English soccer club Crystal Palace FC has announced it will buy new homes for neighboring residents who will be affected by the expansion plans for its Selhurst Park stadium in south London.
The £75m-£100m (US$106m-US$142m) project unveiled at the end of 2017 would transform the venue’s main stand into a five-story, glass-fronted structure increasing capacity from 26,000 to 34,000. Although the club and its fans would benefit from the upgrade, those living in close proximity to the stadium could see their homes bulldozed to make way for it.
Residents in four council houses were shocked to discover their properties were being considered for demolition in the planning application – with some having lived there for 20 years and others having ties to the area and children in local schools. However, with the properties being council-owned, the residents could face being displaced.
Crystal Palace has said that it would “fund” the acquisition of new properties for the residents.
A statement from the club said, “Crystal Palace Football Club is working closely with Croydon Council on its plans to redevelop Selhurst Park and a planning application is being submitted this month.
“Five homes in Wooderson Close will be affected, four of which are council-owned and occupied by tenants, who have been advised by the council that they will need to be re-located if planning permission is granted.
“The club has undertaken to fund the acquisition of suitable properties and to meet the associated costs.”
The development is said to also encroach on a privately-owned property, which would lose part of its garden, while a number of parking spaces would have to be sacrificed if the new stand gets the green light.
The project is being led by architects KSS, which has worked on sporting redelopments such as Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium and Twickenham Stadium in the west of London.
Crystal Palace hopes to begin work on the new stand by 2018 and finish it by 2022, subject to final approval from local council.
January 24, 2018