|Sailing Clubs' Future Threatened by Fulham FC Development
With mitigation measures proposed last year now withdrawn
Two sailing clubs based opposite Fulham Football Club say their future is threatened by the planned redevelopment of the club's stadium
The club's plans, which received planning permission last year are to increase the capacity of Craven Cottage to 30,000 by extending its riverside stand. The stand will be almost three times as tall as it is currently and encroach into the river by 11 metres, which Ranelagh and South Bank Sailing Clubs say will make change wind conditions and make racing difficult.
According to an environmental assessment, 42% of races would be impossible and 41% a frustrating lottery, leaving only 17% raceable.
Says Ranelagh's Treasurer Nick Price: " We do not understand how this extension, which is not river related can be allowed to set such a dangerous precedent in London."
He adds that the club, which has been in existence since 1889, lost over a third of its members when the current stand was built.
When planning permission was granted, Fulham FC agreed a series of mitigation measures, including improvements worth £50,000 over five years to improve South Bank's clubhouse and help with the effects of altering the sailing course on "wind affected days".
However, discussions between the clubs have since broken down and these offers withdrawn.
Despite accepting that the development would make consistency in wind flows less predictable and thus
The committee added: " For the avoidance of doubt should any additional measures be offered by Fulham Football Cub to help enhance the overall prospect of sailing on this part of the river, they would be subject to arrangements between the Club and the sailing clubs which would be arrived at separately to the planning decision."
H & F Deputy Leader Geg Smith says: " This potential funding from Fulham FC was a goodwill gesture that does not meet the tests to be included in a formal section 106 agreement. This is a matter for the clubs to discuss.
Fulham FC meanwhile says discussions will continue with all parties, and a spokesman adds:
In April, Buckingham Group Contracting, which specialises in building sports and leisure facilities, was awarded the main contract for Fulham FC's redevelopment, which involves the partial demolition of the riverside stand and the addition of a new upper tier that will wrap around the existing stand and create new hospitality space, a new riverside facade, new roof and four residential units.
The plan also allows for the partial demolition and rebuild of the western ends of the Putney and Hammersmith stands, including installation of new seats and the removal of two floodlight masts. The riverside walk along the Thames will also be opened up on non-match days.
In addition to its discussions with the sailing clubs, Fulham FC has agreed to make a £600,000 contribution for the restoration of Bishops Park, plus an annual contribution of £40,000 per year for ten years for on-going maintenance of the park and pay £60,000 to install heritage gates at the Stevenage Road entrance to Bishops Park.
FFC will make a series of payments to improve signage, CCTV, and pedestrian and road safety measures in the area, all as part of the planning consent.
June 6, 2013