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Firms set to miss out as Chelsea pulls £1bn stadium

Proposed new Chelsea FC stadium by Herzog de Meuron - approved January 2017

Several engineering firms are set to miss out after Chelsea FC halted plans for its £1bn stadium redevelopment.

In a short statement the Blues blamed the “current unfavourable investment climate” for the decision to put plans for a new 60,000 seater stadium on hold.

The 6.2ha site at Stamford Bridge would have seen a deck built over the District Line and part of the Southeastern rail network to increase capacity for fans.

A spokesperson for Chelsea FC said: “Chelsea Football Club announces today that it has put its new stadium project on hold. No further pre-construction design and planning work will occur.

“The club does not have a time frame set for reconsideration of its decision. The decision was made due to the current unfavourable investment climate.”

In April VolkerFitzpatrick was named preferred bidder for a £95M contract for piling and diversion works at the stadium, as well as installing the decking platforms.

At the time the geotechnical firm was still in talks with the club, but a source at the company confirmed yesterday that it had not heard of Chelsea FC’s plans to pull the plug.

WSP and German engineers Schlaich Bergermann have been structural engineers for the scheme, which was designed by Herzog & de Meuron with Aecom providing strategic planning services.

Last year WSP director Bill Price told New Civil Engineer how the complex engineering challenge of building in such a constrained site meant decking over nearby rail lines was the most feasible option.

Price explained how around 500m of track would be decked over by the new stadium, while its roof would have a rectangular opening above the pitch and would be supported by 264 radial steel roof trusses spanning 50m over the stadium bowl.

He said at the time: “We are completely excited to be working on this fantastic job. It’s an iconic design and unique in stadium terms.”

Planning permission for the stadium was granted by London mayor Sadiq Khan and Hammersmith and Fulham Council last January. However, the £500M price tag attached had reportedly doubled to £1bn by November 2017.

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