Monday 04th July 2005

Surrey Docks return for Fish



Ryman League Premier Division newcomers Fisher Athletic's return to the Surrey Docks Stadium could happen as early as next year if plans are approved for a housing development and stadium refurbishment.

But Southwark planning committee will on Tuesday consider the £30million scheme for 100 houses, five shops and a club gym on the site.

The club won promotion to the Ryman Premier last season while sharing Dulwich Hamlet's Champion Hill ground because of ongoing building work at their own home.

Town Hall officials have already recommended the project be approved, provided club chairman Sam Muduroglu agrees that if the shop units are not filled, they will also be turned into homes.

If the plan is agreed, building could start within three months and then be complete in about two years' time, although Fisher might be back playing at the improved ground in just a year's time.

Club officials have already given presentations to local groups, including Canada Water Residents Forum.

"They highlighted one or two issues which we have tried to reassure them about," said Muduroglu.

"That shows we are taking their concerns seriously.

"We have already halved the number of homes and are looking to come to an agreement with the council on the cladding materials we are going to use.

"I hope councillors will be receptive to the changes we have made.

"At the moment the gym could only be used on a limited basis but it would be nice to make it a little larger so community groups might be able to have access.

"The only objections there have been so far are not the sort of things which would be part of a planning discussion."