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Fulham in new stadium court case

last updated Wednesday 14th November 2001, 9:01 AM
The three-day High Court appeal by residents opposed to Fulham’s plans for a new 30,000-seat stadium has began and a High Court judge was told that planned stadium redevelopment was "too important" to be left to the local council to decide.

Opponents to the scheme have asked a judge to force the Government to reconsider a decision not to "call in" the club's scheme.

Fulham's new stadium planHammersmith and Fulham Council has already decided to give planning permission for the new development, on the site of the existing 105-year-old stadium at Craven Cottage.

But the objectors are asking Mr Justice Collins to block the permission and order the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions Stephen Byers to reconsider the initial decision not to "call in" the scheme.

That original decision was made by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who refused to intervene in his old role as Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Lawyers for the objectors, say the new stadium will have a "damaging and massively intrusive effect" and accused Mr Prescott of acting "unreasonably and unlawfully".

Fulham hope the judge, Mr Justice Collins, will reject those claims when he delivers his verdict on Friday.

The club, which can appeal if the decision goes against it, intends to begin demolition of Craven Cottage next summer and plans to have the new stadium ready for 2003-04.
Source Evening Standard by David Bond

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