It is one of London‘s most desirable neighbourhoods – so Chelsea has always seemed an unlikely setting for a huge football stadium.
But given that Chelsea FC set up home just off the fashionable Fulham Road in 1905, its well-heeled residents are used to thousands of fans packing their streets a few times a month.
Now, however, they are rankled over a plan to convert part of the 41,000-capacity stadium into an all-day drinking and music venue – open every day.
The club submitted licensing plans to Hammersmith & Fulham Council this month which, if granted, would allow live and recorded music to be played, and alcohol to be sold between 10am and 11pm with the concourse ‘accessible to the public 24 hours a day’.
Writer Kate Reardon, 54, who lives nearby with her two young children, said: ‘It appears they’re applying for some sort of version of Glastonbury meets Munich’s Oktoberfest for stadium-capacity crowds, 365 days a year.
Chelsea FC have submitted plans to Hammersmith and Fulham Council for their Stamford Bridge stadium to become a live music venue selling alcohol between 10am and 11pm each day
‘It will destroy our lives. Already on match days, locals have profoundly compromised access to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital because ambulances can’t get through.
‘If alcohol is sold until 11 o’clock at night, and they’re open 24 hours a day, how on earth will they police the noise and the disruption?’
She added: ‘Thousands of families’ lives in the neighbourhood are going to be ruined.’
Briony Eastman, 70, who lives in Britannia Road next to Stamford Bridge stadium, said: ‘I moved with my young family to this neighbourhood 28 years ago knowing about the football matches and have lived here happily, accommodating the football crowds, as there are excellent transport facilities, shops and schools.
‘But we didn’t expect it to become a music and film venue, where alcohol can be freely drunk on the premises and in the Fulham Road, risking the area becoming an unacceptable place for people, families and communities wanting to be safe.’
Writer Kate Reardon, 54, who lives nearby with her two young children, said: ‘It will destroy our lives’
Jeremy Lyon-Lee, 48, who has lived in the area for nearly ten years with his wife and their three children, said he was concerned about how it would affect the area’s value.
‘There are knock-on implications for house prices if it becomes known as an area that is congested and polluted with lots of nuisance,’ he said.
Average house values in Britannia Road last year were £1.85 million.
It has been suggested that the application by the club, owned by a consortium led by an American billionaire, is merely intended to ‘improve fans’ experience on matchdays’ and does not extend to standalone concerts or one-off events.
Chelsea Football Club declined to comment.