LONDON Chelsea have been given local government planning permission to redevelop their Stamford Bridge ground into a 60,000-seater stadium, the Premier League leaders announced on Wednesday .
Chelsea, who won the last of their five league crowns in 2014-15, said a key hurdle had been overcome, but it did not mean building work could begin.
"Tonight the (Hammersmith and Fulham) council’s planning committee considered the application and we are grateful that planning permission was granted for the redevelopment of our historic home," the club said.
"The committee decision does not mean that work can begin on site. This is just the latest step, although a significant one, that we have to take before we can commence work, including obtaining various other permissions," they added on their website (www.chelseafc.com).
The current ground, which dates back to 1877 and has been home to the west London club since 1905, holds 41,600.
Chelsea's three main London rivals either have or are building larger stadiums.
Arsenal play at the 60,000 capacity Emirates Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur are building a new White Hart Lane ground with a similar capacity and West Ham United moved this season to the London Stadium, built for the 2012 Olympic Games.
(Reporting by Rex Gowar; Editing by Toby Davis)