New Chelsea stadium backed by Mayor of London
Chelsea's plans for a £500million redevelopment of Stamford Bridge have been approved by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
The state-of-the-art new stadium, which has a proposed capacity of 60,000, was backed by Hammersmith and Fulham council in January, but the Mayor's support was needed to formalise the approval into full planning consent.
Khan's backing is another significant step forward in the regulatory process, with Chelsea hoping to have the work completed in time for the 2021-22 campaign.
"London is one of the world's greatest sporting cities and I'm delighted that we will soon add Chelsea's new stadium to the already fantastic array of sporting arenas in the capital," Khan said.
"Having taken a balanced view of the application, I'm satisfied this is a high-quality and spectacular design which will significantly increase capacity within the existing site, as well as ensuring fans can have easy access from nearby transport connections.
"I'm confident this new stadium will be a jewel in London's sporting crown and will attract visitors and football fans from around the world."
If it gets full planning permission, work on the new stadium will reportedly mean Chelsea have to play away from Stamford Bridge while it is completed.
Wembley and England rugby stadium Twickenham have been cited as possible options for the Blues' temporary home.
Chelsea welcomed Khan's decision in a statement which read: "We are delighted he has chosen to support the council's decision.
"This is the latest significant step toward redevelopment of the stadium and the delivery of the extensive local community programme.
"Further steps lie ahead, both during and after the planning process, before construction work can commence."