United have received planning approval for their latest expansion of Old Trafford. This time the change in capacity is cosmetic, but in terms of facilities for disabled supporters it's fundamental.
They filed for planning permission back in May, now it's time for construction, following the July approval by Trafford Council. Stretford End and the south-east quadrant will change for disabled supporters of both the home (Stretford End) and away crowds (quadrant).
Difference in scale is very significant: the corner area will barely change at all, while Stretford End's entire silhouette will vary from its current state.
Together with other efforts from recent years, these latest changes will help Old Trafford become fully compliant with growing requirements in terms of infrastructure for wheelchair users and other fans with limited mobility. In total 118 new places for wheelchairs and companions will be created, as will 158 amenity seats (for fans who may require help in getting to their seat).
As the drawings suggest, Stretford End will be topped by bright red top tier, connected to the ground by two staircases (extension of existing ones) and two elevator towers of precast concrete. Populous, the project's designer, assures it will improve the stadium's western facade.
“The design of the expansion elements will be sympathetic to the existing architecture and massing of the stadium and yet contemporary and of quality, as would be expected as an addition to such a world famous venue.”