Leicester City’s plans to expand the King Power Stadium to 40,000 seats has been approved by the local authority.
Councillors voted to allow the Premier League club to add a new upper tier to the venue’s East Stand, which will add 8,000 new seats.
The plan, submitted to Leicester City Council in October 2021 after a public consultation, will see the addition of new hospitality suites, catering facilities and other amenities in the lower level of the East Stand. The expansion of the stand will wrap around the North and South stands at the same height as the existing levels.
The planning committee ruled that the club has five years to start work on the stadium expansion. It will also have five years to submit a full planning document for phase two of the scheme, which was provisionally approved. This would see the creation of a mixed-use development that will feature a new arena, hotel, business centre and flagship fan store.
Cllr Vijay Singh Riyait, who chaired the planning committee meeting, said: “This is a significant development not only for the club, but also for the city which will provide not only further development for that area, which for a long time I think has needed it, but also it’s a contribution to the cultural and social life of this city.”
The club has yet to comment on the planning committee’s approval, although it has rarely communicated during the UK’s period of national mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth last week.
King Power has also faced challenges in progressing its plans for the stadium and surrounding area. Leicester confirmed in October that it had submitted its hybrid planning application to Leicester City Council. Details of the project were first revealed in July 2021, with the plans including a proposal to expand King Power Stadium’s capacity from 32,000 to 40,000 and introduce a mixed-use development.
The City Council had targeted a decision date for early February, but that passed by, as did further target dates in April and July.
Legends International is serving as Leicester’s project manager for the proposals, with Turley having been appointed as planning and development consultant. Architecture firm KSS Design Group is also contributing to the project.
Last month, Leicester chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha maintained that he is “100% committed” to the development project, despite concerns raised due to the club’s lack of activity in the summer transfer window.
He said: “We are 100 percent committed to the project and indeed hope to have positive news from the local authorities relative to planning permission imminently, but the project’s delay has unquestionably been among the many consequences of the unprecedented global events of recent years.”