Approval granted despite impassioned objections from neighbours at Town Hall
H&F Council's Planning and Development Control committee, as expected, has given the go ahead to Chelsea Football Club's plans for a new stadium at a meeting held this evening, Wednesday 11 January at Hammersmith Town Hall.
The approval was granted despite impassioned objections from people living in a number of neighbouring properties.
Members of the committee also expressed particular concerns about the proposed walkways over the Overground and District lines and management of demolition of the existing buildings and construction of the new stadium.
Following the decision, Chelsea released a statement saying: ""We are grateful that planning permission was granted for the redevelopment of our historic home.
"The committee decision does not mean that work can begin on site. This is just the latest step, although a significant one, that we have to take before we can commence work, including obtaining various other permissions."
London Mayor Sadiq Khan will have the final say on Chelsea's plans.
The club is hoping to demolish the current stadium along with all the other buildings on the site including flats, hotels and health club and build a new stadium on the existing Stamford Bridge site which will hold 60,000 spectators instead of the current total of 41,500.
The stadium has been designed by architects by Herzog & de Meuron, who also designed the Beijing Olympic Stadium and is expected to cost owner Roman Abramovich upwards of £500 million.
The club's planning application, which was slightly revised in August 2016, is as follows:
Demolition of existing stadium and buildings within Stamford Bridge Grounds and construction of a new 60,000 capacity football stadium (Class D2) with ancillary stadium-related uses including a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant, Club shop, kiosks and museum; restaurant/café (Class A3); together with the construction of a Decking Platform over the District Line railway to the north-west and a Decking Platform over the Southern mainline railway to the east; external concourse areas; associated excavation works; new pedestrian access from Fulham Broadway Station and Fulham Road; new vehicular access via Wansdown Place; car parking; landscaping and related works. (‘Amended Proposed Development’).
You can read the full application and hundreds of supporting documents here.
The application received hundreds of comments from neighbours in surrounding properties in Fulham and Chelsea.
However, council officers recommended that the application be approved, concluding their report to the committee as follows:
6.22 The proposed development has demonstrable substantial public benefits which constitute material considerations and add weight to the case for granting planning permission.
The proposed development will in particular:
Provide an iconic stadium design of considerable architectural distinction and merit that will be a welcome addition to London and its townscape, reinforcing the capital's status as a world city.
Ensure Chelsea football club remains a globally recognised sporting institution at its home within the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham with the significant social and economic benefits that arise from that.
Provide greater opportunities for local residents and younger supporters to actively support Chelsea through increased provision of dedicated tickets and ensure enhanced facilities to cater for a greater number of spectators with disabilities.
Enhance the contribution of Chelsea football club to the local and London economy through direct employment, supply chain linkages and increased spending associated with match day and non-match day visitors:
Deliver valuable social and community benefits through the Chelsea Foundation
6.23 A high quality development is proposed and the principle of a re-developed stadium is in accordance with the development plan when taken as a whole. It delivers substantial public benefits that are considered to outweigh the harm to designated heritage assets. Officers have taken account of all the representations received and in overall conclusion for the reasons detailed in this report, it is considered having regard to the development plan as a whole and all other material considerations that planning permission should be granted.
6.24 The officer recommendation is that subject to there being no contrary direction from the
Mayor for London; that the Committee resolve that the Director of Planning and Growth be authorised to determine the application and grant planning permission upon the completion of a satisfactory legal agreement and subject to the planning conditions.
The club is hoping to demolish the existing stadium and build the new one over three years, with the new stadium open to the public by 2021. However, this would mean the club finding a temporary new home from the 2018/19 season onwards, and it is still unclear where this home would be - though Wembley seems to be the likeliest option.
Alternatively, Chelsea could carry on playing at Stamford Bridge during construction, but this is thought to be the most expensive option for Mr Abramovich.
January 11 , 2017