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Football has been played at Dulwich Hamlet since 1893 - the club is in the Isthmian League, but the number of supporters has been falling in recent years and the present stadium, with its three floors in the main stand, has long been a massive financial drain. The current owners have begun a public consultation process to build a new football ground on Greendale (the first presentation was on 19 July), the open area to the west of the stadium which is currently designated as Metropolitan Open Land. The club has a lease for Greendale from Southwark Council until 2015.
The club moved into the present stadium in 1992, following the demolition of the old Champion Hill Stadium – now the site of the Sainsbury’s supermarket. As part of that development a Section 106 Agreement was signed between Southwark Council, J Sainsbury and Kings College London (the then freeholders) to restrict use of the club site to recreational, leisure or educational purposes.
In 2008 Kings’ College, the long standing freeholders, sold the freehold to DHPD Ltd (a property company). In 2010 they made a planning application for 60 flats on the car park (ref 11-AP-2250). The scheme was withdrawn in November 2010 probably because the Council said there was no chance of an approval. A further scheme was submitted in 2011 (ref 11-AP-2280). It was rejected in February 2012 on the grounds that building on Metropolitan Open Land would contravene council policies.
In May 2012, DHPD Ltd. went into administration. The freehold was bought by Hadley Property Group in February 2014 and, shortly afterwards, Hadley took day to control of the club and paid off a significant number of the club’s debts. The firm has made no secret that it is looking to redevelop some or all of the current ground, with the club being moved to more appropriate facilities nearby.
In summary then, there have been two relatively recent planning applications to develop the existing stadium site and move the football ground onto Greendale and they have all been turned down as contravening the Council’s policy on development on MOL. None have been tested at appeal.
Is there anything different about the current proposal other than the implied threat that is the scheme does not go ahead the club will close? The answer is no and, while residents might regret the loss of the football club, the consequences for the surrounding area for allowing development on MOL are very serious. We cannot allow a precedent to be set. The Council needs to stand by its policies and, in fairness, up till now it has done so, and Peter John, the leader of the Council is recently on record as saying that there will be no development on Greendale because it is MOL. Hadley should go elsewhere.
The start date for this work has now been put back to 3 September. No reason has been given for the delay.
The Dulwich Estate and S G Smith held a public consultation meeting on 23 June. Following comments made at the meeting the Society has been told that the scheme is being slightly modified before being submitted for planning approval. There will be an opportunity for all interested parties to write in to the Council planning department during the 21 day consultation period which will follow validation of the planning application.
Voting for the 2014 scheme is under way. Local interest is in the ‘Concrete House’ in Lordship Lane. To vote please go to any Southwark Library and ask for a voting card, fill it in and put in the box – or email either
The section of road between Boxall Road and Dulwich Village will be closed between 21st July and 2nd September as Thames Water upgrades the sewer. Work on the sewer at the other end of the road in support of the Flood Alleviation Project will follow later in September/October.
Following the article in the recent Society Journal about new local schools it has been confirmed that there is another bid being put forward to the Department for Education (DfE) for the secondary school on the proposed Dulwich Community Hospital Site. The target date for the new school opening is 2016 – with the aim of accommodating the increased number of students in the community who are currently in Years 3 and 4. All the main local political parties in Southwark have given their support to the idea. A final decision will be taken later this year.
The Charter School Educational Trust (which runs the Charter School on Red Post Hill) is now planning to bid alongside Haberdashers Aske’s Federation. It will be holding an Open Meeting at 7pm on Thursday 19 June at the United Reform Church on the corner of Melbourne Grove and East Dulwich Grove.
You can support one or both bids by going to the relevant websites:
An exhibition of the final design will be held at the
Community Suite, St Barnabas Church, 40 Calton Avenue,
7:15-9:15pm on Monday 23rd June.
The Dulwich Estate and S G Smith are shortly to submit a planning application for a housing development on this important site in the centre of the Village.
Tenders for the building work were returned this week and a start on site is likely to be made in the late summer - with the pub closing for at least twelve months. Staff have been told that they are to be relocated to the company’s other pubs in the London area.
In conjunction with the Herne Hill Society, the Dulwich Society has put together an interactive map showing WW1 memorials, and other sites, in the area. If you click on ‘WW1 interactive map’ on the left hand column of the website it will take you to it. Click on the tokens on the map and you will see a picture and a short description.
These works have been programmed to take place between 28 July and 12 September. During this period, works will be carried out intensively throughout the day and night. There will be considerable traffic disruption in the area as a result. Members of the public are invited to a meeting to discuss the impact of the works on: Thursday 26 June 2014 at 19:00, St Paul’s Church Hall, Herne Hill
Dulwich residents who attended the Dulwich Community Council meeting last night were very unhappy to hear about the slow progress on the redevelopment of the Dulwich Community Hospital site. The Regional Disposal lead for the NHS Property Company, who are the current owners of the site, told the meeting that his organisation had now gone out to consultation to a GLA panel of developers for advice on the best location on the site for the proposed health facility - with regard to maximising the development potential for the remainder of the site. The meeting was extremely unhappy and reminded him, and officers from the Southwark CCG who were also there, that the site was seen as an asset to the community, and should be used to provide local facilities such as a new school, and not just as a cash cow for housing developers. Both councillors and members of the audience repeatedly asked to see a copy of the brief given to the developers' panel - the response was less than helpful.
Further discussion confirmed that the time scale had still not been determined and that wide public consultation on the future of the site did not appear to feature in the NHS Property Company's programme.
The attitude of the NHS contrasted badly with the following presentation on the proposed Crystal Palace development where extensive public consultation was seen as an important part of the development process.
There is clearly a potential danger that there will be no new community facilities on the site other than the health facility - is this acceptable to residents? Surely not.