Chelsea Football Club have been given the green light for their £500 million redevelopment of Stamford Bridge.
Hammersmith and Fulham council unanimously approved the redevelopment plan which will see the capacity of the ground expand from 42,000 seats to 60,000 in time for the 2021-22 season.
A statement from Chelsea via their official website said “Tonight the council’s planning committee considered the application and we are grateful that planning permission was granted for the redevelopment of our historic home.”
This is a great result for the Chelsea Pitch Owners, a group of fans who own both the freehold ofthe Stamford Bridge stadium grounds as well as the naming rights. An official statement read “We believe the plans will provide a world class stadium and the bold architectural design will enhance the local area”.Charles Rose of the CPO described the expansion as “progress”, highlighting Chelsea’s push in becoming one of the world’s elite football clubs since Roman Abramovich took over in 2003. “In this situation, we all win. Personally, I believe it to be a magnificent piece of external architecture, surrounding a stadium which will be groundbreaking in its quality”.
The decision has been praised from Chelsea fans who are pleased to be staying at their home with 18 year old season ticket holder Lee McKinven singing the praises of the Chelsea board. “I think it’s great for the club as a whole and I’m really pleased with the decision. We’ll be able to compete with the other big clubs in terms of match day income with all the new seats. I definitely will miss the old ground however, I’ve grown up watching Chelsea play there every other week so I will be sad when the last match comes”.
Chelsea have called Stamford Bridge home ever since they were founded back in 1905. The ground opened in 1877, where it was home to the London Athletics Club. It was used exclusively for the club before the lease was acquired in 1904 by Gus and Joseph Mears who wanted a football club to make home there. The ground originally had a capacity of 100,000, making it the second largest stadium at the time in the country. The 1970’s saw the clubs owners embarked on a project to redevelop and renovate the ground. However financial trouble saw only the East Stand finished,with the rest of the ground not completed until the 1990’s. Capacity was also hit during the early 1990’s after the Hillsborough disaster, meaning all stadiums had to have all-seater stadiums, leaving the capacity as it is today as 42,000.