The public consultation period for comments regarding Fulham Football Club’s planning application to redevelop the Riverside Stand at Craven Cottage has been extended until Monday 26 February by Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
Fulham fans will not need to be reminded about the storied history of Craven Cottage – indeed, the club’s existence, desire and right to play at one of English football’s most romantic grounds has been an open question ever since they moved in during the early twentieth century. The club’s current application, put together in association with Putney-based planning consultants Populous, builds on the 2013 planning permission that approved the extension of the capacity at Craven Cottage to 30,000 seats.
Whilst many more local residents attend matches at the Cottage then in previous years, there remains some significant opposition to Fulham’s plans in the local community. Users of social media might have seen the Evening Standard story last month that highlighted a number of hysterical complaints on the eve of the initial closure of public comments – as well as prompting one of the most bizarre online interventions from a blogger and social media expert known as LibertyLdnGirl.
It is vital, therefore, that the local Council – who have been supportive of Fulham’s presence in Hammersmith and Fulham since the Back to the Cottage campaign early in the new millennium – is made aware of the strength of support for the latest proposals from Fulham fans. You can comment even if you are not a resident within the Borough and the Council is obliged to take account of your views, as long as they reference valid planning grounds. Fulham’s full planning application can be viewed here. This letter to Hammersmith and Fulham Council from the Fulham Supporters’ Trust in support of the application is also well worth a read.
Supporters wishing to submit comments to the Council can do so via the online planning portal. It is important that comments reference the key benefits of the latest scheme, which are as follows:
- the enhancement of the spectating experience and improvement of match day facilities for supporters
- an improved look and feel of the ground
- enabling the historic Craven Cottage site to continue to be used for high level professional football, enhancing the value of listed buildings and ensuring that the site is used for its primary purpose
- the opening up of river walk, completing stretch from Hammersmith to Putney, which will deliver significant benefits both to the wider community and local environment
- additional amenities provided for residents on non-matchdays in Fulham
Given that the new stand would safeguard Fulham’s future at Craven Cottage and allow the club to both match the hospitality offer made by many of their London rivals as well as opening up considerable commercial opportunities on non-matchdays, the successful progression of this planning application is arguably just as important as any of the fixtures Slavisa Jokanovic’s side will play between now and May. If you have ten minutes to signal your support for these plans, please do so without delay.