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Chelsea granted unanimous approval for new stadium at Stamford Bridge from local council

Chelsea history has been made tonight. (Pending any future appeals, developments, etc...)

chelsea new stadium aerial render

Over two years of planning, consulting, reviewing, re-planning, re-consulting, and re-reviewing has come to fruition tonight — and that’s not including any of the proposals about moving to Battersea and the like — as Hammersmith & Fulham Council have approved Chelsea’s planning application for the rebuild of Stamford Bridge.

We’ve covered these plans in a fair bit of detail over the course of the last couple seasons — see here and here, for starters — but the main idea is to knock down the current structure and all the adjoining ephemera (Chelsea Hotel, etc.), extend the footprint of the site as much as possible with decking over the rails (this work would begin first, probably at the end of this season, with demolition of the surrounding structures to follow over the next year, then the rest to follow after that), dig down to create extra vertical space, and build a new 60,000-seater stadium.

Did I say stadium? I meant Cathedral of Football. (Unfortunately, it won’t be called that, or probably Stamford Bridge either, at least not officially, with naming rights supposedly up for grabs.)

Image © Herzog & de Meuron

Other issues do remain — what to do with the CPO?; where to move for three years while construction is going on? what exactly will be done to mitigate local business, residential, and environmental impact? what if Abramovich decides this isn’t the best use of his £500m+? — and tonight’s vote could technically be appealed, but this is giant step forward in the new stadium process and one that should make everyone very, very excited for the long-term future.

Dan Levene and Liam Twomey sacrificed their Wednesday nights to attend the meeting in person (alongside various local luminaries and representatives from Chelsea, including Bruce Buck). Their Twitter accounts provide a several more interesting, hilarious, mundane details from this three-hour snoozefest.

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