Chelsea Football Club have made a breakthrough in the deadlock with neighbours which threatened to stall their plans to redevelop their Stamford Bridge ground .
Hammersmith and Fulham Council said on Monday night (January 15) it could take over discussions with owners of nearby properties who had launched a High Court injunction to stop work on the planned 60,000-seater 'cathedral' stadium , saying it would block their sunlight.
It means key talks over the right-to-light issue may now be held with the council rather than the football club so work can continue barring any further legal action. The injunction is no longer valid, according to a council spokesman.
All council cabinet members at the meeting approved the move apart from one person who abstained after saying she was a season ticket-holder.
The Crosthwaite family, who own 1-2 Stamford Cottages in Kensington and Chelsea borough and had lodged the injunction, will be entitled to compensation.
Their local authority was opposed to the stadium rebuild , raising public transport and on-street parking fears, as well as concerns over the impact it would have on its highways and lack of cycle parking spaces.
The club is still trying to reach an agreement with the householders but the council's decision provides a safety net if talks break down.
The council plans to use its powers under planning law to buy the air rights over part of Stamford Bridge and the railway line which sits between the stadium and the two affected homes.
It would then lease the land back to Chelsea and railway operators Network Rail , meaning the Crosthwaites would be entitled to compensation but would not be able to prevent the redevelopment.
No date has been put on place for when this decision might be invoked.
A Chelsea FC spokesman: "We are grateful to Hammersmith and Fulham Council for their decision, which is the latest step on our journey towards the redeveloping of our historic home.
"The new stadium at Stamford Bridge will ensure the long-term future of the Club in Fulham , create a world class match day experience for fans and allow us to increase our investment in the local community.
"It will be a new destination that compares to other great stadia around the globe and strengthen London's iconic status as the world's leading city of sport."
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