Could Selhurst Park Have Moved to Croydon Airport in the 1970s?

 

The proposed Ringway 2 motorway, had it gone ahead in the 1970s, would have made parts of Croydon unrecognizable as we know it today. Many familiar sites would have been demolished or in this case, relocated to another part of town. Here is one of many news articles relating to this proposed motorway into London – from 1969.

Palace May Go To Airport Stadium

Selhurst Park in 1924

Selhurst Park in 1924

Motorway-Hit Crystal Palace Football Club have a £5 million plan to move their ground at Selhurst park out of the borough. 

They want to move to a 200-acre site at Croydon Airport in the borough of Sutton. The proposed Ringway 2 motorway would slice off a corner of their present ground. 

The club’s beat-the-motorway plan was announced by the chairman, Mr. Arthur Wait, on Wednesday. 

Mr. Wait is ready to uproot the club from Selhurst Park, their home for 50 years, if Palace are forced to give way to the new road which cuts through the ground near the almost completed £180,000 stand. 

He said: “If forced to make a choice Selhurst Park adapted or a new site, I would prefer to move to a new stadium. 

“It would mean that the stadium would be something that we haven’t got in this country – a decent football ground.”

Mr. Wait envisages it would include facilities for other sports as well as soccer, with a 40 acre car park. 

He believed the scheme could be financed with the help of the G.L.C and other local authorities. 

No formal application has been made to Sutton Council, who own the land, although it is believed that the scheme was informally suggested as long as two years ago. 

At the moment the club are negotiating for 20 acres in the south-west corner of the airport for use as practice playing fields. 

If these negotiations which have been taking place for two years are successful the club plan to lay out five playing fields, set out a car parking area and build changing room facilities on this much smaller site. 

The land which interests the club at Croydon Airport is a public open space and has been zoned for recreational purposes. 

But because of a new Act of Parliament Crystal Palace would only have to get formal planning permission from Sutton Council to use the site for a new football stadium. 

Mr. Wait said he would be making this point to G.L.C officials.

“We have actually mentioned the idea to the G.L.C” he added. 

This was when we went in for planning approval for the stand, but they were rather inclined to sweep the idea under the carpet.  

You can read more about the history of Croydon in our magazine by visiting the link at the top of the page. We are hoping to relaunch this in the near future. 

 

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  • Kev

    It would great to learn more about the proposed motorway and its impact. Are there any maps of the route?

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