League One football club Portsmouth has secured planning permission for the first phase of development work at Fratton Park in what will mark the first major change to the stadium since 1997.

The plans will see Fratton Park’s Milton End undergo extensive redevelopment work that will increase its capacity to 3,200 and considerably improve its amenities. Portsmouth said the proposed new stand would be in keeping with the “iconic elements” of Fratton Park.

Portsmouth has worked with local firm HGP Architects on the redevelopment, which is subject to ongoing discussions with key stakeholders in the area. The work will increase the overall capacity of Fratton Park to around 20,000.

In previous seasons, Portsmouth has carried out essential upgrades and health and safety works on the stadium’s North and South Stands but the Milton End redevelopment will be the first major project at the ground in almost a quarter of a century.

Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin said: “Having planning permission for phase one of our stadium plan is yet another milestone as part of our long-term vision for Fratton Park.

“We remain optimistic in that, despite the effects of COVID-19, local and national stakeholders continue to work with us behind the scenes in helping to turn our vision into reality – which as we have consistently stated, will be the key that unlocks not only this project, but the general Fratton Park masterplan.”

The renovation will ensure home and away disabled supporters can sit with their respective fans, and will also offer lift access and elevated viewing positions. The stand would also be able to segregate in 25 per cent blocks, allowing for a potential minimum extra 800 home fans to be permanently housed in this area for league games. A new concourse area will also be built and extend beyond the back of the stand.

HGP Architects added: “Inspired by the Frogmore Road entrance, the reconfigured turnstiles will reduce queueing times, alleviating the crowding along Specks Lane and form visually cohesive gateways throughout the stadium.

“A key aspect to the design is the extension of the roof that will encompass the boilermakers’ hump connecting the Milton End to the North stand. This will allow for additional seating, increasing the stand capacity to 3,200, and provide a state-of-the-art security lodge overlooking the ground.

“HGP consider this redevelopment to be a huge positive, longstanding contribution to Fratton Park, providing facilities in keeping with Portsmouth Football Club’s aspirations and the supporters’ needs, future-proofing the stand.”

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