Real Madrid hopes for new-look Bernabeu hit by local court ruling

Real Madrid's project to remodel the Bernabeu has suffered a serious blow after a local court ruled that the development was outside the Spanish capital's planning regulations.

The remodelling, announced at the club's 2012 AGM, includes a futuristic new 'skin' design and a new commercial and hotel complex between the stadium and the nearby tree-lined Paseo de la Castellana.

Work had originally been due to begin in 2015, with the revamped stadium intended to be fully completed by 2017.

However, the project has been subject to a number of hitches including a European Commission investigation into potential illegal state aid in the form of a land-swap with the local council.

That swap involved the club exchanging a parcel of land outside the city centre for a smaller piece beside the existing stadium footprint.

Nevertheless, last October president Florentino Perez announced that the Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company were to provide funding for the project.

A month later, he was caught on camera suggesting the stadium could be renamed the Cepsa Bernabeu, with more recent reports suggesting the Abu Dhabi Bernabeu was another option.

But the plans now appear to be up in the air again after a Madrid court cancelled a 2012 change to the city's urban plan, which is necessary for the Bernabeu redevelopment to take place and has been challenged by local environmentalists.

In a statement on their official website, Madrid acknowledged that was a setback.

"The High Court of Madrid has overturned the agreement from Nov. 15 2012... which approved the specific modification of the Madrid General Development Plan, a decision that affects the Santiago Bernabeu," the statement said.

"Following this ruling, Real Madrid will work with the city council and the community of Madrid to address those aspects that require attention in order to make the Santiago Bernabeu reform project viable."

However, AS said it believed the project may now be off, writing: "Goodbye New Bernabeu."

But some reports have claimed Perez has a Plan B involving the construction of a new stadium on the outskirts of Madrid, close to the club's Valdebebas training ground.