Chelsea's £500m stadium expansion has been given the green light by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, paving the way for a 50 per cent increase in the ground's capacity.
The club, currently sitting at the top of the English Premier League, will expand within the tight constraints of its Fulham-based home. Match-day capacity at Stamford Bridge will be increased from 41,000 to 60,000.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, himself a Liverpool fan, hailed the news. He said: “London is one of the world’s greatest sporting cities and I’m delighted that we will soon add Chelsea's new stadium to the already fantastic array of sporting arenas in the capital."
The revamping of Stamford Bridge and surrounding area will include an elevated walkway which will be erected over the District Line, providing a direct link to Fulham Broadway station.
Khan added: “Having taken a balanced view of the application, I’m satisfied this is a high-quality and spectacular design which will significantly increase capacity within the existing site, as well as ensuring fans can have easy access from nearby transport connections."
I’m confident this new stadium will be a jewel in London’s sporting crown and will attract visitors and football fans from around the world.
Khan's decision follows his support for AFC Wimbledon to return to their spiritual home, Plough Lane, and he has also revealed he "wholeheartedly supports" Millwall staying at the New Den in Lewisham.
The news comes as the chief executive London Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur conceded that this may not be the last season the club plays at the iconic White Hart Lane.
Spurs already have spades in the ground at their own new 61,000 seater stadium, which they hope to have ready for the 2018/19 season.
Boss Daniel Levy’s original plan was to leave White Hart Lane at the end of this season and make national stadium Wembley their temporary home for the 2017/18 season. Spurs want to be able to utilise the full capacity of Wembley when they move in and will find out if this feasible on 23 March.
While the club is still publicly backing a move to Wembley in the summer, it is yet to formally decide.
And according to the documents lodged on the supporters trust website, Levy is said he would not agree to leaving the club’s current ground if there are significant delays in the build of the new one that would force them to play at Wembley for more than one year.
Levy said in the trust minutes “THFC will not move away for two years so all conditions must be right” before west London move is finalised this summer