Fulham Football Club’s future at Craven Cottage looks secure after a Hammersmith Fulham Council planning committee granted consent for 3,422 extra seats.

The approval will take the capacity of the club’s historic Thames riverside venue up to 30,000, when the new seats, plus another 1,100 already approved seats, are added. Local residents and amenity groups were consulted on the plans which include:

– Increasing capacity in the Riverside Stand by removing the executive boxes
– Opening the riverside walk to the public, except on match days
– Fully restoring the listed turnstiles
– Providing £1 million to help council plans to rejuvenate Bishop’s Park.

Councillor Lucy Ivimy, Planning Applications Committee Chairman, said, “The football stadium has been in existence for over a century and, as such, is an integral part of the character of the conservation area. The Committee decided that Fulham Football Club’s application was acceptable in the context of its land use and that the proposed development would not result in a significant change to the match day environment. The committee unanimously welcomed the extension of the riverside walk to the public. In addition the committee felt that the proposal would result in an improvement to the appearance of the stadium and, as a result, benefit the conservation area and enable the continued use of the listed buildings for the purpose for which they were built. The development fully complies with the London Plan as well as all relevant council policies.”

The planning consent means Fulham Football Club now have three years to make a range of improvements to the stadium. The club now have permission to reclad the riverside stand as well as extending the first floor river-facing elevation to give more space in the existing corporate hospitality lounges. The corporate hospitality boxes at the back of the terraced area of the stand will be removed allowing for more terraced seating. These plans, together with the removal of executive boxes in the Putney End Stand and some infilling of small areas around the stadium, will increase the stadium’s capacity – by 4,522 – to 30,000.

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, Hammersmith & Fulham Council Deputy Leader, says, “We wanted to keep Fulham Football Club in Hammersmith & Fulham, but not at any cost. I believe this plan represents a good balance between the legitimate concerns of some local people and the commercial realities of a 21st Century Premiership Football Club. I am delighted that the club has put forward a range of improvements to the surrounding areas that should enhance this picturesque conservation area for future generations.”