8 January 2017
Lewisham Green Party has long supported the right of Millwall Football Club to occupy their historic ground in the borough and we oppose attempts by Lewisham Council to force a Compulsory Purchase Order on the Club that threatens this right.
The Den is a focal point both for the Club's fans and for wider community cohesion. Uprooting the Club would have drastic social and environmental consequences, such as forcing supporters to travel long-distances to enjoy home games. The London Borough of Lewisham deserves and needs to maintain a nationally successful sporting presence such as the home of Millwall FC.
Previous Lewisham Green Party councillor and ex-London Assembly member Darren Johnson lobbied the Mayor of Lewisham to address specific complaints around the exclusion of Millwall from the Surrey Canal Triangle regeneration, and the proposal to force Millwall FC to sell land to private developer Renewal Limited. Current Green Party Councillor for Brockley ward, John Coughlin said:
"It is beyond the pale that a Labour-controlled council should give the appearance of collusion with a for-profit developer over the needs of local community organisations that benefit the people of the area, and bring a wider benefit to all residents of the borough"
Councillor Coughlin added that "Lewisham Greens are also deeply concerned that the deal is not securing any affordable or social housing for local people when that is so desperately needed. Indeed, it is not at all clear how the local community is going to benefit at all from this massive scheme, particularly if homes are going to marketed immediately to overseas investors again. This is a lost opportunity to provide essential social housing, affordable workspace for local businesses and charities, and strengthen our community and cultural assets for the long-term benefit of Lewisham residents".
Lewisham Green Party intends to mount a strongly critical presence at the Council's meeting to approve these plans on Wednesday, and we support Millwall FC's fight against the Compulsory Purchase Order.