The new homes proposed as part of the Dulwich Hamlet Stadium transformation could now end up including 35 per cent at an ‘affordable rent’, and a larger development, writes Kirsty Purnell…
If Southwark Council gives the proposals the go-ahead, developers Greendale Property Development will rebuild a new stadium on nearby Green Dale Fields, and replace the current stadium site with more than 155 new homes.
Previously, Greendale had stated that it would be “unviable” to meet the council’s target of offering at least 35 per cent of the homes at affordable rents due to the high level of investment (£5m) needed for the stadium itself.
However, Meadow Residential, which jointly owns Greendale Property Company, appears to have bowed to pressure this week with an announcement that it is “reconsidering” its original proposals.
“Concerns about the level of affordable housing were raised in June by the Greater London Authority and at that time the Mayor of London requested that it should be increased,” said a spokesperson.
“Meadow Residential remains fully committed to the redevelopment of the Dulwich Hamlet ground and hopes that a long-term solution to the football club’s financial deficit can be found at the earliest opportunity. As a result, consideration is being given to a revised, slightly larger, scheme with 35 per cent affordable housing,” they said.
A spokesperson for Meadow Residential that the size of the development would have to increase, with more flats built, in order to improve the ratio of affordable housing. But whether this will mean building an extra storey or increasing the footprint of the building will later be confirmed with an amendment to the planning application.
Although the proposals for a new stadium have been met with overwhelming support from Dulwich Hamlet fans, there has been dogged opposition from councillors and residents about the building on Green Dale Fields – which is a protected space.
Their planning application has been sitting with Southwark Council since April last year. Greendale was dealt a blow in December when Southwark Council refused to remove protections from Green Dale Fields.
Liberal Democrat Councillor for East Dulwich, James Barber, told the News: “I’m against any development on green, open space. They’re taking a punt that they’ll get away with it and if they do, it will be an appalling precedent that open space is up for grabs. The population of London is growing and will continue to do so. This means we need more green open spaces, not less.”
Meadow Residential also applied in December to the government’s planning inspector for an appeal against Southwark Council, for the length of time the authority has taken to confirm when planning permission will be decided. The department of Communities and Local Government is yet to confirm whether the appeal will be upheld.