Chelsea wants to host events near West Stand until 1am
The West Stand at Stamford Bridge. Picture: Steve Daniels
March 6, 2023
Neighbours of Chelsea Football Club’s Stamford Bridge are planning to fight its plans to hold gigs at the ground, fearing thousands of people will be on their doorsteps throughout the week.
Fulham Road residents have warned that Chelsea Football Club plans to convert their stadium into a venue during the day. The stadium wants to play live music indoors until 1am near the West Stand which residents say will transform it into 2a seven-day-a week-nightclub in all but name”
Chelsea also wants to use the outdoor areas around Stamford Bridge to host gigs and films until 11pm but the move has deeply alarmed neighbours and businesses. Residents are now trying to raise money to hire lawyers to help them fight the plans.
A crowdfunder set up by the Fulham Neighbourhood Matters group says, “The potential impacts this could have on our lovely community are huge. We are used to accommodating normal football matches as crowd management by taxpayer-funded football police is well established for match days and evenings.
“But were these new licenses to be granted the impact on our homes and families would be devastating. Imagine possible crowds of many thousands, partying, potentially 365 days a year, late into the night.”
The residents have also complained that Fulham Road could become blocked up, making it harder for ambulances to reach Chelsea and Westminster hospital.
Chelsea’s neighbour Kate Reardon wrote to Hammersmith and Fulham Council asking them to turn down the football clubs plans.
In a letter seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service she said, “My seven-year-old twins and I already feel overwhelmingly intimidated by the football fans and crowds. We are already entirely housebound on match days.
“Since birth my children have had their sleep relentlessly and systematically disturbed by the sound of aggressive men gathering outside our house and shouting late into the night.”
“To approve this application would knowingly put the residents under a wholly unacceptable intensity of risk,” she added.
“It is not appropriate that a venue licensed as a sporting venue should be allowed to become a seven-day-a-week nightclub in all but name.”
Another resident told the council, “My house was meant to exchange this week but the sale failed because Buyers got spooked by the potential permit.”
He added: “My wife with two small children would not feel safe [if the plans went ahead] and the noise, light and nuisance from the area would be overwhelming. The daily lives of all neighbours would suffer hugely and house values would plummet.”
Neighbour Briony Eastman agreed saying “The position of this marquee on the concourse where crowds of supporters walk to the stadium could cause a massive pile-up of people trying to get around the marquee, creating a grave public safety issue.”
Residents have also complained that Fulham Road could become blocked up, making it harder for ambulances to reach Chelsea and Westminster hospital.
Residents also claim that the club has not tried to engage with nearby families. The crowdfunder reads, “Chelsea FC have made no attempts to contact or engage any of the tens of thousands of families whose lives will be so horribly affected by these licences. Their only loyalty is to their shareholders and new owners who have very deep pockets.”
Some neighbours are trying to raise money to hire lawyers to help them fight the plans. More than £5,300 has been raised so far.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council are set to make a decision on the plans at a meeting on 8 February.
Chelsea FC has been contacted for comment.
Jacob Phillips - Local Democracy Reporter
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