Populous has bagged planning permission to transform its £429 million Olympic Stadium in east London into a football stadium and events space
The high-profile centrepiece of the last summers games is set to become the new home of local football club West Ham United.
The iconic building will be reconfigured to host up to 60,000 spectators during sporting events and 80,000 audience members for concerts.
The London Legacy Development Corporation’s planning committee unanimously approved the scheme last night (28 May). London mayor Boris Johnson must also back the project before it can proceed.
Improvements include a new lower tier of retractable seating and a roof extension to cover viewers. The iconic, triangle-shaped lighting towers will be retained.
Works are expected to complete in time for the Rugby World Cup 2015 which will see some matches hosted in the east London venue. The World Athletics Championships in 2017 will also the facility.
The legacy corporation’s chief executive Dennis Hone said: ‘This is an important milestone that paves the way for the Stadium’s intended legacy use as an all-year-round venue.
‘As we prepare for the phased re-opening of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this summer, with the long-term future of all eight permanent venues on the Park now secure, we remain firmly on track to deliver a meaningful physical and social legacy for Londoners.’
Robin Wales, mayor of local authority Newham Council, added: ‘This is fantastic news and we will work hard to make sure our residents have access to the jobs created by the construction project as well the Stadium itself once it opens. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is beginning to take shape and the progress that’s been made so far is impressive.’