Independent review into Lewisham Council’s controversial Millwall CPO will start in April

Evening Standard
Controversy: Lewisham Council are planning to seize land around The Den: Getty Images
Controversy: Lewisham Council are planning to seize land around The Den: Getty Images

An inquiry set up by Lewisham Council into its controversial plans to seize land around The Den will begin next month.

It is hoped the independent investigation into circumstances surrounding the proposed compulsory purchase order that threatened to evict Millwall from their home will be completed by the end of the year. The inquiry, which will cost up to £500,000 of taxpayers’ money, will be led by Lord John Dyson, the former head of civil judiciary in England and Wales.

Once the investigation is completed the report will be made public.

Lewisham council agreed to an independent review in the wake of a series of revelations about the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation, set up by property developers Renewal to run the sports complex at the heart of the proposed New Bermondsey development.

The inquiry will look into an allegation the council was misled by the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation over claims of a £2million funding agreement from Sport England.

Millwall have said the terms of the investigation are too narrow and should be widened to include why Lewisham council did not allow them to buy the land around The Den.

Lewisham council confirmed the inquiry would start next month in a statement.

It read: “We decided to establish an independent inquiry, and that it should be led by someone independent of all parties involved, with the authority to carry out the review in the rigorous, open-minded and unbiased manner that the public will expect.”

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