Hammersmith and Fulham councillors will meet on Monday to discuss a complaint that is delaying Chelsea’s redevelopment of Stamford Bridge.
Plans for the new stadium have encountered an obstacle in the form of the Crosthwaites, a family who took out an injunction in May claiming that the new stadium will prevent sunlight from reaching parts of their west London home.
Chelsea have already paid compensation to other families in the area and reportedly made a six-figure offer to the Crosthwaites, but this was rejected and the club are now appealing to the local council to intervene on their behalf.
Plans for the new 60,000-seater stadium were approved in January 2017 and have also been given the green light by mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, but Chelsea have since informed the council that the project cannot proceed as long as there is a chance that the injunction could scupper their plans.
The Crosthwaites have lived in their property, which falls within the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, for 50 years and believe that the current stadium plans would result in the new east stand casting a huge shadow over their home.
Chelsea contend that the land on which the property is situated can be compulsorily acquired by the council and the injunction overridden if Hammersmith and Fulham conclude that the project would benefit the economic, environmental or social wellbeing of the area.
If the council does decide to purchase the land, the Crosthwaites have the right to take further legal action, potentially further delaying the project.
Roman Abramovich has been committed to finding a new home for Chelsea for more than a decade, and commissioned a team of architects and engineers to draw up plans for a Stamford Bridge redevelopment after failing in attempts to acquire Battersea Power Station and Earls Court Exhibition Centre.
But recent months have brought considerable added costs and complications to the project, which will require Chelsea to play in a temporary home while Stamford Bridge and the surrounding buildings are demolished and the new stadium is constructed.
Chelsea now estimate that they will have to move away for four years, with Wembley the likeliest destination, before returning to a redeveloped Stamford Bridge in time for the start of the 2024-25 season.