Crystal Palace Chairman Steve Parish has unveiled ambitious plans to redevelop Selhurst Park, creating a new Crystal Palace for a new era.
The project, which is expected to cost between £75-£100m, will increase the capacity at Selhurst Park from 26,000 to more than 34,000, overhauling a stadium which has been the club’s home since 1924. It will transform the match-day experience for supporters and provide new facilities for the community while retaining the ground’s uniquely passionate Premier League atmosphere.
The centrepiece of the redevelopment is a stunning new five-storey stand featuring an all-glass front – a homage to the club’s earliest days when it stood in the shadows of the original Crystal Palace, erected on Sydenham Hill. A central vaulted arch, with the famous Eagle crest, is a reminder of the iconic 1851 Exhibition Hall, and eagle wings flank the 41-metre structure.
The project is being designed by leading stadium architects KSS, the firm behind the redevelopment of iconic sporting venues, including Anfield, Twickenham and Wimbledon. The roof of the new stand will be designed to funnel sound down to the pitch and the Arthur Wait Stand opposite.
Plans will be submitted to Croydon Council in January and, subject to planning permission being granted, work would begin in the next 12 months. The project is likely to take up to three years to complete. The existing Main Stand will remain in full operational use throughout the build process, minimising the impact on the stadium capacity in the coming seasons.
The inspiration for the project is the club’s rich heritage and its roots in South London. The original Crystal Palace – a huge glass house built on a cast-iron frame and considered an architectural marvel - was moved to Sydenham Hill in 1854, after being showcased in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition of 1851. When the club was founded in 1905 it played its matches inside the historic Palace grounds, which hosted early FA Cup Finals.
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish said: "We need a stadium that reflects who we are, how far we have come and where we want to go - a stadium that South London can be proud of, a home worthy of our incredible support and unique atmosphere and this great Premier League we represent.
We have worked long and hard and looked at several options over the years, including returning to the original site of Crystal Palace, which wasn't viable. While we can't go back to it, we can build a new one and today I am proud, in conjunction with our partners KSS, to introduce a new Selhurst Park with a new Crystal Palace for a new era.
We are creating a new home worthy of our Club, our supporters and our community, and a celebration of our 112 years in South London”.
Nick Marshall, director of architects KSS, said: “Our brief was to create an impressive sense of arrival and an experience the fans can be proud of, retaining the special atmosphere at one of the best grounds in the country.
It’s already one of the best places to watch football and we certainly don’t want to ruin that, it has to be driven by the fan experience. There’s going to be a great relationship between the new stand and the Arthur Wait stand, which is going to work fantastically. It’s a very exciting project and we are privileged to be working on it with Crystal Palace.”
Croydon Council has published Crystal Palace Football Club’s planning application for the redevelopment of Selhurst Park and its Main Stand, and the public may now comment upon the plans. The full application can now be viewed online and comments can be submitted on the Croydon Council Planning portal by clicking here, for the consideration of the Planning Committee who are expected to make a decision on the application on 19th April 2018.