Date: 25th January 2017 at 8:39pm
Written by:

The ongoing concern for Millwall over the compulsory purchase of land around The Den is now over after Lewisham Council abandoned the controversial plan.

The history and long standing arguments raised by the club about how the plans would seriously jeopardise the future of the club have laid out numerous times and following recent developments the Council have now abandoned the plan and will now not proceed with the forced buy up order.

The BBC carried a statement yesterday evening from the Council after it came to its decision and that read.

‘The council is not now proceeding with any compulsory purchase order on New Bermondsey. Any decision that the Council may take in the future will be a wholly new decision.’

This announcement of the shelving of the plans comes a day after the Council had announced an independent review of the financial claims made by Surrey Canal Sports Foundation.

The investigation I believe came on the back of a Guardian report which stated that the Foundation had been awarded taxpayer money for the plan on the back of misleading claims.

Mainly the claim that a £2million grant to help fund the £40million project from Sport England hadn’t actually been awarded according to Sport England themselves as the application had been withdrawn back in 2013, but in the belief that it had a further £500,000 from the Council had been promised.

The Council have now called for a ‘period of calm reflection’ where they will speak to Millwall, the Community Trust and others affected by the plans for a compulsory purchase order ‘to fully understand their concerns’ before any future decisions are made on the redevelopment of the area, but Mayor Sir Steve Bullock who also serves as a trustee to the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation had earlier called on the process to stop and said that the club itself should be ‘at the heart of the development’.

‘The compulsory purchase order should not proceed and all parties concerned should enter discussions to identify an agreed way to achieve the regeneration of this area while resolving these concerns.’

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