This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 11/04/2018.
Council officers recommend that Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park expansion plans are given go-ahead
And a date for when the plans will be voted on has been announced.
Council officers have recommended that the new plans for Selhurst Park are given the go ahead, and a date has been set for the meeting where that vital decision for the stadium’s future will be taken.
Full plans for the rebuild have been revealed and details about what public infrastructure the club will have to pay for, should full permission be granted, have been made public for the first time.
Croydon Council’s planning committee will vote next Thursday (April 19) whether or not to give the go-ahead to the huge redevelopment of the stand, which would see the historic stadium’s capacity jump from 26,000 to 34,000.
But the signs look good for the chances of approval since documents released ahead of the meeting show that council officers have recommended that planning permission be granted, provided that the club pays for a host of infrastructure improvements in the area, and foots the bill for rebuilding elsewhere six homes due to be demolished in Wooderson Close.
The stadium rebuild is set to cost the club between £75 million and £100 million and the club will have to fork out about £350,000 to improve footpaths, road junctions, access to stations, CCTV on the routes fans use to get to the ground on match days.
Initial stadium plans went before a pre-planning meeting at the council on January 25, where members of the project team revealed their designs.
In doing so, it was announced that six council houses on nearby Wooderson Close would have to be demolished should the stadium plan go ahead.
The planning application said: “The club has agreed to purchase the housing land affected at a sufficient level to cover the cost of re-housing residents both in terms of covering the cost of purchasing replacement houses [and] meeting the associated costs of moving and any compensation.
“The council as landlord continues to liaise with affected tenants (including the occupants of dwellings which are proposed to be retained) to ensure needs are met and effects mitigated.”
Costs for roadworks were also outlined, with the club saying road amendments and car-parking arrangements on Wooderson Close and Holmesdale Road would be paid for.
The stadium expansion is set to increase the number of jobs at the stadium from 348 to 472, which the club says will generate £3.4million of income for locals.
While council officers said the plans pass the bar for approval, the plans have been met with 84 offical objections from neighbours and local groups.
In the objections, residents raised fears about traffic congestion, parking spaces, overcrowding at train stations on match days, police presence on match days for a higher number of people and the loss of homes.
One objector said: “Residents are effectively imprisoned until an hour or more after the end of the match, due to crowds of fans and complete gridlock of the local roads. Another 8,000 fans would make this worse.”
There were, however, 4,444 individual responses of support for the new plans.
One said: “The application represents an exciting prospect for not just the fans but for the community at large in the way of jobs and economic prosperity.
“The club is an integral part of the fabric of this community having been located at Selhurst Park since 1924.”
The Greater London Authority (GLA) were also in support of improvements to the Main Stand, providing that there is a strategy to re-house those who are affected and the club’s plan for travel arrangements is strengthened.
The Premier League also offered support, saying: “The proposed new development will not only allow some overdue modernisation to take place but will contribute significantly to the club, its fans, its employees and contractors, the local community and the local economy.”
Although council officers have recommended the plans are granted, the members of the council’s planning committee must still vote in favour of the scheme, while it must also be rubber-stamped by the Mayor of London.