Planning Inspectorate Called in over DHFC Stadium Plans on Protected Green Space
Southwark Council have still not made a decision over the controversial planning application to build flats on the current stadium of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club and build a new stadium on nearby protected green space, Green Dale. The property developers have now called in the Planning Inspectorate to appeal over this tardy non-decision, as well as the council's decision to not allow changes to the Section 106 agreements that protect the current stadium from uses other than leisure and recreation.
The Green Dale Fields have seen off previous planning applications, mainly due to the fact that they are protected as Metropolitan Open Land (MOL). This is the highest level of protection land can have in London, and is on a par with Green Belt.
The plans would see a 4000 capacity stadium built mainly on the current astro turf pitch, which is also MOL. Due to the large size of the pitch though, 2267m2 of grassland would also need to be swallowed up, plus a copse of shrubs and mature trees where hedgehogs have been found. The stadium also requires a high wall to ensure no-one can view the game from outside. This wall would cut off views across the fields and contradicts the London Plan which states that MOL should be protected from “development having an adverse impact on the openness of MOL”.
Vocal Hamlet fans will argue that this development is the only way to secure the future of the club, yet we heard all of the same arguments in 2002 when a similar application was made and rejected by the Planning Inspectorate. No-one wants to see the club go under, but building on a rare piece of green space is not the answer.
Whatever your views, you have until the 7th March to make them known to the Planning Inspectorate via their website: https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?Caseid=3164823&CoID=0