South London based football club Dulwich Hamlet FC have been given the go-ahead to build a new 4,000 capacity stadium.
The National League South club and Meadow Residential received approval to build the new stadium and 219 homes from the Southwark Council Planning Committee
At a five-hour meeting, two members voted against, one abstained, and five voted for the plans, which include the 4,000-capacity stadium and clubhouse, 219 homes, a kickabout area, and 3G pitch.
Developers Meadow Residential have secured planning permission for their scheme to build on the existing Champion Hill pitch and move the club to the next door Green Dale open space.
The decision by the council will secure the club’s immediate and long-term future at a new and secure home in East Dulwich. The club said in a statement:
The club would like to thank all members of the Planning Committee for their diligent assessment of the application and all the council officers who have worked so hard with the club to bring this development to fruition.
The report on the plans stated the “application should only be granted on condition that children from the local state schools, including theirs, have reasonable, free and regular access during term-time to the football pitch and other sports facilities, including the gym”.
Objectors to the proposed development fear that schools will be charged high fees to access the facilities.
Manager Gavin Rose said:
Everyone at the club has worked hard to do this. In 125 years’ we won’t be around but at least we’ve got peace of mind that the football club will be around. That’s never been certain over the last few years – whether the club is going to fold. It’s been under threat ever since I’ve been here.
It’s something we have got on with and normalised it but when you step away most clubs don’t operate with that kind of threat. It’s been a long journey to get things looking up. This will serve the community – not just the first team but down to kids who are aged five. It’s not just football – we’ll be able to encompass other sports. It’s massive for the club but more so the community.
Everyone knows we’re a community-based club and it will give us a chance for a lot of outreach – and in an area that needs it.