Chelsea: Stamford Bridge revamp plans under way

View of Stamford Bridge
Chelsea have played at Stamford Bridge since 1905

Chelsea's early plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge into a new 60,000-capacity stadium are under way after an initial scoping report was ruled "generally acceptable" by the council.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council says certain conditions must be met ahead of any planning application.

The club has held two public exhibitions to showcase its design, which it hopes to begin next season.

The report is the first stage of the planning process.

Chelsea submitted preliminary documents to the local authority asking for guidance as to which areas it would need to address ahead of a full application.

In its response, sent to the club on Monday, the council indicates Chelsea is taking the correct steps in looking to deal with any environmental issues such a large scheme could pose.

Chelsea have played at Stamford Bridge since 1905, and the ground was last redeveloped in the 1990s.

However, its current capacity of about 42,000 is significantly smaller than the stadia of Premier League rivals Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City, whose grounds hold 76,000, 60,000 and 55,000 respectively.

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Blues owner Roman Abramovich had initially considered seeking a permanent new home, with the club describing the option of expanding Stamford Bridge as "not feasible or viable" in 2012.

But the club decided to redevelop its current ground because of a lack of suitable sites available in London - having had a bid to build an "iconic" new stadium in Battersea Power Station rejected.

The club is reportedly close to sealing an agreement with Wembleyexternal-link to host its home matches during the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, having previously explored the possibility of using Twickenham, the England rugby union stadium.