The Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, has said a “new vision” has been agreed for the redevelopment of land around Millwall’s stadium, with the plans set to meet the football club’s vision to secure a place in the English Premier League.
London-based Championship club Millwall has been embroiled in a dispute in recent years over the future of its current home, The Den. This was lifted back in October after a deal was reached to terminate a conditional land sale agreement for an area surrounding its stadium.
Millwall has played at its current 20,000-seat home in Bermondsey since 1993, but in recent years has been faced with the prospect of potentially moving as far afield as Kent. This was due to an agreement concluded in December 2013 between Lewisham Council and development company Renewal for the sale of the freeholds of the land adjoining Millwall’s stadium.
The agreement effectively inhibited Millwall from proceeding with its plans for the development of the land it leases. However, after an 18-month period of what it described as “intensive collaboration” between itself, Millwall and Renewal, the Council in October said the latter had agreed a new approach to enable their sites to go forward for housing and other development.
Local newspaper Southwark News has now reported a new plan has been adopted by Lewisham Council, with objectives including facilitating “the future aspirations of Millwall Football Club at the heart of the site.”
The plan adds: “Millwall Football Stadium will be enhanced and expanded to accommodate a larger crowd as the club seeks promotion to the English Premier League. The stadium will sit proudly at the heart of the Development Area welcoming visitors every day to new up to date conferencing and banqueting facilities.”
Egan said: “Following positive discussions with Millwall FC and Renewal, we have agreed a new vision for the area around Millwall at Mayor and Cabinet tonight. Local residents can now have their say on Renewal’s plans to deliver new homes and new jobs.”
Proposals for 3,500 new homes, a new train station and indoor sports centre are also included in the plans, which are set to be showcased at a public exhibition on February 11 and 16.
Commenting on the news, Millwall said in a statement: “The conditional land sale agreement has been an obstacle to progress in the development of the Surrey Canal Triangle because it has hampered Millwall’s preparation of plans for the land around the stadium. Millwall Football Club is delighted that the land sale agreement is terminated.
“This opens the way for an urban regeneration project that can transform for the good this community. We look forward now to agreeing a new lease with Lewisham Council which enables us to develop new plans for the football club, its stadium, the adjoining land, our Community Trust and, ultimately, the whole community.”
Image: Millwall FC