Steve Parish has admitted that the plans for Selhurst Park’s redevelopment may well be delayed following the initial suggestion that work would be starting at the end of the current campaign, thanks to ongoing discussions with the local council.
Having received backing from the council over the plans for the general redevelopment of Selhurst Park’s Main Stand, Parish has revealed (when speaking to Five Year Plan) the talks over transport and community improvement initiatives are now taking place at council level which are dragging on longer than first anticipated. Whilst the chairman was certain that the meetings were no cause for alarm, it did sound as though it may cause a delay in the timescale which was originally laid out in relation to the new build’s construction.
Once the current wrinkles have been ironed out, the plans will go to the Mayor of London’s office where, all things being well, we’ll be granted full planning permission but as we all know, things like this are far from quick. There is still an outside chance that everything will be signed and sealed in time for work to begin over the summer but rather than speaking with false confidence, Parish was clearly keen to let supporters know of the delays the club are currently being faced with.
A capacity increase of roughly 8,000, not to mention a dramatic improvement in the facilities available to supporters, would obviously represent a real step forward for the club but after so many false dawns, fans are understandably sceptical over the chances of a new stand actually being constructed. In truth, that level of cynicism is unlikely to vanish from the faces of many until ground is broken on the project; a fact which I’m sure Parish and his fellow directors are well aware of.
Should the current talks end in a positive fashion, you’d like to think the green light from the Mayor’s office was a mere formality given the meetings that he has already held with Steve Parish (Khan was a guest at our home game against Liverpool earlier this season) but as football fans, we’re all conditioned not to count our chickens before they’ve hatched.