Roman Abramovich's dream of a new Chelsea stadium has come up against an unlikely opponent — bats. A London Evening Standard report.
According to the Evening Standard, Chelsea’s plan of building a brand new stadium on the site of current Stamford Bridge ran into somewhat unexpected trouble. There’s a risk of intruding on habitat of bats.
Local planners have ordered the Blues to explain how the proposals will protect nearby Brompton cemetery before they give the go-ahead. As well as being Grade I listed, the cemetery is also home to a wide variety of bats.
Hammersmith and Fulham council said Chelsea’s environmental statement was “inconclusive” about the impact of construction works on the cemetery’s catacombs, trade magazine Building has revealed.
In addition, it highlighted that “the Western Catacombs were identified as a potential hibernation roost” for the bats, and called for confirmation that “hibernation surveys” had been completed.
In a letter to Chelsea’s property planning agent Aecom, the council also said: “Confirmation is required regarding the effects of vibration during construction on the west walls and catacombs of Brompton cemetery.
Chelsea declined to comment, but the council said: “As part of the normal planning procedures, we had requested some further information from the developers.
"That has now been submitted to us and once we have gone through all information provided, there will be a further round of public consultation.”
Chelsea submitted their planning application 9 months ago, in November 2015. Groundbreaking was hoped to take place in October, but at this time it seems unlikely to happen. Should the project begin as planned, it would be built in phases until summer of 2020, allowing Chelsea’s games to be held at Stamford Bridge for part of the process.