A residents’ association leader says people living near Stamford Bridge feel “utterly ignored” by the council after planning permission was given for Chelsea’s new 60,000-seater stadium .
Nicholas Reed-Clarke fears the area will struggle to cope with an additional 20,000 fans coming to Stamford Bridge on top of the 40,000 that already attend on match days.
The chairman of the Wandon Road Residents Association and Moore Park Area SW6 Residents had implored the council to refuse permission at the planning and development control committee meeting on Wednesday night (January 11).
In an email sent to councillors shortly after the committee unanimously voted to approve plans for the £500 million redevelopment of Stamford Bridge , Mr Reed-Clarke said: “So far - and I urge you to change this feeling - residents of The Moore Park Area SW6 feel utterly ignored by this administration despite our reasonable requests.”
Chief among his concerns is the lack of a new overland train station in the plans, something Mr Reed-Clarke said Chelsea should pay for and is needed to ferry 60,000 fans to and from the stadium.
Mr Reed-Clarke continued in his email: “There is much upset in the community tonight that planning permission has been granted without the points in the below emails, being negotiated by you our elected officials with the wealthy Chelsea FC."
He said planning permission should not be granted until a public walk way and cycle path has been confirmed through Chelsea’s land linking Fulham Road and Earl’s Court, and called on the club to donate funds for the Diamond Jubilee footbridge linking Battersea and Fulham .
And addressing the train station in an email sent to council leader Stephen Cowan and other town hall denizens on the morning on Wednesday’s meeting, he wrote: “Life is already a nightmare for residents on match days at 40,000 - a real nightmare.
"Please don’t be an administration that makes it worse until exceptional transport infrastructure is put in place by Chelsea FC.”
In an email sent on December 12 he wrote: “Please can the stadium only get the go ahead by you, if an overland train station is built INSIDE the football ground so some revellers do not need to put pressure on the surrounding area whatsoever.”
And in correspondence sent on September 20, Mr Reed-Clarke wrote: “An overland station (paid for by the football club) placed within the football ground, to mitigate the tens of thousands of extra fans, as suggested by the local MP [Greg Hands].
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"The RA [Residents’ Association] asks that you put meat on the bones of this idea as Chelsea FC are desperate to redevelop and we want the council to get residents’ the best deal, given the FC [football club] want to increase capacity by over twenty thousand spectators – match days are already hell for your local residents.”
Speaking after planning permission had been given , Cllr Cowan said: “Chelsea’s new stadium will deliver some real benefits to the borough.
“But we have also made it clear to the club that we fully expect them to work with local residents to minimise the disruption of the works.
“We are happy to help usher in this exciting new phase in Chelsea FC’s history.
“And we will continue to work hard to deliver as many protections and benefits as possible for the area by working with the club and local residents.”
Capacity at the current Stamford Bridge stands at 41,663.
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