Lewisham Council has appointed an independent expert to look at Millwall FC’s regeneration proposals after meeting with club officials at The Den on April 13, write Alex Yeates…
The council will also consider the “potential for a negotiated settlement between the relevant parties locally” after the club emphasised it should be involved with plans for the project.
Cabinet members met Millwall’s chief executive Andy Ambler, chairman John Berylson and Steve Bradshaw of the Millwall Community Trust, as well as developers and stakeholders, after a petition opposing property developers Renewal’s plans gathered over 18,000 signatures.
A Lewisham Council spokesman said: “They [cabinet members] listened to all points of view about how the area could benefit from major redevelopment, the club’s needs into the future, and the importance of community-based sports provision for young people.
“The Council are pleased that there is so much enthusiasm for change and regeneration.”
Concerns have been raised over Renewal’s plans for land around The Den as they have not undertaken a project this size before and are not obliged to complete it if the land is purchased by compulsory order.
Mr Berylson said: “The opportunity to speak directly to cabinet members regarding our plans for the regeneration was an incredibly important step.
“It is vital that we fully participate in the regeneration of the local area and Wednesday’s meeting was a platform for us to reiterate how dependent our involvement would be in terms of Millwall Football Club’s future financial stability.
“All we have ever asked is for Millwall to be allowed to play a part in this important and much needed regeneration and not to be left on the sidelines as a reluctant spectator.”
Millwall FC submitted their own £140m plans in 2013 to build 400 homes, artist workshops, student accommodation and the safeguarding of their community centre.
Renewal’s plans are set to create 2,400 homes, a £42m sports complex, a multi-faith centre, a hotel, medical facilities, a conference centre and a new Overground train station.
Renewal were approached for comment.