On Friday the 4th of May, Chelsea Football Club confirmed what had only been speculation up until then. That is, they had officially put down a bid to purchase the Battersea Power Station and turn it into a new stadium.
The 39-acre building is the largest brick building in Europe and although it hasn’t produced electricity since 1983, it is now a listed building protected by the state.
A Winning Formula
Chelsea does have big plans for the new stadium if that time comes. The construction is set to include development of a town centre with a shopping complex, affordable housing, office space and street level retailers.
Construction of the new stadium and resultant infrastructure will definitely see a substantial number of permanent jobs spring up in the area. The idea is also to vastly improve transport links, most notably the Northern Line underground.
Chelsea have assured authorities and residents that if they were to convert the power station into their new stadium, they would make a concerted effort to preserve the history and architecture of the monument.
There are four iconic chimneys that will be refurbished and remain as part of the stadium’s backdrop, as will the old turbine hall and the control room. The stadium would accommodate about 60,000 seats as opposed to the current capacity which is just under 42,000.
On the Defensive
The club are being very careful to clearly express to the fans that there are several other parties who are interested in bidding and it is not guaranteed that the Blues will be successful in their bid to construct the new stadium.
There are a number of challenges that Chelsea face if they wish to go ahead with building a new stadium, and this includes the calculable support of their fans, the shareholders at CPO and the Wandsworth community and council.
In addition, the Heritage and Greater London Authorities all have to be convinced that the net impact of Chelsea converting the building into their new stadium will be a positive one.
Chelsea have also stressed that even if the bid was successfully won, there is no guarantee that they would make moves to leave Stanford Bridge in order to relocate to a new stadium.
Published with permission from O-Posts.