These questions relate to the proposed redevelopment and planning application appeals that were due to take place in December 2017. Meadow Residential withdrew their appeals in October 2017 following their failure to get Southwark Council to provide a new lease on Greendale to DHFC. We have left these questions and answers on here for reference.
When is the Appeal taking place?
The Appeal would have taken place in December 2017 at Southwark Council’s offices in Tooley Street.
Do you recommend we support the appeal for the application to remove the restrictions imposed by S.106?
DHST wrote to Southwark Council regarding the application to vary the S106 in November. We understand that it is the applicant’s intention that these variations only become implementable following the signing of a new s106 agreement linked to application 16/AP/1232. However, if the obligations linked to the 1990 agreement are removed prior to a new ground being built, there is a significant risk to the club and recreational land use as the current ground could be lost to a different land use without adequate re-provision of a new stadium.
As such, we would ask fans to support the developer’s appeal on the amendments to the S106 agreement, but to make clear that this should only be done to with additional wording inserted to prevent the removal of these obligations until Practical Completion of a new stadium has been achieved. This would be in line with both the Council’s Strategic Policy 4 within Southwark’s Core Strategy, would support the broader ambitions of the London Plan and crucially, align to applicant’s phasing of development as applied for in 16/AP/1232 and noted in the Heads of Terms for the new s106 agreement (para 6.155 of the Planning Statement dated March 2016).
Should we continue to support any applications before Meadow Residential confirm that the MOU with Hadley will be honoured?
We have re-signed the MOU with Meadow Residential to our satisfaction. The commitments on fan transferring the Club into fan ownership remain.
Do you recommend we support the planning proposal without any concession on the required level of affordable housing?
We’d favour as much affordable housing as is viable, particularly as many of our members are affected by the shortage in supply of affordable housing. This will ultimately be a matter for negotiation between Meadow and Southwark Council. We understand that Meadow is willing to increase the level of affordable housing. This would require an increased massing to the scheme – something which has been supported by the GLA design panel – but is currently not supported by the Council.
The DHST January 2017 Board meeting Minutes touch on many points which are critical to the future of our club and also confirm that answers have not been forthcoming. Are you recommending that we provide unconditional support to the planning application before those answers or assurances are provided?
Since the last Board meeting, we have had been able to access an overview of the financial accounts, which confirm the losses the Club is facing under its current structure. We are now in a position where we can put together a business plan which is a key element of any transition to fan ownership. Providing support to the stadium is a critical part of securing the future of our football club. The Trust remains an entity that seeks the best for the Club and its supporters and we will continue to push for information to any unanswered questions.
Not supporting the redevelopment could seriously jeopardise the future of the football club and expose the club to serious risks. The opportunity of protecting the future of the club via fan ownership will also be seriously dented.
The proposed plans would build on Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), so why are we supporting the plans?
We agree that open space is a vital component of good health and quality of life in London. We are supporters of the protection of open space. The proposed new ground will be almost entirely based on the concrete based astroturf pitch and the west end of the current ground. The minimal open space that is being claimed is being largely replaced in other areas. The benefits of building a state of the art multi use community facility, not to mention much needed homes, far outweighs the loss of open space that is proposed, (which is not technically even publicly accessible land at present.)
How did DHST decide to support the plans?
The DHST Board remained neutral on the plans until the proposals had been submitted and validated by Southwark Council. Over the last two years, we actively worked in the background with Hadley Property Group (previous managers of the scheme) and Meadow Residential to secure the best solution for our Football Club AND the local community. We then polled members of the DHST in late April/May 2016 to on whether our members thought DHST should back the plans. An overwhelming 94% of those polled agreed that DHST should back the plans. Our views are therefore clearly representative of one of, if not the largest, community groups in the local area.
What was turnout and other details of the poll?
- Total members (as of 26 April 2016 – poll cut-off date) – 235
- Total valid members to vote (i.e. excluding under 18s) – 226
- Turnout – 122 (54%)
- Votes in favour – 115 (94%), votes against – 7 (6%).