What’s the story?
Lewisham Council has decided to issue compulsory purchase orders for land around the Den, home of Millwall, as part of a regeneration project called New Bermondsey. They need the last 10% to complete their jigsaw and say that Millwall FC’s needs will be met with enhanced facilities.
Sounds like a plan. What’s the problem?
Millwall. And not in the usual way Millwall FC causes problem. If they lose the land around the stadium – which they currently rent – they could lose some basic functionality of the club.
Have Millwall told Lewisham Council this?
Yes. They have made strenuous efforts to keep the land for the club, including offering a higher price and coming up with their own regeneration scheme to rival that of Renewal.
The developer which, reportedly, is ultimately controlled by anonymous offshore companies which will, no doubt, do very well from the creation of 2,400 homes. Residents complain that the council's independence has become compromised by the Renewal initiative.
What does Lewisham Council say?
“The New Bermondsey regeneration has the potential to deliver huge benefits for Lewisham and wider region which is why this decision was taken. The scheme would deliver 2,400 desperately needed new homes, a new Overground station, new sports facilities and up to 1,500 new permanent jobs.”
What does Renewal say?
“Renewal has always been committed to working with Millwall Football Club, and appreciate they are an important part of the culture and community of the local area. We look forward to receiving firm proposals from them and trying to find a financial solution that helps safeguard the future of the club and allows Renewal to proceed with the long awaited delivery of much needed homes and jobs.”
What does Millwall FC say?
Chairman John Berylson said: “We are not going to give in. We will fight like Lions to protect the long-term future of this club and the Millwall Community Trust. Long after the builders, cranes and property developers have left New Bermondsey , we will still be here.”
What happens next?
There is likely to be a public inquiry next year before final approval is reached and Millwall is gearing up to fight the decision.
Read more Why Millwall need their fighting spirit