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Millwall Football Club 'to fight' compulsory purchase order

Millwall FC stadium
Image caption The Den will not be altered but land around the stadium is part of the regeneration scheme

Millwall Football Club said it "will fight like Lions" after Lewisham Council voted to sell land surrounding its stadium to property developers.

The New Bermondsey development will see the creation of 2,400 homes, community facilities and a new overground station around The Den.

Chairman John Berylson said the club had its own building plans and is "not going to give in".

Lewisham's cabinet voted 6-1 to approve the compulsory purchase order (CPO).

The cabinet was recommended to back the decision.

About 80 businesses, including Millwall, are based in the area where the scheme is planned.

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Image caption Gary Lineker tweeted his support for the club
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Image caption Labour deputy leader called for further discussions

The New Den stadium will not be altered but other land used by the club, including a car park and the Millwall Community Trust, would be taken over by developers.

The club had put forward its own proposals for the land, which it said would "protect the long-term future of this club".

Millwall's chairman said the decision was "akin to dropping two divisions" and accused Renewal of "point black refusing to work with us".

"This will now be a long process before our land can be taken. And it can still be stopped," Mr Berylson said.

Artist Willow Winston, who will lose her workshop under the current plans, said that while she welcomed the regeneration, the developers "wish to destroy everything here".

"You can't just wash out the history of an area and the people who live in the area", she said.

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Image caption About 80 businesses are currently based in the area around The Den
Image copyright Renewal
Image caption The New Bermondsey scheme, as shown in development literature, would include a new hotel and a health complex

Jordana Malik, director at Renewal, called the vote "an important step forward" for New Bermondsey which will lead to the creation of 2,000 jobs.

She said the company would "strive to continue discussions with the remaining land owners," including Millwall.

"Renewal's vision from the outset was to incorporate a successful, self-sustaining football club at the heart of the proposed development," she said.

Image caption The club's car park would be taken over by developers under the order

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