Leicester stadium plans approved with counter-terror conditions

Leicester City’s stadium expansion plans have won formal planning approval – on condition that counter-terrorism measures are incorporated into the construction phase.

The football club secured initial approval for 8,000 extra seats in the East Stand of its King Power Stadium, as well as other facilities including a hotel, commercial and residential space, fan-zone area, multistorey car park and a club retail store in September 2022.

That approval was subject to conditions and section 106 agreements that have been concluded this week.

Among the conditions is that before new external cladding is installed, a structural blast engineer is appointed to assess the effects of an explosion on the building, specifically on elements such as glazing and its roof.

This information will need to be provided to the project’s design team to inform their work and will need to be shared with local counter-terrorism security advisors, a notice from the council says.

Any requirements the assessment throws up must be installed before fans can sit in the extra seats in the East Stand or use the new fan zone, it adds.

Vehicle-security barriers to protect the entire East Stand and fan-zone development from potential “hostile vehicles” along several approach roads must also be installed as a condition of the planning approval.

Anti-terror measures have become increasingly important elements of major building design in the past decade, with Construction News previously highlighting the use of measures such as blast-testing and vehicle-barrier installation.

Other conditions attached to the Leicester stadium expansion include submitting a plan for offsetting biodiversity impacts and limiting the number of non-sporting events at the stadium to 10 per year.

In a statement on the planning approval, a Leicester City spokesperson said that in light of the “market dynamics” having changed significantly since it submitted the application in 2021, it would reassess elements of its wider commercial offering on the site.

“The club’s acquisition of further adjacent land since the planning application was first submitted can now also be factored into our vision for the overall site, and presents a further opportunity to strengthen the club’s overall commercial proposition,” they added.

“It will be the responsibility of the club’s leadership to ensure that the final detailed plans for a project of such longevity deliver optimal value, particularly given the scale of investment which will be required from the club and its owners to bring it to fruition.”

The statement gave no timeframe for doing this and said the club would continue to monitor “associated market conditions” before planning when work would start.

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