Millwall Football Club: Compulsory purchase order abandoned

Millwall New Den stadium
Image caption Millwall Football Club said the sale would put its future in jeopardy

A council has abandoned the controversial compulsory purchase of land around Millwall Football Club.

Lewisham Council had recently postponed finalising a decision over selling the land around the Den in New Bermondsey for redevelopment.

Millwall had said the development could jeopardise the club's future.

The council has now said it will not proceed with the compulsory purchase order. Mayor Sir Steve Bullock had earlier called for the process to stop.

Independent review launched

The Lewisham mayor, who is also a trustee of the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation formed by developer Renewal to oversee a sports complex at the heart of the scheme, said the football club should be "at the heart of the development".

Sir Steve said: "The compulsory purchase order should not proceed and all parties concerned should enter discussions to identify an agreed way to achieve the regeneration of this area while resolving these concerns."

Now the council's cabinet has said: "The council is not now proceeding with any compulsory purchase order on New Bermondsey.

"Any decision that the Council may take in the future will be a wholly new decision."

The announcement comes a day after the council launched an independent review into financial claims made by Surrey Canal Sports Foundation.

'Calm reflection needed'

The Guardian reported the foundation misleadingly said it had secured a £2m grant from Sport England to help towards its plans for a £40m sports village featuring 2,400 homes, community facilities and a new overground station on the land leased by Millwall.

The council had agreed to give a further £500,000 on the basis of the Sport England grant, but Sport England said the £2m had never been awarded.

A Sport England spokesman said it received a funding application from the foundation in 2010 but the application was withdrawn in 2013.

Surrey Canal Sports Foundation is yet to comment.

The council's cabinet said: "A period of calm reflection is needed. We want to speak to Millwall, the Community Trust and the others affected by the (compulsory purchase order) to fully understand their concerns."

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