Developers Renewal back new mood of compromise on regenerating area around Millwall’s ground

Developers Renewal have confirmed they have been having constructive talks about revamping the decaying area around Millwall’s ground, The Den.
The company had been at loggerheads with the football club, whose chairman John Berylson wants to “futureproof” the Lions’ income with rent from three plots of land it owns around the stadium.
Lewisham council had sought to forcibly buy the three sites and hand them over to Renewal.
But incoming mayor Damien Egan, elected last May, has now got the previously warring parties around the table and the three have now confirmed the talks are progressing.
Jordana Malik, Director of Renewal said: ‘We have been meeting regularly with Millwall FC and the Council over the past eight months and have been greatly encouraged by the progress that has been made. As a result, we have now agreed to incorporate the club’s emerging plans for the stadium and the surrounding land into a revised joint masterplan.”
“The club is currently developing its proposals further and we look forward to more discussions and progress on this over the coming months.
“Renewal, Millwall FC and the London Borough of Lewisham are all in agreement that that the regeneration of New Bermondsey should happen. We remain committed to driving this forward and ensuring that it delivers significant benefits for the local community, the Football Club and the Millwall Community Scheme.”
A statement from Millwall in November, exclusively revealed in the South London Press, said: “Those plans have been driven by two key considerations: the expansion of the business of the football club beyond just the 25 days a year when it hosts matches, and consideration of the requirements of the Premier League which have increased considerably over the past decade.
“Millwall is an ambitious Championship club and, after 25 years at The ‘New’ Den, needs to update and upgrade its facilities.
“Millwall’s advisers are engaging directly with Council officers to discuss planning considerations in more detail.”
Millwall chief executive Steve Kavanagh has had meetings in recent months with Renewal and Egan, plus Lewisham’s Interim Head of Planning, Viv Evans. The council has also hosted a workshop for architects and planners representing MFC and Renewal during which plans were reviewed and discussed.
Kavanagh said in November: “Constructive and productive dialogue has taken place over the past six months and I am pleased with the progress so far. Millwall is an ambitious club and we have exciting and dynamic plans for the stadium and adjoining land which will benefit both the club and the community and will secure a strong and stable future for Millwall in this borough.”
Egan told the South London Press in November: “I want to thank Millwall Football Club and Renewal for what have been very positive and constructive conversations. I am pleased the council has been able to support these discussions so we can work out a way forward.
“I am committed to protecting Millwall Football Club’s future in the borough, building more genuinely affordable homes for local families and a new train station.”