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Appeals lodged against Milan stadium project

Italian Serie A football clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan have seen their proposed new stadium project met with opposition in the form of two appeals.

Populous last month saw off competition from Manica/Sportium to land the contract to design the new stadium. Populous’ project, dubbed ‘The Cathedral’, was selected, with the announcement stating that the coming weeks would be dedicated to finalising the objectives and development process of Milan’s new stadium.

The appeals filed against the project relate to November’s decision by Council leaders in Milan to approve the project, declaring it to be of public interest. The first appeal has been lodged by Gruppo Verde San Siro.

The group labels itself as the oldest environmental association for Milan’s citizens, with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reporting that the appeal is led by former municipal councillor Basilio Rizzo and around 50 residents of the local neighbourhood.

The legal action intends “to obtain the annulment of the declaration of public interest… on the proposed intervention by the Elliott investment fund and the company Suning, owners of Milan and Inter respectively, on the municipal property area where the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza is located.”

The appeal adds: “This is an intervention which has very little to do with sport, football and even with the modernisation of the stadium. It is in fact a colossal real estate operation (whose value is around €1bn (£834.4m/$1.13bn)) on an area of ​​approximately 281 thousand square metres owned by the municipality, of which only 14% is now occupied by the stadium.”

The second appeal was filed by lawyers Roberta Bertolani, Felice Besostri and Veronica Dini on behalf of Sì Meazza, a group that has among its members former Deputy Mayor, Luigi Corbani.

The Corriere added that a meeting is scheduled for January 11 to discuss the project, with the two opposition groups and Inter and Milan set to be represented. Mayor Giuseppe Sala is also expected to take part.

Along with a 60,000-seat stadium, the project is set to see a reconfiguration of the area in the San Siro neighbourhood of Milan, currently occupied by the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, through the creation of a new district dedicated to sport and leisure. The new district will include a new 50,000 sqm green area, on top of a reduction of built volumetry, in line with the latest regulations – as regulated by Piano di Governo del Territorio.

The district will be pedestrian-only, with over 110,000 sqm of green areas (40% of the total square footage). The parking lot, which represents 40% of the total area in the current situation, will be moved to a dedicated underground area. Most of the sport and leisure activities – located both indoors and outdoors – will be free-of-charge or financed by the city.