Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge redevelopment facing crucial date in planning process

Chelsea are running out of time on their bid to start work on a redevelopment of Stamford Bridge.

The club were handed council approval in January 2017 to build a new 60,000-seater stadium on the site of their current ground.

However, progress has since slowed, and could be put on hold altogether.

The Blues have under two months left on their planning approval from the council, which was endorsed by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

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The expiration date of March 31 cannot be extended, and so the deadline is approaching for the first part of the project to get underway.

The Athletic report that Chelsea do not have to physically begin work on the site before March 31, and can issue a “pre-commencement application”, notifying when and where work will begin.

However, if no communication is sent by the March 31 deadline, the application process must begin again from square one.

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Chelsea decided to put the project on hold in May of 2018, but club officials apparently believe that if the deadline is passed with no progress, a second planning application will not be as difficult to secure as the first one.

However, Chelsea’s earliest estimate at a re-opening of Stamford Bridge was set at the 2024/25 season, and so any further delays will only push that date back once again.

Owner Roman Abramovich was involved in a dispute with the UK government over his visa application, and has subsequently withdrawn from his more public role at Chelsea, appearing only at their Europa League final win against Arsenal at the end of last season in Baku.

Chelsea are wary of falling behind the likes of Tottenham following their new stadium build, with the club increasing their match day earnings significantly.