Supporters may have seen today’s press coverage speculating about the future of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club, following a court hearing on Monday this week.
As many supporters will be aware, the proposed redevelopment of Champion Hill includes the construction of a new stadium, whose pitch would be built substantially on the footprint of the existing astroturf pitch on Green Dale.
Green Dale, including the astroturf, was leased to Dulwich Hamlet Football Club Limited (“DHFC Limited” – the company that operates the football side of DHFC’s activities) on a lease which has now expired. The London Borough of Southwark has declined to grant a new lease and DHFC Limited has commenced court proceedings to challenge that decision. The Green Dale lease proceedings are separate from, but obviously closely related to, the planning application for the redevelopment of Champion Hill stadium and the construction of the new stadium on Green Dale. The planning application is due to be determined at an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in December 2017.
A hearing in the Green Dale lease proceedings took place in the Central London County Court on Monday 18 October 2017. At the time of writing, DHST has not had sight of the order made by the court, and a copy has been requested. The following is therefore speculative.
– DHST understands that at Monday’s hearing Southwark applied for, and was granted, an order for “security for costs” against DHFC Limited. This is an order that a claimant (in this case, DHFC Limited) secures a sum of money as a condition for being allowed to continue with its claim.
– This provides protection to a defendant against the risk that the claim against them is unsuccessful, the claimant is ordered to pay the defendant’s costs, and the claimant is unable to do so.
– We understand that the amount of security DHFC Limited has been ordered to provide is £150,000, and that the deadline for doing so is 14 days from Monday’s hearing.
DHST emphasises that until we have seen the court’s order, the above is speculation and should not be relied upon.
DHST will continue to pursue its objective of ensuring that DHFC has a secure, long-term home in East Dulwich and that it is a sustainable, community football club.
We will endeavour to provide our members and other fans with further information as and when we are able to do so.
Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust