0 users online

Stadium appeal on hold for 3 months

last updated Thursday 18th October 2001, 9:42 AM
 New Craven Cottage/Al Fayed Stadium
  New Craven Cottage/Al Fayed Stadium
Fulham suffered a blow to their stadium plans after a High Court case involving the £70 million development was postponed until next year.

Fulham were given the go-ahead for a 30,000 all-seater stadium at Craven Cottage by Hammersmith & Fulham Council earlier this year.

But they cannot start work until an appeal organised by Fulham Alliance, a residents' pressure group, has been heard.

That appeal, questioning the Government's decision not to allow a public inquiry into the stadium development, was due to take place today and tomorrow. But lawyers acting on behalf of 11 local residents called for the hearing to be postponed.

It means a frustrating delay for Fulham, who, under Premiership rules, are allowed to use terracing at Craven Cottage only until next May.

They now accept they are likely to have to groundshare - starting next season - until an all-seater stadium is built.

The High Court case is expected to take place in January and, if local residents win, then a public inquiry will have to be held, putting Fulham's plans back by at least a year.

Fulham are still confident the hearing will go their way and expect the development to begin on time, with demolition work starting next summer.

They say they have bent over backwards to meet the residents' demands. But the process is certainly becoming protracted.

Fulham managing director Michael Fiddy said: "The stadium development is taking an awful lot of time.

"There's a huge team of people now working on the construction process and the details of the design. If the residents were to win against the Secretary of State, it could possibly cause us some problems. Having said that, we're confident that we've got a very good case."
Source Evening Standard by Chris Hatherall
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"