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Crystal Palace ‘positive’ on redevelopment plans

Crystal Palace Chairman Steve Parish has provided a positive update about the club’s redevelopment plans, which are due to be discussed by Croydon Council’s Planning Committee in four weeks’ time.

The plans, which were unveiled by the Premier League club in December, focus on a major revamp of the Main Stand which would increase Selhurst Park’s capacity to 34,000.

In addition, there would be other improvements made to the rest of the ground, including the removal of the gantry in the Arthur Wait Stand to improve sightlines for fans, an extension to the length of the pitch which would make the stadium eligible to host international football in the future, as well as improvements to the concourses and stadium interiors. Parish said:

We’re working with the council and stakeholders to get a positive outcome. We believe that if everyone co-operates and works hard together between now and then, there’s no reason for us not to get a positive determination. It would be huge for the club and the area.

We’ve been working with the council over the last 3 or 4 months, looking at the objections that people may have with our application. Things like transport issues, litter, the impact on the residents on Wooderson Close – which of course is something that needs to be done carefully and sensitively working with the council. I hope that we have responded well to the issues that have been raised, and they’ve raised the questions in a very positive way, so it feels very positive at the moment.

The sense I get is that the vast majority of people want it to happen and are working hard to make it happen.  It would be a positive message for Croydon, south London, and the club. There’s a huge regeneration project going on in Croydon, and we want to be a part of it.

Commenting upon the Main Stand design itself, Parish said:

It’s a beautiful design, and we worked very hard with the architects KSS to get something special. We’ve listened to the fans over a long period of time and they love how we’ve incorporated our heritage into the designs – the Crystal Palace, the Eagle. Everyone I speak to think it looks iconic.

Parish was asked by the media if the club would go ahead with the plans if the worst-case scenario of relegation became reality. He said:

We have to plan for every eventuality. My aim is to move the club forward – whatever happens, we’ve got to find a way. It’s just such an important project because the aim of the club is to be in this league. In my view, this is essential to the club’s development. But to reiterate once again, I completely believe in this team, this manager and these players and that – with everyone’s tremendous support – we can retain our status in the Premier League once again.