Fulham stadium expansion plan includes new river walk and 4,000 more seats
19 January 2018
Fulham are planning a huge expansion to accommodate thousands more fans while creating a new riverside walkway along the Thames.
The Championship side will demolish its Riverside Stand and rebuild with two tiers of seating, while creating shops, cafes and nine short-stay luxury apartments. Capacity at Craven Cottage will increase from 25,700 to 29,600.
The walkway would open a currently closed section of the riverbank and allow people enjoying the Thames Path to continue strolling by the water.
However, it will encroach on to the Thames by up to 11 metres, with the new stand above it - sparking opposition from some locals who say a “quiet and beautiful” stretch could be destroyed. They warn it paves the way for other developments to edge into the river.
Architects Lichfields cited Tottenham Hotspur’s expansion and West Ham’s move to the London Stadium, saying: “The ambition is to return to the Premier League as soon as possible. The stadium has to match this ambition.
“The river walk can only be provided by cantilevering out, beyond the line of the river wall, with water flowing under the walkway. Fulham FC need to improve stadium capacity and facilities. To achieve this the riverside stand has to be larger.” The walkway would shut on matchdays. The flats would be used by Fulham’s American billionaire owner Shahid Khan and new players.
Pensioner Jane Swithinbank, who has walked the 215-mile river from its source, said: “This is a very quiet and beautiful stretch. I’m appalled - Fulham not only want to keep the land but take more by cantilevering out over the river. This would set a very dangerous precedent for other developers.”
Local author Eivor Martinus said: “We are blessed with rich bird life thanks to the [Barnes] Wetland Centre and greenery on both sides. A colossus reaching well into the river would ruin this.”
Amanda Lloyd-Harris of Friends of Bishops Park said the walkway “will be a cliff-like structure which will block wind and threaten use of the river for sailing, and be a safety hazard.”
Comments on the planning application are open until tomorrow. If Hammersmith and Fulham council grants permission the club hope to start work by May next year and finish in 2021.