Chelsea FC’s Herzog & de Meuron stadium given thumbs up by planning officers

Planning officer said the Chelsea stadium was a 'high quality piece of design'

The plan to demolish Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge ground and replace it with a 60,000-capacity stadium has received a recommendation by planning officers. 

A 300-plus page document delivering the recommendation said the stadium would be a “high quality development, which would make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the local area”. 

Architect Herzog & de Meuron was credited with developing a “high quality piece of design” and a “unique architectural solution”. 

“The development has the landmark qualities of a significant sporting venue with a clear identity and would declutter and unify the site,” said the document. 

The proposed £500m (US$614.6m, €585.3m) stadium has been earmarked to sit almost exactly where Stamford Bridge is currently. 

According to the planning document, the stadium would “take the form of a three-tiered bowl”, and would include a megastore, museum, corporate facilities and a standalone restaurant. 

Members of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham’s planning committee will make a decision about whether to give the project the green light during a meeting on 11 January 2017. 

If the stadium proposal is accepted, it will see Chelsea FC increase its spectator capacity by just over 18,000. 

The development would rival venues occupied by London rivals Arsenal, who play in the 60,000-seat Emirates Stadium, and Tottenham Hotspur, who will move into a new 61,000-capacity Populous-designed stadium in 2018. 

Stamford Bridge, which has been the club’s home since 1905, has the ninth-largest capacity in the Premier League, with the potential to hold just over 41,000 spectators. 

First published www.sportsmanagment.co.uk, written by Matthew Campelli, 5 Jan 2017