Planners have raised concerns over designs by sports venue specialist practice KSS for a major overhaul of Crystal Palace Football Club’s stadium in south London
A report to Croydon Council’s planning committee warned that the Selhurst Park scheme could impact on nearby homes, lead to a reduced sense of place and have an unwelcome ‘corporate’ look.
KSS revealed designs for the new-look stadium before Christmas, outlining its vision for a five-storey main stand, boosting the arena’s capacity by almost a third to 34,000.
The practice said at the time that its ‘dramatic reimagination’ of Selhurst Park – which currently stages Premier League football matches – would ‘pay homage to the club’s formative years’. It added that the proposed main stand ‘incorporates the soaring wings of the Eagle, reflecting the club’s proud history’.
However, the planning officer’s report was less positive. ‘There is concern that the overall design concept (utilising both the Crystal Palace and Eagle motifs) appears to be competing with each other,’ it said.
‘The Eagle wings and the vaulted arched form (reflecting the historic Crystal Palace Exhibition Hall) could well be argued as being tokenistic and not well integrated into the building form and architectural language.
‘In addition, there is concern that the current external form has too great a corporate appearance, which might well weaken the conceptual motifs […] The Crystal Palace motif in particular, which is the preferred aesthetic, requires a lot more development beyond the subtle illusion of its silhouette.’
The report also raised questions over parking and travel arrangements at the expanded stadium.
‘There is concern that the large area of proposed car parking detracts from the area’s sense of place,’ it said. ‘It is also currently unclear how pedestrian movements will be facilitated and separated from vehicles.’
Elsewhere the report said: ‘Concerns are raised in terms of the impact upon the adjacent residential properties along Wooderson Close. Views in this area have been requested to confirm the extent of visual impact.’
No application has been formally submitted for the scheme and no decisions taken by the planning committee. Planning officers said dialogue was ongoing.
KSS has been contacted for comment.