Crystal Palace submit redevelopment plans for Selhurst Park
English Premier League side, Crystal Palace, have submitted a planning application to Croydon Council for the redevelopment of Selhurst Park’s Main Stand.
As part of the redevelopment, which the club hope will begin towards the end of 2018, Crystal Palace Football Club (CPFC) also promises to meet the costs of re-housing affected residents in Wooderson Close.
Crystal Palace Chairman, Steve Parish, first unveiled the club’s ambitious plans to redevelop Selhurst Park back in December, which aim to create “A new Crystal Palace for a new era”.
The project, which is expected to cost between GB£75m and £100m, will: increase capacity at Selhurst Park from 26,000 to more than 34,000; pitch size to be developed in accordance with UEFA regulations; infrastructure for disabled supporters; and enhanced hospitality facilities to transform the matchday experience for supporters. The project will also provide new facilities for the community, all while retaining the ground’s uniquely passionate English Premier League (EPL) atmosphere.
The centrepiece of the redevelopment is a stunning new five-storey stand featuring an all-glass front – a homage to the club’s earliest days when it stood in the shadows of the original Crystal Palace, erected on Sydenham Hill. A central vaulted arch, with the famous Eagle crest, is a reminder of the iconic 1851 Exhibition Hall, and eagle wings flank the 41m structure.
The project is being designed by leading stadium architecture and design practice, KSS, the firm behind the redevelopment of iconic sporting venues such as Anfield, Twickenham and Wimbledon. The roof of the new stand will be designed to funnel sound down to the pitch and the Arthur Wait Stand opposite.
Plans were submitted to Croydon Council last week and, subject to planning permission being granted, work is slated to begin in the next 12 months, with the project likely to take up to three years to complete. The existing Main Stand will remain in full operational use throughout the build process, minimising the impact on the stadium capacity in the coming seasons; something KSS have already experienced on both the Twickenham and Wimbledon redevelopments.
Key features of the redevelopment include:
- Capacity in the new stand will increase from around 5,400 to 13,500, with more than 10,700 General Admission seats – an increase of around 6,000 on existing numbers
- Improved facilities for supporters with disabilities and a substantial increase in wheelchair spaces, making Selhurst Park compliant with Accessible Stadia Guidelines
- A bigger pitch, increased from 101.5m x 68, to 105m x68m, making Selhurst Park compliant with UEFA regulations and eligible to host tournament football
- Premium hospitality and entertainment facilities for more than 2,500 supporters, including a new Tunnel Club, and between 16-28 boxes, which will give members a unique vantage point as the players prepare for the match and conduct post-match interviews
- A new museum, documenting the club’s rich history and its place in the South London community
- New community facilities, supplementing the work of the Palace for Life Foundation, which delivers health, education and sporting programmes for more than 13,500 local children and young adults
- Improved sightlines in the Arthur Wait Stand with the removal of the TV gantry, and improved Arthur Wait concourse
- Redevelopment of the upper Whitehorse Lane Boxes into mixed bar/box use
The inspiration for the project is the club’s rich heritage and its roots in South London. The original Crystal Palace – a huge glass house built on a cast-iron frame and considered an architectural marvel – was moved to Sydenham Hill in 1854, after being showcased in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition of 1851. When the club was founded in 1905 it played its matches inside the historic Palace grounds, which hosted early FA Cup Finals.
Speaking back in December, Crystal Palace Chairman, Steve Parish, said:
We need a stadium that reflects who we are, how far we have come and where we want to go – a stadium that South London can be proud of, a home worthy of our incredible support and unique atmosphere and this great Premier League we represent.
We have worked long and hard and looked at several options over the years, including returning to the original site of Crystal Palace, which wasn’t viable.
While we can’t go back to it, we can build a new one and today I am proud, in conjunction with our partners KSS, to introduce a new Selhurst Park with a new Crystal Palace for a new era. We are creating a new home worthy of our Club, our supporters and our community, and a celebration of our 112 years in South London.
Nick Marshall, Director, KSS, added:
Our brief was to create an impressive sense of arrival and an experience the fans can be proud of, retaining the special atmosphere at one of the best grounds in the country.
It’s already one of the best places to watch football and we certainly don’t want to ruin that, it has to be driven by the fan experience. There’s going to be a great relationship between the new stand and the Arthur Wait stand, which is going to work fantastically. It’s a very exciting project and we are privileged to be working on it with Crystal Palace.
Guy Wickett, Crystal Palace Development Manager, said:
We have had excellent engagement on our proposals with more than 400 people coming to view the plans and hundreds more talking to us through the website, fan forums and on social media.
Our feedback to date shows that more than 85 per cent of people within the local community support the principle of the redevelopment of the stand.
We will continue to work with Croydon Council and the local community as the plans progress, addressing any concerns that residents in the immediate area might have.
This is a development which will bring significant economic and community benefits to the entire area and is a mark of confidence in Croydon.
A planning committee decision is expected in April 2018 and, once validated, the application will be open for public consultation.
Watch Crystal Palace’s video depicting the Selhurst Park redevelopment by simply clicking on the image below:
Images & video, courtesy: Crystal Palace / KSS
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