Millwall FC and New Bermondsey CPO Halted pending ‘investigation’

The reconsideration of the New Bermondsey Compulsory Purchase Order around Millwall Football Club by Lewisham Council was suddenly delayed pending “an investigation” after a new document was discovered. The hearing expected at Lewisham Town Hall this evening – 28th September – was halted by the new revelations. At the meeting scrutiny Chair Councillor Alan Hall said that the referral contained concerns about damage to the Council’s reputation and this seems very prescient now.

Councillor Alan Hall said: “The Compulsory Purchase Order decision would have been in place now if scrutiny Councillors had not referred this matter back to the Cabinet. The discovery of a new document that is serious enough to halt the democratic process needs to be explained fully and no further action on the CPO can proceed until then.”

The statement issued by Lewisham Council reads:

I am writing to you about the reconsideration of the decision made on 7th September to use the Council’s CPO powers in relation to the New Bermondsey site, which is scheduled to be discussed at the meeting of Mayor and Cabinet this evening.

I am informed that Council officers yesterday received a copy of a document which is now the subject of external investigation. Depending on the outcome of that investigation, the document may be referred to other authorities. In reconsidering this matter, the Council needs to be satisfied as to the veracity or otherwise of the document, and any potential impact it may have. Because of the ongoing investigation it is not possible to complete the reconsideration of the decision made on 7th September this evening. Therefore it is not anticipated that there will be any submissions made to the Mayor and Cabinet this evening. The Mayor and Cabinet will be asked to agree that further reconsideration of the matter be adjourned to a future meeting. Notice of the meeting at which this matter will be reconsidered again will be given at the appropriate time.

 The full report to the council of the call in is here:

 Media coverage in The Guardian is here, here and here
Evening Standard report is here
South London Press is here
Newsshopper report is here