Chelsea Football Club has launched a bid to acquire the Battersea Power Station site in London. The land, which is best known from the Pink Floyd album cover (see above photo), is a decommissioned power station that could become the new home for Chelsea, just south of the Thames River.
“We are not the only interested parties and there is no certainty that we will be successful,” said a statement on the Chelsea club website. “We also appreciate that we have many significant hurdles to address if we are to build a new stadium on the site, including winning the support of our fans, the CPO shareholders and local Wandsworth residents, as well as securing the approval of Wandsworth Council, the Greater London Authority and heritage authorities. We must also stress that making an offer for the Battersea Power Station site does not mean the club has made a definitive decision to leave Stamford Bridge.”
“Working with architects and planning experts we have developed a plan to preserve all the significant aspects of Battersea Power Station. The four iconic chimneys and wash towers along with the Grade II* listed west turbine hall and control room will be restored and retained in their original locations and provide a unique architectural backdrop to a world-class stadium with a capacity of around 60,000 seats.”
“Following feedback from fans, our initial plans include a 15,000-all seated one-tier stand behind the south goal, likely to be the biggest one-tier stand in football. Also as suggested by many fans, the stadium proposed is rectangular in shape with four separate stands. The design includes a bigger family area and more room for disabled supporters.”
“As well as a new home for our club, the development would include a town centre with substantial street-level retail shops, affordable housing and offices – all of which would benefit Wandsworth and bring a significant number of permanent jobs to the area. We would also make a significant contribution towards the Northern Line Extension, a new high-volume transport link proposed for the area.”
Chelsea’s plans to keep the four iconic chimneys is surprising, but delightful. What an incredible sight this would be for anyone going through London to see the famous chimneys, and knowing that a 60,000 capacity stadium was built around it.
The distance between the two locations is exactly three miles (see satellite image below), but psychologically the locations are worlds apart. Stamford Bridge is in the very affluent boroughs between Hammersmith and Fulham. Battersea is south of the Thames river in the borough of Wandsworth. Chelsea is synonymous with the fashionable shops of nearby King’s Road. Battersea is best known for the Battersea Power Station.
Three miles may not seem like much, but it’s a one hour walk from Stamford Bridge to Battersea Power Station. But more importantly, it’s a big psychological difference. North of the River Thames is synonymous with riches. South of the river Thames signifies the working class. As you move further outside the city centre of London to the west and the east, the north south divide becomes less important. But near the heart of London, it’s a massive deal.
Chelsea’s potential move from Stamford Bridge to Battersea Power Station is not a new development. The club has been considering the move for more than three years.
For more insight and analysis regarding the breaking development, read my article entitled Why Chelsea Needs to Move to Battersea Power Station.
What do you think about the proposed move? Should Chelsea stay at Stamford Bridge? Do you think the club will be able to get the deal to go through? Are you in favor of the move? Share your opinions in the comments section below, as well as the poll.