Local Liberal Democrats are proud to support Dulwich Hamlet, and will fight alongside fans and residents to ensure that Dulwich Hamlet has a ground and facilities that guarantees its future and reflects the club's ambitions, growing fan base and importance to the local community.
The Liberal Democrats are also determined to secure a long term future for the whole Green Dale area, which will allow local families to make the most of this unique piece of green land in the heart of South Camberwell. Whilst the Liberal Democrats will wait for final proposals from the developers to be released, the party will only support proposals that safeguard the long term future of both Dulwich Hamlet FC and the Metropolitan Open Land at Green Dale.
Dulwich Hamlet Football Club has a long tradition of working closely with the local community since it formed in 1893. It supports young people in this area and provides entertainment and excitement for the thousands of fans who regularly attend home games at Champion Hill stadium.
But Dulwich Hamlet's future is uncertain. The developers who own the club’s current ground are looking at options to sell the ground and build a large number of luxury flats and houses flats on the site. Concerns have been raised by local residents that the plans would mean a new ground for the football club being built on the neighbouring Metropolitan Open Land, which lacks the appropriate access and sufficient space for fans. This risks attendances plummeting from their current level of over 1,000 per game.
Ben Maitland, Liberal Democrat Council Candidate for South Camberwell, said:
"Having seen the power of football transform lives and help unite communities, I am determined to help secure Dulwich Hamlet’s long term future at Champion Hill. The club is a vital part of our community and does a huge amount of work with young people in this area.
"We clearly need to increase the amount of social housing across Southwark, but building luxury flats over our football ground will not help provide the affordable homes we need.
"Sadly, we can't trust our Labour Council not to cave in to developers so it's vital that we fight hard to secure the future of the club so that it can continue to grow and thrive."
James Barber, Liberal Democrat councillor for East Dulwich said:
"It is tragic that the developer who bought the club and ground speculatively is now blackmailing our community over the future of Dulwich Hamlet to prevent us keeping Metropolitan Open Land. It just isn't on."