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Chelsea bid for Battersea Power Station

Many observers have talked about Chelsea’s midfield "powerhouse". Now it could take on a literal meaning, as the club mount an audacious bid for London’s Battersea power station. The club’s aim is to build a spectacular new stadium complex on the site.

The club has been frustrated by the limitations of Stamford Bridge, where expansion is impossible due to neighbouring railway lines. The club’s ambition has been to find a site that would allow a stadium that could rival those of Manchester United and Arsenal.

The club has tabled a bid for the site, but there is interest from other bidders. Chelsea would also need to obtain planning permission from Wandsworth Council, the Greater London Authority and heritage organisations. The power station has Grade II listed status.

Chelsea's statement said: "Battersea power station is one of London's most famous buildings and has the potential to become one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world." With plenty of potential pitfalls between bid and purchase, Chelsea added the proviso that "making an offer for the Battersea power station site does not mean the club has made a definitive decision to leave Stamford Bridge."

The plans would incorporate the familiar features of the power station, the four chimneys and the turbine hall. Planning proposals envisage a 15,000-seat single-tier stand, that, the club suggests, is "likely to be the biggest one-tier stand in football". They also incorporate affordable housing, with the notion of integrating the club into the community.

How Chelsea fans will feel about a move "south of the river" remains to be seen.

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