Since returning back to our home after an unsuccessful period at Loftus Road the club have been determined to remain at the Cottage. Recently they announced that they were looking into the possibility of expanding the ground up to the 30,000 spectator level and that the Riverside stand was the only realistic target for redevelopment, with an official statement this week saying:
Following last month’s announcement regarding the Club’s plans to redevelop the Riverside Stand at Craven Cottage, Fulham Football Club embarked on a consultation process with its neighbours, local interest groups, and of course its fans.
The outcome of the process was extremely positive, with the vast majority of those that either attended the consultation forum, or submitted their thoughts via the Club’s on-line mechanism, being in full support of the Club’s ambition to remain at its historic London home, and to increase the current capacity to 30,000.
After carrying out some supporter and local resident research over the past month or so they have decided to further pursue this avenue and have handed in documents to The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham council explaining what they are planning in further details. Before actual plans for the development can be submitted for approval environmental surveys will have to be carried out due to the issues surrounding the ground.
Previous development plans have been troubled by boating groups on the Thames worrying about how the wind flow may be affected by the increased height and size of a new stand. The Wetlands Centre is only 300m further along the river from the ground, so any change in habitat would have to be seriously looked at too.
While still not actual plans they give a better idea as to the clubs thinking. The current stand would disappear with the building extending to the current riverbank. A new riverside walkway would skirt the edge of this stand, allowing the riverside walkway to continue next to river apposed to the current skirting round the ground it currently does. The stand would end up being around double it’s current height and comprise of two tiers separated by a double layer of hospitality boxes.
The plans are a long way from being finalised and these things usually involve much changing throughout the process. But it’s moving along and if it all becomes a reality it’ll be another big step in Fulham’s long term sustainability in the top tier of English football.
The full impact assessment document can be found here on the council website and on the new ground development section on the official club website.