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Scrapped: Whistle blown on Herzog & de Meuron’s Chelsea stadium

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Herzog & de Meuron’s 60,000-seat stadium for Chelsea Football Club appears to be dead in the water after the Premier League outfit allowed its planning permission to expire

The Pritzker Prize-winning practice secured consent for the £500 million project in March 2017.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan hailed the ‘high-quality and spectacular’ design and said the scheme would be ‘a jewel in London’s sporting crown’.

But, a little over a year later, in May 2018, the club halted pre-construction work, citing an ‘unfavourable investment climate’.

Now Chelsea FC has acknowledged that the three-year window it had for starting the approved project has closed.

‘We are grateful to all our fans and stakeholders, especially Hammersmith and Fulham Council, for their patience and understanding in the matter,’ said the club in a statement.

‘We will continue to consider our options for a new stadium, should economic conditions improve.’

The new ground would have been enclosed by 264 brick piers, rising up and over spectators to support a circular steel ring connected to radial steel roof trusses 50m above the bowl.

The club has long been pursuing plans for a larger stadium on broadly the same site as its current 42,000-capacity Stamford Bridge home. Rules set down by Chelsea Pitch Owners, which owns the freehold to Stamford Bridge and the club’s name, mean that if the team moves it would have to stop calling itself Chelsea FC.

Preliminary deals had been struck with more than half of 50 neighbouring properties identified as being affected by rights of light issues from the bigger stadium.

The club had said it expected to agree terms with all but two properties, for which Hammersmith and Fulham Council stepped in at the start of 2018. The local authority passed a motion to use compulsory purchase powers for those properties when the owners launched a High Court injunction to stop the Herzog & de Meuron development.

All football remains suspended in the UK at present due to the coronavirus.

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