Club requests planning permission to admit fans before development is complete
A visualisation of the rear of the new Riverside Stand. Picture: Fulham FC
Fulham FC fans may soon be able to watch games from the new Riverside stand despite construction being interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The club wants to open up part of the new 8,650-seat stand at Craven Cottage during this season until the £80 million project is fully complete.
Construction of the new stand started in 2019 after planning permission was approved by Hammersmith and Fulham Council in late 2018.
The club is now requesting planning permission from the council to open up part of the Riverside stand before the full development is finished. Once the project is complete, 3,900 new seats will have been built, meaning Craven Cottage will have a total capacity of 29,600.
The new stand’s construction has been “significantly impacted” by Covid-19 and is “unlikely” to be able to open fully until summer 2022, a report by the club’s agent states.
It adds, “Good progress has been made despite the challenging circumstances and part of the new seating terrace – 4,000 seats – will be available for use by football fans at home games during part of the 2021/22 football season.”
By making some of the new seats available, the club hopes more fans will be able to watch live matches after two consecutive seasons being disrupted by coronavirus.
Investment in the project, loss of income from fans not being able to attend matches and the club’s relegation from the Premier League means cash made from opening the new stand in the interim “would be welcomed by the club” – the report explains.
Designed by Populous, the development includes a new stand at Riverside, restaurants, events spaces, a health club and a walkway along the Thames between Hammersmith and Putney Bridges.
The council originally gave the club full planning permission for the new Riverside stand in December 2018 with minor changes approved in May 2020.
The council will decide whether to allow the club to open part of the new stand soon. The planning application expires on 1 September.
Hannah Neary - Local Democracy Reporter
August 10, 2021