Croydon: Long awaited Selhurst Park plans could be given the green light

By Harrison Galliven, Local Democracy Reporter

The long-anticipated redevelopment of Crystal Palace’s main stand has taken one step further towards construction, as the Premier League club signs an important planning agreement which will fund community improvements and compensate those affected.

The signing of the Section 106 agreement, revealed by the Atheltic, means one of the final obstacles to redevelopment has been passed and has led some at the club to suggest that spades could be in the ground by as early as this summer.

The club’s communication team said that responsibility now rests with Croydon council to ‘rubber stamp’ the agreement before the next steps are taken. 

Planning permission for the club to redevelop the main stand was given in principle six years ago. Once complete, the plans will see the stadium’s current 25,486 capacity boosted to more than 34,000 along with a range of other improvements.

The club purchased a parcel of land from the Sainsbury’s  store that dominates the western end of the stadium to make space for the redevelopment. The club also intends to demolish council flats in Wooderson Close, which backs onto the ground’s main entrance.

It has been more than four years since CPFC was given planning permission for a new stand at Selhurst Park (Picture: CPFC)

A significant obstacle to development was the relocation of council tenants living in Wooderson Close.

As part of the plans, the club was required to relocate all households affected by the redevelopment in Wooderson Close and compensate the council for the loss of rent.

This formed part of the Section 106 requirement, which must be signed by both the club and local authority. But, until this week, the club had held back in signing their side of the agreement. 

Further delays were brought last year when the club had to resubmit an application with the council which met the requirements of the updated London Plan.

According to the Mayor of London’s website, the plan sets out “an integrated economic, environmental, transport and social framework for the development of London over the next 20–25 years”.

Wooderson Close backs onto the main entrance to Selhurst Park (Picture: Google Maps)

In the latest article the Athletic said: “This is the closest we have been and the club say the plans are on track. There is no apparent reason now that it will not happen.”

The club expects official work to start this summer, once the Premier League season has finished. Preparatory work has already been undertaken on the stadium grounds ahead of the planned construction.

Selhurst Park, the club’s home since 1924, is one of the last remaining ‘old-style’ Premier League stadiums in London. When initially proposed the cost of the redevelopment was planned to not exceed £100million, but the Covid pandemic and inflationary pressures have meant that costs have risen to around £150million. 

In October 2022, Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish said: “I would like to thank Croydon council for their continued support for the stadium redevelopment, which will bring substantial investment into the borough, as well as breathing new life into Selhurst Park.

“We would have liked to have started the project sooner, but our plans were delayed by financial constraints caused by the pandemic. In the last couple of years our focus has been on bringing our exciting academy development to fruition, but our attention will now turn to the stadium project.”

Pictured top: An artist’s impression of the Selhurst Park redevelopment plans (Picture: Crystal Palace FC)

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