CRAVEN Cottage will lose its charm if Fulham's expansion plans get the green light.
That's the view of the Friends of Bishop's Park, which has outlined a lengthy number of concerns over the Premier League football club's plan to increase the ground's capacity to 30,000 by rebuilding the Riverside stand.
The Friends believe the modern stand, which would be more than twice the size of the existing stands, would detract from the historic nature of the ground, which is widely thought of as being one of the most charming in the country.
Chairwoman of the group Amanda Lloyd-Harris said: "We know the club wants to develop and we have no problem with that but we want to see a design that is in keeping with the rest of the stadium.
"It is an impressive design but it's almost three times bigger than the rest of the stadium. Do we want it to become just another soulless ground?"
The club also wants to redesign the riverside path so it runs underneath the new stand, as opposed to having to divert around the stadium as it does now.
Gates would be installed to control the flow of fans using the path on matchdays and would be closed three hours either side of kick-off, something the group thinks is not viable.
Mrs Lloyd-Harris said: "It is supposed to a public amenity so why would the public be excluded for so long?"
She added: "Additional gates on the river walk side of the park will create further damage to the park and will add to the cost of the current maintenance plan."
Other points, which have been raised in a letter to Hammersmith and Fulham Council, surround two new proposed cafes and their opening hours, concerns over lighting, an increase in traffic and further future development. The group is also concerned that the design of the new stand would overhang the river by 11 metres.
Mrs Lloyd-Harris added: "The Friends of Bishops Park feel that overall what is being proposed will have a detrimental impact on Bishops Park, the Thames River and the local amenity. If the planning Committee is minded to grant planning permission then we would expect conditions to be included that would protect the local resident’s interests."