Millwall chairman urges Lewisham Council to revoke sale agreement with developers

The Den. Pic: Diamond Geezer

The chairman of Millwall Football Club had said the club will not invest money on its development plans until Lewisham Council scrap a conditional land sale agreement for areas surrounding their stadium.

In the event that the land sale agreement is scrapped, it would see the end of a seven-year battle that had raised the prospect of the club being forced out of Bermondsey.

In the match day programme for the FA Cup quarter final encounter with Brighton, which Millwall lost, the club’s chairman, John Berylson, said the club’s board could not agree to spending money on their own plans for the Den and the land surrounding as the agreement with developers Renewal and Lewisham Council is still in place.

He told EastLondonLines: “We are asking our council and Renewal to remove this obstacle, which will demonstrate that we are true partners in these plans and that they are not wasting the club’s time and our money.

“Millwall’s board of directors has approved considerable expenditure to achieve this progress because we retain a vision for the new community that can be created here with our football club at its heart.

“We have always been fans of the regeneration of this area and to play our part, we need to be properly involved – not just spectators on the touchline.”

He said Millwall and their architects will work with Lewisham Council to submit a full planning application, which was initially to be paid by Renewal. They are a private company which deals with the buying and selling of property and estates.

The fee to carry out the planning application will be over £900,000 which falls just short of their club-record signing Ryan Leonard last summer for £990,000.

The council had sought a compulsory purchase order to seize the land surrounding the Den after the club refused to sell. This was abandoned in January 2017.

A Lewisham Council spokesperson said an announcement is to be made in due course.

The three plots would have been given over the Renewal for their use as part of their New Bermondsey regeneration project which is due to cost up to £2 billion.

The conditional sale agreement is still in force between Lewisham and the developer Renewal. This means Lewisham Council can’t enforce the CPO so the process could restart all over again.

A spokesperson for the council told ELL: “We are very encouraged by the joint work that is now taking place between the club, Renewal and council officers. This work includes an objective to remove the CLSA (conditional land sale agreement).

“We are giving careful consideration to the current request for an early withdrawal of the CLSA and we are in active dialogue with the club and Renewal.

The call follows months of debates between Millwall, Renewal and Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham. They currently sit 20th in the Championship with 37 points from 37 games, just one point ahead of the relegation zone.


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