Stamford Bridge 60,000-capacity redevelopment plans boosted by council

Tom Doyle
Fifa’s disciplinary committee investigating Chelsea's signing of 25 young players

Chelsea's £1billion redevelopment of Stamford Bridge received a further boost on Monday night after Hammersmith and Fulham Council agreed to use statutory powers to overcome an injunction which threatened to derail the project.

The west London club were granted planning permission last year to demolish the existing 41,000-seat stadium, replacing it with a 60,000-capacity arena on the same site in plans endorsed by the Mayor of London.

Chelsea have been reluctant to place a cost estimate on the project, but it could be £1bn, given the spends on similar-sized arenas in the capital and the complexity of the build.

Chelsea - who have been owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich since 2003 - requested the intervention of Hammersmith and Fulham Council in a row with owners of a neighbouring property. And on Monday the council's cabinet agreed to the request.

The Crosthwaites, the owners of the family home named in the documents, have taken out an injunction over a "right to light" which they say the new stadium would threaten - and Chelsea stated the obstacle makes the project "undeliverable".

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But the council has agreed to acquire an interest in land - owned by Network Rail and Transport for London - in order to engage section 203 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, which would override the "right to light" principle.

There may yet be further legal challenges.

A Chelsea spokesman said: "We are grateful to Hammersmith and Fulham Council for their decision, which is the latest step on our journey towards redeveloping of our historic home.

"The new stadium at Stamford Bridge will ensure the long-term future of the club in Fulham, create a world-class match-day experience for fans and allow us to increase our investment in the local community.

"It will be a new destination that compares to other great stadia around the globe and strengthen London's iconic status as the world's leading city of sport."

Additional reporting by the Press Association.