*LATEST NEWS – FEBRUARY 2018*
Following the decision of the Central London County Court to decide in favour of Southwark Council in the Greendale lease renewal hearing, Meadow Residential opted to withdraw their planning appeals and all future financial support and management to the Football Club.
As it stands, Meadow Residential maintain they want to redevelop the site but there has been little progress with Southwark Council on a way forward which suits all parties. We also understand that Meadow are actively looking to sell the site however despite at least one bid being made this has not materialised in anything yet.
Southwark Council did not make a decision on the planning application to redevelop Champion Hill. Meadow Residential (the owners of Champion Hill) appealed against the failure of the Council to make a decision within the statutory time period and referred the case to the Planning Inspectorate.
The appeals were due to take place from 12 December 2017 at Southwark Council’s offices in Tooley Street, London. The Appeals would have seen both the main planning application and the application to vary the existing Section 106 agreement heard. The Trust was due to be present at the Appeal as a third party witness.
Below were our key points for supporters to draw upon when writing to the Planning Inspectorate to support the appeal. We have left them here as a reference to the key points we have put forward.
You can read the Trust’s formal response to the Appeal here
About the Trust’s case for supporting the application:
- DHST is one of the largest, most demographically representative community groups in East Dulwich – over 270 members with 2/3 based in Southwark. We reached a decision based on a fair and democratic vote which returned overwhelming support (94%) for the plans.
- DHST has informed a number of key changes to the stadium. The latest of which made earlier in 2017 make a significant improvement on the design of the stadium.
The key points that DHST has put forward in the response:
- The plans clearly align with the Key Themes and Strategic Policies within Southwark’s Core Strategy 2011, in particular Strategic Policy 4 (Places for learning, enjoyment and healthy lifestyles).
- The Plans satisfy the policy tests in Policy 7.17 of the London Plan 2016 as development should be considered appropriate in supporting the general openness of the land.
- There are no valid grounds to refuse the application on the loss of open space alone as the proposal meets the very special circumstances for developing on open space as defined by the National Planning Policy Framework.
- Balance must be reached to allow both the preservation of open space and the development. The sensitive design, coupled with its wider community benefit, plus the need for housing far outweighs the insignificant loss of open space.
- Paragraph 5.44 of the Southwark Plan, notes specifically a desire to develop a network of inclusive, diverse and flexible community spaces and makes reference to sport centres, community halls and places of worship. The proposed stadium provides an important sporting and social function that is unique in both Dulwich and the wider Southwark area. Champion Hill stadium provides a standard of facilities that may accommodate a team close to the top of the non-professional game – there is currently no other comparable facility in Southwark.
- The Club serves a major community need, hosting Sunday services for church groups, half-term holiday clubs and private lets for events such as wedding receptions and birthday parties.
- The proposed redevelopment of Champion Hill offers the best chance to secure the long term sustainability of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club. If the application is approved, then Meadow Residential are committed to putting the Club into fan ownership. It puts the club in the hands of those who love it, and have its best interests at heart – the fans.