Today the green light for construction of a new Stamford Bridge is turning bright red once more. Chelsea failed to begin work within the legal limit of 3 years and will have to reapply.
March 31 of 2017 is exactly the day when Chelsea FC received their final go-ahead for Stamford Bridge redevelopment. It's on that day that the countdown began. The Blues had 3 full years to begin any works, like demolition of adjacent buildings.
But instead, the hotel behind the south stand is being offered to medical workers rather than giving way to bulldozers. It's not a surprise of course. Chelsea had announced in 2018 that the club would not go forward with reconstruction at this time, justifying the move with unfriendly investment environment.
Just two days ago the club has acknowledged in a brief statement that the planning permission is expiring and would not be acted upon. This means that should the Blues opt to rebuild Stamford Bridge in upcoming years, they will have to reapply. While the process shouldn't take as long the second time, it may still be a burdensome task. The first route took between November of 2015 and March of 2017, roughly 1.5 years.
Officially the stunning concept by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron hasn't been scrapped, rather shelved for a later date. It would see Chelsea match major London rivals in terms of scale, with roughly 60,000 seats and world class hospitality offer ensuring competetive matchday revenue.
It hasn't been a secret, though, that the project's cost has vastly outgrown estimates from the club. Initially expected to cost some £500 million, it skyrocketed to some £1 billion well before groundbreaking, threatening further increases, as seen at Tottenham.