for those unable to take the stairs. Visitors with mobility impairments will also be able to access the stadium from a dedicated car park and bridge to east of the Stadium.
New lighting will be installed and the area beneath the steps will be used for as a temporary event space. The demolition of the 1970s concrete pedway, which fails to meet modern-day accessibility criteria, also unlocks a site to the north-west of the stadium for development, which will also include a new public square facing Olympic Way.
Cllr Shama Tatler, Brent Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Highways and Planning, said:
"Olympic Way is a processional route for millions of visitors and these improvements which have now been approved will help make it a safer, more attractive and desirable location.
"It will become a destination in itself and mean that we'll have more visitors coming here on non-event days to places like Boxpark, the new Wembley Park theatre or one of the many bars or café's - all of which will create an economic benefit that will be felt much further afield than Wembley, which of course is great news for Brent businesses and local jobs."