Friday 9 March 2012

H&F reach their nadir

So Hammersmith and Fulham have finally responded to Chelsea’s forensic explanation of why Stamford Bridge is not expandable. And what did it say? Did we get counter plans? Drawings? Explanations of how it could be done? Offers of help from the council? An indication of their intent? Anything concrete at all? 

No. What we got was effectively, ”We know six hundred million smackers is a lot of money but you shouldn’t worry about that. It would cost you more to move away”.

Um, let’s think about this.

So Chelsea should pay upwards of six hundred million pounds to build a stadium that 

a) the council have been telling them for years they have no chance of giving permission for
b) that will involve years of planning hell 
c) would need a compulsory purchase that would make the eyes water
d) which would still be cramped
e) offer difficult sight lines 
f) probably fail to offer the sort of corporate facilities the business model would require
g) would probably fail every rule in the Green Guide

....the Green Guide, let us be aware, that council planners must use when considering options and which means, in all likelihood, that the plans wouldn't get given Hammersmith and Fulham.

H&F also signally fail to offer any explanation of how they think it is possible. It is also a remarkable development to hear a council actually SAY they think a 60,000 stadium would a) be possible b) benefit the area and residents. Of course, they could, if they wanted, lobby to have such a stadium at Earl’s Court, make such promising statements about that and include it in their SPD for the EC development. Surely they too would welcome such a stadium half a mile down the railway track? But they won’t. Why? £100 million for starters.

It is a duplicitous, dishonest and quite absurdly ridiculous statement that actually means nothing at all.
Chelsea would be fools to trust the council on this. The club must also demand that H&F spend THEIR money on doing a feasibility study that shows something different to Chelsea’s. We are curious what residents in the area are thinking today having read that H&F think it would be fine to bulldoze their homes under a mass Compulsory Purchase order.

A genuine embarrassment to the council.

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