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Legal challenge against Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium rebuild thrown out in High Court

News around the new stadium at Stamford Bridge has gone a bit quiet in recent months after the planning application was approved by both the Hammersmith & Fulham council in January and the Mayor of London a couple months later. It is hardly surprising for a massive construction project like this to move slowly and with the latest estimates putting it at least five years away, concerns about it were put on the back burner and football itself (Champions!) and then the transfer market took center stage. But as we celebrate the signing of a new center forward and a pay rise for Conte, there is some good news regarding the stadium as well. Or at least not-bad news.

As spotted by the irascible Dan Levene, the stadium’s approval by the Mayor was challenged by an unnamed objector who sought a Judicial Review of the process in High Court, “largely based on alleged shortcomings in the treatment of air quality” in the planning application. But last week, the objector’s claim was thrown out by The Hon. Mrs Justice Andrews on the basis of not having the “slightest prospect of success”.

Basically, the judge read the complaint and decided that it was nonsense and not worthy of the courts’ time. Nice try, Mr. Objector.

So that’s another hurdle removed, though because this hurdle was something new, the previously looming ones still remain. There is still no clear plan for the timing (or the approval of) the decking over the railway and tube lines, it is not clear how the land-ownership situation will be resolved (we do know that the CPO will float the idea of a 999-year lease), it’s not entirely clear how the stadium will be financed, and it’s unknown where Chelsea will play for the three-four years needed to complete the project (Wembley, probably?). Projections at the end of the season put the railway work as starting next year (2018) with Chelsea moving out in the summer of 2019 and returning to the new digs in 2022 or 2023.

As with all things, patience is required.

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