Fulham Football Club’s plan to introduce a new walkway from its Craven Cottage ground to the banks of the River Thames has been met with opposition from local residents.
Fulham, which plays in the second-tier Championship, submitted an application to demolish and redevelop the Riverside stand to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Council last month.
The Evening Standard newspaper reports that the expansion will increase Craven Cottage’s capacity from 25,700 to 29,600, with a new walkway to prove central to the plans. Shops, cafes, and luxury apartments are also part of the ambitious plans.
Architects Lichfields told the Evening Standard: “The ambition is to return to the Premier League as soon as possible. The stadium has to match this ambition.
“The river walk can only be provided by cantilevering out, beyond the line of the river wall, with water flowing under the walkway. Fulham FC need to improve stadium capacity and facilities. To achieve this the Riverside stand has to be larger.”
According to the Evening Standard, the walkway would not be open on match days, while the apartments would be used by Fulham’s owner – billionaire Shahid Khan – and new players.
The walkway would require the opening of a currently closed section of the riverbank, which has angered some locals.
Jane Swithinbank told the Evening Standard: “This is a very quiet and beautiful stretch. I’m appalled – Fulham not only want to keep the land but take more by cantilevering out over the river. This would set a very dangerous precedent for other developers.”
Another resident added: “We are blessed with rich bird life thanks to the (Barnes) Wetland Centre and greenery on both sides. A colossus reaching well into the river would ruin this.”
IMAGE: Fulham FC/Lichfields