The last couple of years have seen Steve Parish talk openly about his desire to ensure that Selhurst Park undergoes a significant redevelopment during his time as chairman but despite construction work having been scheduled to start this summer, it now looks as though the work will be delayed by at least a few months.
Having drawn up plans to increase the stadium’s capacity from 26,000 to more than 34,000, thanks in no small part to a completely new Main Stand, things looked to be progressing well when the club were granted planning permission by Croydon Council but now, it seems as though issues surrounding section 106 obligations have put the plans on hold.
Without getting too bogged down in the specifics, section 106 obligations are in place to ensure that the club fully plan for any impact the planned construction work will have on the local area. As part of the legislation, Palace are required to fund and implement transport and community improvement initiatives until such a time as the planned work is completed; a task that is clearly proving to be easier said than done.
With the first estimates setting out the expected overall cost of the works at somewhere between £75-100 million, Steve Parish and co. will obviously be keen to begin things as soon as possible but with Premier League football set to return to SE25 in August, the window of opportunity clearly became too small for us to push forward as first wished.
Whilst some will inevitably panic over what this means for the project as a whole, the report above doesn’t suggest that the delays are anything more severe than a time-sensitive issue. From my understanding of the situation, the club still fully intend to push ahead with the work when they can but inevitably, the first time-frame has now been thrown out of the window.
Should there be any further updates in the coming days, I’ll do my best to bring you up to speed as quickly as possible.