Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 20 - 39)

MONDAY 13 MAY 2002


20.  Was that ever negotiated?

  (Mr Cunnah) Yes but, being strictly accurate, never concluded.

21.  You were in discussions with the Hilton?

  (Mr Cunnah) Yes.

22.  Presumably that would have required some further payment of money?

  (Mr Cunnah) Not necessarily.

23.  As far as the rest of the title that you have though, apart from that restriction which you have mentioned, there is no other restriction that you are aware of?

  (Mr Cunnah) The only other restriction was from some of the land that Wembley Plc own. WNSL need to access that land during the construction period in order for the construction to have sufficient space.[7]

24.  I will come to that in a second. I have not checked the titles, I am not sure I would be competent to, I am a Scottish solicitor, I have no experience of English property law, but my advice is that there is a requirement that if building work does not start before a certain date then a proportion of the land must be returned to Wembley Plc?

  (Mr Cunnah) That is correct.

25.  That is a restriction on the title, is it not?

  (Mr Cunnah) That is the option I have just referred to.

26.  Can you tell us when that condition comes into effect?

  (Mr Cunnah) December 2002.

27.  If you have not started construction by December 2002 a part of the land has to revert?

  (Mr Cunnah) That is correct.

28.  Will that make it possible to build the stadium in the future?

  (Mr Cunnah) Not in the present design.

29.  We will have to start from scratch again.

  (Mr Cunnah) I would have to take advice.[8]


30.  Can I just interrupt. I know you have a line of questioning, Frank, and you can proceed with that. Let us be very clear about this. What you are saying is there is a restriction that is such that if building has not started by December of this year you have to go back to the drawing board?

  (Mr Cunnah) We have to revise our plans, yes.

31.  Is the Secretary of State aware of that?

  (Mr Cunnah) Yes, she is.

Mr Doran

32.  You have no idea how much land is involved? I appreciate you have not been primed for this question so you may have to check.

  (Mr Cunnah) I cannot give you that information now but we can follow it through.

33.  My understanding is it is 7 acres of the site. You would not demur from that because you do not know?

  (Mr Cunnah) Correct.[9]

34.  You mentioned the question of Wembley Plc, I am not sure if I am using the correct title for the company, you know the company that I mean, you mentioned a question about access rights and that sort of thing. Reading the Tropus report, and I only had this for an hour this afternoon, there seems to be a suggestion that the plans as they have proceeded require more land than was actually purchased from Wembley Plc and there is a suggestion that relations between the company and Wembley National Stadium Limited are not good at all?

  (Mr Cunnah) It is fair to say in any neighbour relationship sometimes there are some rocky patches. I would say that relations at the moment are particularly good and we have worked very productively recently in order to achieve our objectives.

35.  You have good relations with Wembley at the moment?

  (Mr Cunnah) With Wembley Plc, yes, we do.

36.  Wembley Plc, sorry. You have good relations with them. Whatever statement is made in this report would not be accurate?

  (Mr Cunnah) No longer.

37.  My understanding of the title condition is that all plans and work programmes for the building of the stadium have to be approved and agreed with Wembley Plc, is that the case?

  (Mr Cunnah) That is the correct.

38.  Can you tell me what stage you have reached as far as that is concerned?

  (Mr Cunnah) They have approved it.

39.  They have approved it?

  (Mr Cunnah) They have.

7   See Q4 and related note. Back

8   See Q4 and related note. Back

9   See Q4 and related note. Back

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