A London family of four could be sensationally set to derail Chelsea’s £1 billion redevelopment plans for Stamford Bridge – because they claim the new stadium would cast a permanent shadow over their home.
The BBC reports that the Crosthwaites, who have lived in a cottage close to the Blues’ home for over 50 years, were granted a High Court injunction to halt the development of the stadium last year by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, after councillors sympathised with their concerns.
However, despite its close proximity, Stamford Bridge sits in the neighbouring Hammersmith and Fulham borough, whose council could effectively sidestep the injunction after the stadium was signed off on by both its planning officers and the Mayor of London last year.
Chelsea reportedly offered over £100,000 in the way of compensation and legal advice to the Crosthwaites, but the family turned down the club’s offer, stating that “sunlight and daylight will be seriously affected” and pointing to Kensington and Chelsea’s summation that the redevelopment would have “an unacceptable and harmful impact” on the local area.
Compulsory purchase order may sidestep injunction
Hammersmith and Fulham councillors are now set to convene on Monday to decide whether to apply a compulsory purchase order on the “air rights” on neighbouring land currently owned by Network Rail, which would negate the Crosthwaites’ “right to light” under planning law and sidestep the injunction. The council would then lease said land and air rights back to Network Rail and Chelsea Football Club.
If granted, it would mean that Chelsea’s proposals for a new 60,000 seater Stamford Bridge would be one step closer to getting underway – but the Crosthwaites have reportedly vowed to continue to seek legal action should the council greenlight the compulsory purchase plans.