Safety Fears Prompt Work on Historic Craven Cottage Stand

Johnny Haynes Stand to be reclad after inspection by engineers

Damage on Fulham FC's Johnny Haynes Stand. Picture: Rathbone Miller Ltd/Fulham FC/Hammersmith & Fulham Council

Fulham FC plans to replace the cladding on one of its stands due to safety concerns.

The club aims to revamp the Johnny Haynes Stand at Craven Cottage as parts of it are crumbling with holes that have been covered up with paint and tape.

Engineers inspected the cladding in June 2021 and concluded it needed to be replaced to prevent further damage from severe weather.

The Johnny Haynes Stand, previously called the Stevenage Road Stand, is a Grade II listed building and was built in 1905.

It was designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch, who was famous for designing British football stadiums, including stands for Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Fulham has submitted plans to replace the existing cladding panels at either end of the stand to Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

It also plans to install a first aid unit next to the accessible toilet at the Hammersmith End of the stand.

A report by planning and development consultants Lichfields said, “In its current state, there is evidence of holes and missing parts which have temporarily been covered with tape and painted over.

“The metal sheets have started to rust and crumble resulting in an overall tired and poor quality appearance.

“Several panels have become loose due to corrosion around the fixing positions, posing a safety hazard.”

A report by architects Rathbone Miller Ltd says the existing cladding on the Johnny Haynes Stand has deteriorated and parts of it have corroded, particularly around fixings, which has caused panels to loosen.

The report says re-cladding the stand will prevent it deteriorating further, enhance its appearance and maintain its historic features.

It adds, “Additional fixings have been installed in recent years to keep the problem in check with minor repairs and the patching of holes, but regular leaks still occur, particularly during periods of heavy rainfall which has a detrimental effect on the existing structure and causes discomfort for supporters within the Stand.”

The stand was fitted with a new metal roof in 2012 and a new seating deck was installed in 2004.

Fulham plans to replace the existing cladding on the Johnny Haynes stand with metal sheeting manufactured by TATA Steel Ltd.

According to Rathbone Miller, the materials and coatings that will be used to re-clad the stand do not present a risk of fire.

Their report says fire protection measures will be in place throughout the work and the stand is fitted with automatic sprinklers and a fire detection system.

The consultation on the plans ends on 6 October 2021.

Works is also underway on the new £80 million Riverside Stand at Craven Cottage, which will contain 8,650 seats

Hannah Neary - Local Democracy Reporter

September 15, 2021