Millwall said it “warmly welcomes” Lewisham council’s announcement that it will scrap a conditional land sale agreement after almost six years of uncertainty around the future of The Den.
Millwall faced the threat of having to leave its home if three pieces of land around the stadium were sold to the property developer Renewal.
But constructive talks over the last year-and-a-half led to Thursday evening’s announcement by the council and relief for the club and Lions supporters.
Millwall can now proceed with their own development plans for the land around The Den, as well as the stadium itself.
Renewal has been accumulating its own land as part of the ‘New Bermondsey’ regeneration scheme and will develop those areas separately.
A council statement read: “Following a period of intensive collaboration over the past eighteen months, Lewisham Council, Millwall Football Club and the development company, Renewal, have agreed a new approach to enable their sites to go forward for housing and other development.
“The previous plan had included a potential compulsory purchase order to develop part of a site currently leased by Millwall Football Club. Following months of negotiation facilitated by the Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, the previous Conditional Land Sale Agreement will now be terminated.
“Plans which involve building on leasehold land are now being revised.
“This paves the way for an increase in much-needed social housing for Lewisham residents and retains the Millwall stadium.”
Millwall added it “warmly welcomes the announcement by Lewisham Council that it will terminate the conditional land sale agreement that exists between the Council and Renewal.
“This agreement was concluded in December 2013 and provided for the sale by Lewisham to Renewal of the freeholds of the land adjoining Millwall’s stadium. The agreement in effect inhibited Millwall from proceeding with its plans for the development of the land it leases.
“Millwall equally welcomes the announcement by Lewisham Council that the leases owned by the football club and its community scheme will be varied to allow Millwall to prepare development plans for the land around The Den.
Lewisham mayor Damien Egan thanked Millwall and Renewal following successful discussions.
He said: “I am delighted that we have all agreed a way forward to allow much-needed development on this site and would like to thank Millwall Football Club and Renewal for their positive approach throughout the process.
“The project will bring new housing, including social housing, jobs and a new train station to an area currently under-resourced. Over the past year, positive and constructive talks have been taking place between the Council, Renewal and Millwall Football Club to agree a way forward.
“This week, I updated councillors on these discussions and next steps. This includes bringing a report to Mayor and Cabinet next week seeking approval to terminate the Conditional Land Sale Agreement and Compulsory Purchase Order Indemnity Agreement.
“This will then pave the way for community consultation on development of the Surrey Canal Triangle site.”
“The regeneration of the area is an exciting opportunity for Lewisham. Our priority is that it must deliver more social homes, a new train station and have community support.”
Image: Millwall FC