Football club gets go-ahead

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The Independent Online
Fulham Football Club's planned pounds 7m redevelopment of its Craven Cottage ground was given the legal all-clear yesterday when the High Court rejected a challenge by a prominent local resident, Lady Berkeley.

She had claimed that John Gummer, the Secretary of State for the Environment, and the inspector he appointed to hold a public inquiry did not consider the scheme's impact on the Thames river frontage, part of a nature conservation area. But Mr Justice Tucker said the proposals and the extent of the encroachment on the river's inter-tidal zone must have been "abundantly plain" to everyone at the inquiry, and great prejudice would be caused if planning permission were now quashed.

The Third Division club regards the scheme - which includes a 15,000 all-seater stadium and 142 riverside apartments - as crucial to its long- term future.