Craven Cottage Plans Capacity Increase

Fulham FC also proposes riverside walk and refurb of Bishops Park

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Fulham Football Club has approached Hammersmith and Fulham Council with a view to extending the capacity of its historic stadium by 4,000 seats.

The plans are to refurbish the Riverside Stand of the Club's Craven Cottage home and fully restore of the “listed” turnstiles at the Cottage at the end of the current season.

As a sweetener, the club will create a new riverside walkway, allowing pedestrians to walk the length of the Thames from Putney to Hammersmith Bridge unimpeded by the football ground.

The club’s proposed refurbishment programme would also include a funding contribution of £1 million towards the enhancement of Bishops Park as planned by the Bishops Park Stakeholders Group.

The proposed changed mean that Executive Boxes would be removed from the Riverside Stand to add more seats.

This would include the replacement of windows on the first floor with a fully glazed projection that would echo the curve of the river edge.

Executive boxes would be added to the Johnny Haynes Stand.

Planning permission for a restaurant in the Hammersmith End of the ground with panoramic views of the river has already been granted, and it is the intention to complete both projects concurrently.

Mohamed Al Fayed, Chairman of Fulham Football Club said: "Craven Cottage is synonymous with Fulham FC and it is vital that the Club is given every opportunity to develop the facilities available, to enable it to remain at its home. I am confident that an increased capacity and further improvements to the facilities can help us reach and maintain our business objectives."

However, Hammersmith and Fulham Council say they will consult with local residents and amenity groups before feeding back comments to the club. Hammersmith and Fulham Council Leader, Councillor Stephen Greenhalgh, said: 'We have been interested to listen to what they have had to say but the most important people here are the local residents and voices need to be heard and any concerns addressed."

He concluded: 'There will be ample opportunity for residents, local groups and interested parties to discuss the proposals as they currently stand and for the council to feed back suggestions and concerns to the football club before any formal application.'

Previous plans by Fulham Football Club to develop Bishops Park with a new astroturf football pitch in 2004, and to increase the size of its stadium by transferring to a new site in White City have angered residents and fans alike.

If Fulham FC does put in a formal planning application then additional public consultation will be carried out. The council now wants the views of local residents and amenity groups before going back to Fulham Football Club with feedback on a possible planning application.

E-mail: to air your views or write to Paul Entwistle, H&F Environment Department, Hammersmith Town Hall Extension, King Street, London W6 9JU.

Fulham Football Club is hosting a public meeting on Wednesday 24 October at the SW6 Lounge at 7.00pm – space is limited so register early at to book your place. 

October 5, 2007