Having read the article more thoroughly, I don't understand their arguments.
Why wouldn't ANY route through the stadium along the river be preferable to going AROUND it? Ive never been there, but it seems obvious that creating a viable route for pedestrian traffic along the river instead of having to negotiate the majority of the perimeter of the ground AWAY from it would be better.
A 1972-era stand being replaced by a modern structure of ANY size would also seemingly be preferable. Is the current Riverside Stand really that "charming." Again, I've never been, but it doesn't really appear to be.
"Charm" will not keep the team in the Premier League, only results will. And the results will not continue if we don't improve the ground as needed to keep fans happy and generate adequate revenue. I seriously doubt that the plan as proposed would damage the park as much as they suggest it would. In fact, the expansion may increase attention to and draw more people to the park. Is that bad?
The same should be true for the proposed cafes. Who wouldn't want to enjoy a bite and a swig next to a park? You could walk off dessert through it afterwards.
I hope the local authorities don't allow many of these arguments to delay the project. The pros would seem to outweigh the cons...by a substantial margin.
"You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi