Southwark Council has published the result of their survey on Greendale fields (the area of land behind Champion Hill). We are pleased that nearly half of respondents want better sporting facilities on the land, and that Dulwich Hamlet and football are the priority for this. This is fully in line with Southwark Council’s own objectives in its “open space” strategy. We are also pleased that the report says liaison with the owners of Champion Hill stadium is now underway.
However, we are perplexed as to how the Council came to its conclusions at the end of the report (page 7) that “wildlife and ecology of the site is the most important aspect of the site” when this comes after the facilities for football and Dulwich Hamlet in the survey. The report continues that requests have been made for “modest” sports facilities, but scale is not mentioned in the report, so it’s confusing as to how this description has been added to the conclusions for the consultation.
We believe that there is ample space and opportunity to deliver a redevelopment on Greendale that meets the interests of all local residents, Dulwich Hamlet supporters and the wider community. It is quite possible to provide a park that supports wildlife habitats alongside an ecologically sustainable football ground that will allow the club to meet the requirements of higher leagues when the team is promoted. This would be clearly apparent if the Council and Hadley Property group were to cooperate and publish consolidated designs for Greendale Fields and Champion Hill.
The second and final public consultation will be held at Dog Kennel Hill Open Space on Saturday 27 September 2014 from 11am to 3pm, where you can view the updated design and discuss the project with council officers. Dulwich Hamlet does not have a game on Saturday, so we encourage ALL supporters to attend this consultation. It is critical that the officers feel the weight and strength of support for the club. We must demonstrate that the recent growth in support for the club, exemplified by the record breaking crowd of over 2800 on 6 September, is duly recognised and supported by the Council.
When meeting officials, we suggest that you ask Southwark Council to:
- acknowledge the importance of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club;
- recognise the benefits of keeping such a strong community club in the local area; and
- cooperate with Hadley Property Group to deliver designs that are in the best interests of the fans, local residents and the wider community.