Crystal Palace FC will start work on an iconic new Main Stand at Selhurst Park next summer after being given the green light by planners.
Croydon Council has granted planning permission for the project which will redevelop the stadium for the modern era.
The project, which is expected to cost between £75-100 million, will increase the capacity at Selhurst Park from 26,000 to more than 34,000, transforming the match-day experience for supporters and providing new facilities for the community while retaining the ground’s uniquely passionate Premier League atmosphere.
It is a major investment in the heart of Croydon, which will generate more than £15 million a year for the local economy and create hundreds of new jobs.
Councillors on the planning committee voted unanimously to back the development, which received around 4,500 public expressions of support.
Negotiations will now continue with Croydon Council over the terms of the Club’s Section 106 obligations to fund transport and community improvement initiatives.
Meanwhile, the Council will shortly refer the application to the London Mayor, and once he has approved it, the planning permission will then be issued.
The Club will then be able to begin planning for work on the KSS-designed New Stand to begin at the end of the 2018-19 season, with likely completion in 2021, ready to open for the 2021-2 season.
The existing Main Stand will remain in full operational use throughout the build process, minimising the impact on the stadium capacity in the coming seasons.
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish said:
I am absolutely delighted that Croydon Council has backed our plans for Selhurst Park. This project will not only transform the stadium, which has been our home since 1924, but it will also have a positive impact on the south London community. I wish to thank the lead officer and the councillors for their support tonight, and for all the hard work that has been put in by the council over the last few months to ensure this application was heard so quickly.
I want to thank everyone who voiced support and those connected to the club who worked so hard over the last few months towards this very important step in the dream of a new Crystal Palace for Crystal Palace.
The centrepiece of the redevelopment is a stunning new five-storey stand featuring an all-glass front – a homage to the club’s earliest days when it stood in the shadows of the original Crystal Palace, erected on Sydenham Hill.
A central vaulted arch, with the famous Eagle crest, is a reminder of the iconic 1851 Exhibition Hall, and eagle wings flank the 41-metre structure.
Key features of the redevelopment include:
– capacity in the new stand will increase from around 5,400 to 13,500, with more than 10,700 General Admission seats – an increase of around 6,000 on existing numbers;
– improved facilities for supporters with disabilities and a substantial increase in wheelchair spaces;
– a bigger pitch, increased from 101.5m x 68, to 105m x68m, making Selhurst Park compliant with UEFA regulations and eligible to host tournament football;
– premium hospitality and entertainment facilities for more than 2,500 supporters, including a new Tunnel Club, which will give members a unique vantage point as the players prepare for the match and conduct post-match interviews;
– a new museum, documenting the club’s rich history and its place in the south London community;
– new community facilities, supplementing the work of the Palace for Life Foundation, which delivers health, education and sporting programmes for more than 13,500 local children and young adults;
– improved sightlines in the Arthur Wait Stand with the removal of the TV gantry.
Mott MacDonald is delivering structural, civil, geotechnical and transport engineering on the project, as well as air quality and noise assessments.
The consultancy was also involved in some of the more challenging aspects of the planning application, such as the transport strategy for the greater spectator numbers and the stormwater management strategy, developing innovative solutions for both to help planning approval to be granted.
Rob Hazell, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said:
Selhurst Park has been home to CPFC since 1924 and this redevelopment will help both the club and stadium enter a bright and exciting new era. We will work closely with leading stadium architects KSS to help the club achieve its vision of celebrating its south London roots and creating an impressive sense of arrival and experience for its fans.
The inspiration for the project is the club’s rich heritage and its roots in south London. The original Crystal Palace – a huge glass house built on a cast-iron frame and considered an architectural marvel – was moved to Sydenham Hill in 1854, after being showcased in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition of 1851.
When the club was founded in 1905 it played its matches inside the historic Palace grounds, which hosted early FA Cup Finals.
A report by Regeneris, a specialist economic development and regeneration consultancy, was presented to the council, predicting that the Club’s plans to redevelop Selhurst Park would increase the total number of full-time, part-time and matchday jobs at the club by 70%, generating £3.4m in additional wages.
The value of the Club’s supply chain – the money spent on procuring goods and services from more than 300 UK suppliers – would increase by 69% from £8.9m to £15m, supporting 260 jobs in the supply chain.
Supporters and commercial organisations interested in the project, which is being led by club development manager Guy Wickett, can register their interest and keep up to date with the development at stadium.cpfc.co.uk.