Crystal Palace has pledged to re-house families whose houses could be bulldozed as part of the English Premier League football club’s plans to expand its Selhurst Park home stadium.
Revealed last month, Palace is hoping to develop its Selhurst Park and increase its total capacity from 26,000 to 34,000, as well as add extra hospitality suites and construct an on-site museum.
However, planning application that is due to be discussed by Croydon Council today (Thursday) revealed that the club would need to demolish four council houses in order to make room for the expanded venue. The stadium would also encroach on the front garden of a privately owned house in a nearby cul-de-sac.
Some local residents have hit out at the plans, with one describing the news as a “bombshell”.
“I have been living here 17 years; it was quite a bombshell they dropped on us,” one resident said, according to the Evening Standard newspaper. “My main concern is where are they going to put us? My son will have to move school.”
Although the council has said that the club is “still exploring ways” in which the design can be altered to help minimise the impact on local residents, the club has made it clear it would help families to find new homes if the initial plans were to go ahead.
A club spokesman said: “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 relocated if planning permission is granted.
“The club has undertaken to fund the acquisition of suitable properties and to meet the associated costs. The club has contacted the owner of a privately owned, tenanted property which will lose part of its front garden.
“The club’s plans for Selhurst Park are subject to full consultation and all local residents have been invited to public meetings to view the plans.”
Palace hopes to start work on the redevelopment next year and complete the project by 2022.
Image: Crystal Palace