Council pledge to protect Selhurst Park
Thu 11th Feb 2010 | Football Stadiums & Facilities
Croydon Council has pledged to uphold its planning policies to safeguard Selhurst Park as a football ground.
The move has been made to ensure that the administrators and creditors involved with the future of Crystal Palace Football Club fully understand the planning limitations when considering any sale.
The current planning policy states: The council will not permit development at Selhurst Park stadium that would prejudice its continued use as a Premier or Football League football stadium, unless an alternative stadium that meets the required standards can be built within or close to the borough.
The reasoning behind the policy, says the council, is that the presence of the club within Croydon brings many economic, social and cultural benefits and it is therefore important to protect the facilities considered necessary for its retention. Only if a new stadium could be provided elsewhere would redevelopment be considered. Even then, though, the council would require it to be in or close to Croydon in order to retain the historic link between Palace and the borough. And if a new owner were to build Palace a new ground the council would expect an area of space equivalent to the size of the pitch to be retained as Local Open Land.
Cabinet member for planning and conservation, Councillor Jason Perry, said: "Because Crystal Palace is so important to our borough the council wants to do everything in its powers to ensure the future existence of the club at Selhurst Park. Our existing planning policies restrict the use of Selhurst Park and policy that's emerging through the new local development framework will offer at very least the same level of protection.
"The council wants to make it clear to anyone considering a financial stake in the club that the future of the ground is non-negotiable. As far as the council is concerned, Selhurst Park is a sports venue and it will remain that way. It's not a plot of land that someone can buy and then seek to turn into a housing estate. I hope this sends a very clear message that the council wants to encourage only serious bidders who have the long term interests of Crystal Palace Football Club uppermost in mind."
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