Dulwich Hamlet to attend new stadium council meeting
DULWICH HAMLET chairman Ben Clasper says he has meetings with Southwark Council today concerning the club’s new stadium, which is critical to the long-term future of the club.
The National League South club have arranged a fans’ forum at Champion Hill on Tuesday 10 December at 19:00.
“Firstly, thank you for your ongoing support for our club during the first half of the season and I am pleased to announce that the club is preparing two events now that we have completed a full year back at Champion Hill which gives us the evidence we need to plan the longer- term future for the club,” the chairman said in a statement.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to provide as much information to you all we will be hosting another fan forum where we will answer any questions on the club and the planning application for the new stadium.
“We will also be announcing a date for an AGM for shareholders as soon as we have a full year of financial reports to present and will provide at least 14 days’ notice to shareholders to enable as many as possible to attend.
“Before these meetings, I thought it would be helpful to give you an update on where we are regarding the planning application for the new stadium as there are deadlines that fall this month which are critical to the long-term future of the football club.
“Many of you have expressed concern about the expiration of the period for determination by the council in October and whilst we had hoped for a decision by then the planning application has made good progress and we are confident that there are no major planning issues that should prevent this going to committee in the near future. We hope to have a date secured for the new year as soon as possible and will keep you updated.
“There are two issues that are now time critical and do place the club at risk and we are working on addressing those. The agreements with Meadow and the council secured our position at Champion Hill to the end of this season and whilst there are provisions in place to extend for further seasons those of you who have read the agreement will know the council does have the option to terminate in the event progress is not made on the delivery of the new 3G pitch and so our position is technically at risk as a result of the delay with the planning application. We have raised this with the council and are hopeful that they will agree that the delay has been outside of our control.
“The second issue is our requirement to demonstrate we have security of tenure at Champion Hill to ensure the football authorities will approve our license to continue playing and so it is imperative all parties work quickly towards ensuring the club is protected for the 2020/21 season.
“Those of you who attended the previous meeting will know that Meadow have already offered a 125-year lease to the club for the section of their land on which the new stadium will be located but we are still in discussions with the council on their approach to matching Meadow in line with the agreement of October 2018 negotiated with the help of Tracey Crouch MP, Helen Hayes MP and Harriet Harman MP and this issue will need to be resolved for the application to progress.
“We have a meeting with the council on that subject today and so hope to come to the fan forum meeting a week later with an update on whether we believe we have a path to the agreement on the land required to allow us to progress to a planning committee after which we can give the assurances to the football authorities within their respective timelines.
“As always, the club continues to work closely with the Supporters’ Trust and would like to express our thanks for their help and support. On behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank you for your support and active interest in the future of club and hope to see as many of you as possible at the fan forum meeting.”
Visit Dulwich Hamlet’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/dulwichhamlet