Bernabeu redevelopment blocked
Real Madrid's plans to develop their Santiago Bernabeu stadium are under threat amid investigations into whether the club received illegal state aid, Spanish news agency EFE reports.
The Supreme Court of Madrid has blocked proposed changes to local planning laws that were essential to the plans for the Bernabeu being approved because the European champions are among several Spanish clubs under investigation by the European Commission (EC) for receiving state aid.
The investigation concerns a land deal the club made with the Madrid town hall dating back to 1996.
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In January this year, Real president Florentino Perez unveiled plans to redevelop the Bernabeu, which included installing a retractable roof and building a hotel, shopping complex and leisure centre next to the stadium at an estimated cost of 400 million euros.
However, the club have faced opposition from local environmental group Ecologists in Action, which has brought a complaint against them to the supreme court. The complaint cites the fact that the Spanish giants are under investigation by the EC.
The court's acceptance of the complaint means it has blocked changes to planning laws first approved in 2011, preventing Madrid from going ahead with their proposals for the stadium. The club has 10 days to appeal against the decision.
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A Madrid town hall source informed EFE that an appeal against the supreme court's decision would be lodged.
"The agreement between the town hall of Madrid and Real Madrid, which is the cause of the European Commission's investigation, has nothing to do with the changes to the planning laws," the source said.
"Therefore, it makes no sense to paralyse the changes to the planning laws because of something that has no relation to it, such as the property deal."