Health & Safety issues cause delays April 8, 2008

£40 million Oval development hits the buffers

Cricinfo staff

Surrey appear to have admitted defeat in their bid to get the planned redevelopment of The Oval underway, and it will now not start until after the end of the season.

The £40 million building works, which would see the demolition of the Lock and Laker stands as well as the Surrey Tavern behind the pavilion, have been delayed because of Health & Safety concerns. Even though the local authority have granted planning permission, the proximity to the famous gasometers has led to delays for the necessary H&S certification.

"It's now looking unlikely this side of the season," Paul Sheldon, the chief executive, told the Surrey Advertiser. "I'm very confident we will go ahead but the formalities have taken far longer than we hoped. We have to be patient and the staff here have been wonderful given the situation changes day by day."

However, demolition of the Surrey Tavern has started and, as a consequence, the pavilion will be off limits until late May. Members will be relocated to the OCS stand at the Vauxhall End of the ground.