Chelsea rekindles £1bn stadium plan with offer to purchase land

Chelsea Football Club (Chelsea FC) has made a £50M offer to acquire land next to Stamford Bridge that is needed to expand the stadium.

Owner Todd Boehly confirmed his commitment to redevelop Stamford Bridge earlier this month.

The offer for the 0.5ha of land next to the stadium is the first clear indication that the club is keen to get the stadium expansion plan moving again.

The land belongs to Housing association Stoll, which provides 157 supported homes for armed services veterans.

Planning consents previously secured for the £1bn Stamford Bridge overhaul expired at the end of March 2020 because Chelsea FC failed to start construction on the project, despite receiving planning permission in 2017. Planning permission usually expires after three years if work has not started onsite.

Work never got underway at the site after Chelsea’s former owner Roman Abramovich pulled the project after its estimated cost rose from £500,000 to an estimated £1bn.

Under the original plan, the existing 41,600-seater stadium in west London would be demolished to make way for the construction of the new 60,000 capacity football stadium and an ancillary stadium.

The 6.2ha site is bounded by London Underground’s District line to the north-west, and the Southern mainline railway to the east. Currently, these lines are in open air cuttings, but to increase the capacity of the stadium, decks would be built over the top of the lines to allow the footprint of the stadium to be increased.

Under the plans, the roof of the stadium would be supported by 264 radial steel roof trusses that will span 50m over the stadium bowl. The trusses are supported by a steel tension ring arrangement which is supported by the same number of vertical concrete columns around the stadium’s perimeter.

The main columns around the perimeter of the structure would then be clad in brick.

As revealed by NCE in 2019, stadium designers were instructed to look at alternative sites and simplify designs to reduce the cost of the project. However, new owner Boehly has committed to keeping the club at Stamford Bridge.

Aecom is the strategic planner on the job, with WSP and Schlaich Bergermann acting as structural engineers. Herzog & de Meuron is the architect.

Shortly before the project was paused, VolkerFitzpatrick was named as the preferred bidder for a £95M contract for piling and diversion works at the stadium.

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