Crystal Palace is facing further delays for its Selhurst Park expansion scheme as it has been revealed that it will be at least another year until work on the project commences.
The English Premier League football club was initially given permission to go ahead with the redevelopment of its stadium by Croydon Council in April 2018. The London club first revealed plans to increase Selhurst Park’s capacity from 26,000 to 34,000 back in December 2017, with the redevelopment of the stadium’s Main Stand central to the project.
It had been hoped that work on the project would begin at the end of the 2018-19 season, with a completion date having been set for this year. In November, Palace seemingly took a step closer to starting the redevelopment after its plans were progressed by the local authority.
Croydon Council’s planning committee formally approved the terms of an S106 agreement with the club. Under the S106, the London club will commit up to £1m (€1.17m/$1.35m) for local infrastructure, with the money to be spent on cycle routes, controlled parking zones, more bins and station improvements.
Speaking to TheStadiumBusiness at the time, a Palace spokesperson said two other outstanding issues needed to be rectified before the plans can become reality. There is an ongoing negotiation with supermarket group Sainsbury’s over a piece of land it owns which the club wants to purchase as part of its redevelopment plans. The other issue is the relocation of a handful of residents from Wooderson Close, which borders Selhurst Park, which is a condition of the planning permission.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service has now reported that these two issues remain unresolved. It states the club still hasn’t acquired the six nearby council houses in Wooderson Close, adding that residents need to be given 12 months’ notice.
The S106 agreement also still needs to be formally signed off before Palace can acquire the properties, while the club also has to close a deal with Sainsbury’s. A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We are actively engaged with the owners of Crystal Palace FC. We’re listening to their concerns and have shared a proposal which we believe presents a favourable and logical way forward.
“We have always been happy to progress the sale of the land at a fair market value.”
The redevelopment project is designed to transform the match-day experience at Selhurst Park and is highlighted by a five-storey stand with an all-glass front.