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SBD Global/January 12, 2017/Facilities

Millwall Continues Battle To Remain At Its Current Ground

League One side Millwall was "granted a stay of execution on Tuesday night" in its "battle" to remain at its current ground "following an outcry over plans" which it fears could force the club to move, according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. The "promotion hopefuls" have played at The Den in southeast London since '93. But the club had been "bracing" itself for a vote on Wednesday night by Lewisham Council that "would have forced them to sell the land around their stadium and risk making them homeless." However, the club announced in a statement on Tuesday that the vote had been "put back until next month." Millwall confirmed for the first time last week that it would ­consider relocating to Kent should the compulsory purchase order be approved at the end of a "years-long battle against the council’s plans to award the land -- which includes their car park and home of their community trust -- to a mysterious offshore property developer." The club and its fans had been ­"increasingly resigned" to the CPO being "rubber-stamped" only for it to be blocked by the council's own Overview & Business Scrutiny Panel. That was after "historic -- and, in some cases, ongoing -- links were ­exposed between the Labour-dominated council and the offshore ­developers in question, Renewal" (TELEGRAPH, 1/10). In London, Adam Shergold reported "this latest delay offers the club and the Millwall Community Trust another opportunity to stress the incredible damage the council's plans to sell the land to developer Renewal will have on their work in the local area." A supporter campaign "spearheaded" by the Association of Millwall Supporters has "fought the proposals" and there have been protests at recent home games. More than 27,000 people have signed an online petition against the plans. Millwall CEO Steve Kavanagh and the Community Trust said that "they have repeatedly sought meetings with the council to discuss the implications of the development on the club, but have been rebuffed" (DAILY MAIL, 1/11). The BBC reported Kavanagh said that Millwall "actively" supports regeneration of the area, but the club wants to be "involved in any scheme." Kavanagh: "We are calling for regeneration and development but we don't want to feel we are not important in this. If we are treated in such a manner that this CPO goes through and we are not at the heart of the proposed redevelopment, then we have to consider what we do" (BBC, 1/11).
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