Chelsea Football Club's plans to build one of the largest stadiums in England have hit a stumbling block - the local population of endangered bats.
The club submitted its plans for the £500m project to London's Hammersmith and Fulham council last year, but have been asked to provide more evidence of how they will protect the nearby grade I-listed Brompton cemetery and its population of the nocturnal mammals.
According to Building Design, the council wants more detail about the impact of piling works on the cemetery's catacombs - identified as a potential hibernation roost for bats - and the effect caused by artificial lighting.
Designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, the development would see the demolition of the club's existing 41,600-capacity Stamford Bridge ground and its surrounding buildings, and its replacement with a 60,000-capacity stadium. The new development would include a club shop and museum, as well as a separate restaurant or cafe.
The building of the project would require excavation works and the construction of external concourse areas. The council has reportedly written to AECOM, strategic planner on the scheme, to seek more certainty over the proposed phasing of this process and any measures taken to mitigate noise, dust and road closures for local residents and businesses.
The stadium development was put forward by the Chelsea hierarchy after it commissioned a feasibility study. The club had previously explored the possibility of moving to Earls Court, White City or Battersea Power Station, although supporters opposed the mooted relocation of the club which has played at Stamford Bridge since its inception in 1905.
You can read the original article from Sports Management HERE
Image: The club has been asked to show how it would protect the local bat population while it builds the new Stamford Bridge stadium © Herzog & de Meuron