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Gas explosion fears fail to block Oval cricket ground extension

Populous, formerly HOK Sport, has finally won permission for its £35 million redevelopment of the famous Oval cricket ground

Planning permission was granted by Lambeth Council for a new hotel and larger stand in January 2008, but the health and safety executive (HSE) demanded the plans were ‘called in’ over concerns the development was too close to the nearby Kennington Gasholder Station.

However, after a public inquiry, the plans for the south London home of Surrey County Cricket Club have been given approval to proceed.

Surrey CCC chief executive Paul Sheldon said:’This decision has been a long time coming, and we are very pleased with the outcome.

‘The development is an important one both for cricket and our community. We are looking forward to sitting down and getting into the detail of bringing these plans to life.’

The scheme at the ground, officially the Brit Oval, includes a 168-bedroom hotel for project backer Arora International and a 1,600 seat-stand increasing the overall capacity to 25,000.

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