Crystal Palace FC’s long-delayed development plans to upgrade their Selhurst Park home could be about to get underway after Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, rubber-stamped a community levy deal that could be worth up to £1million to the local area.
Chairman Steve Parish and the club were granted planning permission by Croydon Council in April 2018 to demolish and rebuild the main stand at the ground, which has been Palace’s home since 1924. Under the £100million redevelopment proposals, the stadium capacity would be increased by almost 10,000, to 34,259.
But to fulfil its plans, the football club needs to acquire land and property from its near neighbours, including the six council homes on Wooderson Close, which backs on to the current main stand.
A report in The Athletic sports website says that negotiations with the various parties have now reached agreement, with the club offering a payment of between £750,000 and £1million as a Section 106 community levy which will ensure that there is no loss of homes in the area as a consequence of the stadium build.
Palace will purchase the houses, and rehome the displaced tenants, including meeting removal costs and a minimum of £6,000 per household in compensation. They will pay for the building of six replacement four-bedroom houses elsewhere in the borough. These “must be located as close to the current site as is reasonably practical”, the website reports. Cash-strapped Croydon Council will also receive a lump sum to cover the loss of rents.
The stand redevelopment cannot begin, however, until the replacement housing has been granted planning permission by the council. That might take at least 12 months, The Athletic report suggests. Reaching an agreement with Sainsbury’s, owners of Selhurst Park’s supermarket, may not be quite so straightforward, however, and might delay the project further still.
“The club must still purchase a section of land from the supermarket chain,” The Athletic confirms. Part of the club’s plans include using the existing car park as a “Fans’ Plaza” on match days. The “supermarket’s car park also forms part of the land which Palace must purchase, and both parties have confirmed negotiations are ongoing”.
As part of the deal approved by the Mayor of London, the club has undertaken to offer an employment scheme to vulnerable and disadvantaged Croydon residents, and to pay £350,000 towards improved bus stops on Whitehorse Lane and better cycle routes. A permanent controlled parking zone will be enforced within one mile of the stadium.
“The club must also provide permanent accommodation for the Palace For Life Foundation within the scope of the development, and allow community usage of it at a nominal cost,” The Athletic reports.
A briefing on the project for councillors will take place at tomorrow night’s planning committee, due to be chaired by the utterly impartial Chris Clark, or @chrisclarkcpfc, as he is known on Twitter.
- Click here for the briefing report going before councillors tomorrow night
- Click here for the CIL agreement between the council and Crystal Palace
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