Hadley Property Group is holding an exhibition at Dulwich Hamlet Football Club to set out their proposed plans for the stadium and other developments on the site. The exhibition times are:
Thursday 25 Feb 4pm – 8pm.
Saturday 27 Feb 11am – 2pm.
For info, here are HPG's last set of proposals from the end of 2014 – it's going to be interesting to see how similar or otherwise the next set of plans are...
> what a disingenuous load of crap, Hadley want to
> make a load of cash by building houses, once
> they've trousered it you wont see them for dust.
"Hadley want to make a load of cash by building houses"
Hadley Property Group is a private limited company whose secretary is Network Secretarial Services Ltd (who also act as directors for, among others, the dormant Dulwich Hamlet Leisure Ltd, Hadley Resources Ltd and Champion Hill Investments Ltd). Hadley Property Group itself has paid up share capital of £1000, has managed to turn in a loss over seven yearxs despite the booming market, and yet still manages to borrow money to keep itself afloat. That might seem odd to those of us in Wonga-land, but looking at the filed charges against it we find a number of companies, including Omni Capital - a provider of 'non-regulated products' (ie. loans) to onshore and offshore clients, charging around 8% above base rate and with one of the Candy brothers as a director - and Collaton Global Ltd, happily registered in the British Virgin Islands. The security put up are shares in, for example, Chelsea Island Developments Ltd, which also has Network Secretarial Services Ltd as its Secretary and, until December, was also in hock to Omni Capital (it's now in hock to a Frankfurt-based investment outfit for its stake in PLJ Chelsea Ltd, a firm which shares at least one director with Hadley Property Group).
The trail gets quite obscure after that, but it looks to me that Hadley is determined to make as little cash as possible and will continue to do so until hell freezes over or a politician turns bluster into action. Whichever is the sooner.
Whatever we all think of property developers I think it is fairly accurate to say that without Hadley there would have been a real possibility of there being no DHFC. I am sure they will make lots of money from their proposals but they are also seeming to be true to their word in trying to leave behind a sustainable football club
unfortunately they have taken a misguided punt on being able to convince the planners to allow them to build on Metropolitan Open Land and are using complete b-----ks language like 'linear park' to try and push through a money making scheme.
They knew the risks before they got into it, lets just hope Southwark arent swayed by such crap and reject it. then Hadley can bugger off and leave a vibrant successful football club to get on with it.
It's not that easy though is it. From what I've read DHFC have been on dodgy ground (literally and financially) for some time. Two things are clear - there is an opportunity to change the current configuration of the facilities to make it more sustainable in the long-term; it's also fair to say that the club is on a real upward curve in terms of attendances and engaging local communities so this is the time to maximise that groundswell of support.
One other thing I'd add is that there is an urgent need for more housing, that is undeniable. Any "affordable housing" will only be built if it's cross-subsidised by private sale - the days of Central govt-funded social housing is over.
I think there's a lot of good in the general proposal, be interesting to see what the overall "local" view is.
there is a reason its metropolitan open land, everyone is always talking about building over open space and what it does to grassroots sport etc. Are you saying that as long as it gives cash to the club then so be it?
Hadley need to go away, realise that the punt isn't going to work and count their losses.
All this nonsense about Hadley helping the club and the community is a smoke screen for brazen property development and they hope that the supporters and community at large will do their bidding for them.
> there is a reason its metropolitan open land,
> everyone is always talking about building over
> open space and what it does to grassroots sport
> etc. Are you saying that as long as it gives cash
> to the club then so be it?
> Hadley need to go away, realise that the punt
> isn't going to work and count their losses.
> All this nonsense about Hadley helping the club
> and the community is a smoke screen for brazen
> property development and they hope that the
> supporters and community at large will do their
> bidding for them.
While I do have a vested interest as I'm a Hamlet supporter, I struggle to see why some people are against the stadium and site proposals - I obviously haven't yet seen the new ones but assume they won't be too dissimilar to the old ones linked above. Looking at these old proposals, the new stadium is pretty much situated where the current artificial football pitches are. I understand that the artificial football pitches (which are in poor condition) are part of the area classified as metropolitan open land but I wouldn't consider them to be a wildlife habitat or parkland, which is probably what a lot of people think when they hear the term. Essentially, by having the artificial football pitches currently there, that part of the metropolitan open land is already built upon. Yes, the proposed stadium does encroach outside of the footprint of the artificial pitches on the north east part but that seems to be negated by a larger chunk on the south west side being turned back into parkland. So there would be a net gain in parkland with the stadium being built.
I know that Southwark Council themselves have proposed their own plans for Green Dale Fields and with their plans they propose to upgrade/improve the artificial football pitches. So it seems that whether it is the Hadley proposal or the Council proposal, the area where the artificial pitches currently are, will remain as 'built-upon' land. It's not as if the Council are planning to get rid of the artificial pitches and turn the whole area back into parkland. With the Council proposal there also does not appear to be any increase in the total amount of parkland made available.
The Hadley proposals also mention improvements to Green Dale Fields and of potentially working with the Council's plans so I would presume Hadley would also pay for some, if not all of the work that would be done on the parkland part of the site. In times of stretched Council budgets this would also be welcome.
Obviously Hadley want to make money from developing the site, but it seems to me it could be a win-win for all parties. Dulwich Hamlet get a new sustainable stadium, which is fit for purpose, new housing is built (some of it being affordable), local community gets better sports facilities, Green Dale Fields parklands are improved, Council (potentially) saves money not having to upgrade parklands themselves, Hadley makes profit.
What's the difference between "brazen property development" and "property development"? There seems to be some issue here with an investor (of whichever sort)looking to make a profit from developing something people actually may need and want (housing, better community facilities, etc). What's the alternative?
Perhaps we should just wait for the 1950s to come back and the State can fund everything we ever needed. Or perhaps not.
Looking forward to seeing what people say at the consultation.
I'm less certain of the plans as I'm both a long-time DHFC supporter and an active member of the Friends of Green Dale. I don't want to say too much now as no-one's yet seen the latest proposals, but here are my own personal responses to a few of PK36's comments above (the Friends of Green Dale will consult its members in detail once Hadley's plans have been seen and digested – as will the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters Trust, of which I'm also a member).
1. The current(poorly maintained) artificial pitch is indeed on Metropolitan Open Land – as are the grass, trees and scrub that surround it. So it would be impossible to build a stadium on the current pitch without swallowing up at least some MOL.
2. The MOL designation is the urban equivalent of green belt and as such any development already in place (in this case the artificial pitch) can only be developed or altered so as to have the same or less impact on the surrounding land. So, for instance, if there is an old pavilion on an area of MOL, you can refurbish or rebuild it. What you can't do is use its footprint to build something substantially bigger and/or different.
3. 'Parkland' in itself cannot make up for the loss of MOL. Moreover, Southwark Council are currently in the process of declaring Green Dale a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation, with particular reference to the fact that it is relatively 'wild' and has not been trimmned, planted or cut. As such it maintains a unique mix of flora and fauna (as well as plenty of dog walkers!) that simply isn't there in a 'park' environment.
4. Although I welcome any developer or council interest in keeping Green Dale an oasis of green tranquillity for people and wildlife, I'm very wary (mainly because of the unique habitat) in seeing too much well-intentioned intervention, so the cost of keeping Green Dale a valuable part of our local environment woould be (and is) relatively cheap compared to parks and other maintained open spaces.
I'm looking forward to seeing Hadley's proposals and I hope we can all have a respectful debate as to the future of the football club, Green Dale fields and the local area. I'd urge everyone to look at what is proposed and make your views known.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2016:02:18:16:15:33 by BrandNewGuy.
Oh, one further point. The current plans might not produce a 'sustainable' stadium for DHFC. Should the club have the good fortune to get promoted into the League (a less distant hope than it has been in the past!), the capacity is insufficient for Football League purposes. What then? More encroachment onto MOL?
> 2. The MOL designation is the urban equivalent of
> green belt and as such any development already in
> place (in this case the artificial pitch) can only
> be developed or altered so as to have the same or
> less impact on the surrounding land. So, for
> instance, if there is an old pavilion on an area
> of MOL, you can refurbish or rebuild it. What you
> can't do is use its footprint to build something
> substantially bigger and/or different.
> 3. 'Parkland' in itself cannot make up for the
> loss of MOL. Moreover, Southwark Council are
> currently in the process of declaring Green Dale a
> Site of Importance to Nature Conservation, with
> particular reference to the fact that it is
> relatively 'wild' and has not been trimmned,
> planted or cut. As such it maintains a unique mix
> of flora and fauna (as well as plenty of dog
> walkers!) that simply isn't there in a 'park'
Thanks for your reply BrandNewGuy - interesting to hear from someone who has a better understanding of the Green Dale site. I've only ever used it as a cut through and always thought it looked pretty unloved and was mainly used by dog walkers. Do you have any idea of the number of people who regularly use Green Dale and for what purpose/s?
Regarding Point 2 - I'm not sure of the history of the site, but I presume the area where the artificial pitches are now must have only been designated as MOL after the pitches were built, as otherwise the fact they were built in the first place would seem to go against the rules/guidelines for MOL.
Regarding Point 3 - it seems strange that Southwark Council are planning to declare Green Dale as a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation with reference to it's 'wild' nature, when their own plans include the creation of a playground, picnic area, pond and also involve the removal of some of the dense scrub in the southwest part.
Regarding the ground not being 'sustainable' due to the possibility of promotion to the football league, I like your positivity, but I think any chance of that is a long, long way off, especially as we are now into the customary Hamlet late season wobble!
I too, look forward to checking out the latest plans and hopefully a solution that suits (almost) everyone can be found.
> Thanks for your reply BrandNewGuy - interesting to
> hear from someone who has a better understanding
> of the Green Dale site. I've only ever used it as
> a cut through and always thought it looked pretty
> unloved and was mainly used by dog walkers. Do you
> have any idea of the number of people who
> regularly use Green Dale and for what purpose/s?
Since Freinds of Green Dale was set up two years ago, we've been amazed how many local people have come forawrd and said how much they love the peace and quiet of Green Dale. Lots of dog walkers, but also people who simply appreciate its peace and quiet – not something you always get in a park. There are also people using it as a cut-through, children exploring (Mother Goose nursery use it for adventure picnics) and birdwatchers watching birds. Here's a little film we made:
> Regarding Point 2 - I'm not sure of the history of
> the site, but I presume the area where the
> artificial pitches are now must have only been
> designated as MOL after the pitches were built, as
> otherwise the fact they were built in the first
> place would seem to go against the
> rules/guidelines for MOL.
I'm not sure of the history of the designation with reference to the creation of the artificial pitch, but it may well be that proper permission wasn't sought.
> Regarding Point 3 - it seems strange that
> Southwark Council are planning to declare Green
> Dale as a Site of Importance to Nature
> Conservation with reference to it's 'wild' nature,
> when their own plans include the creation of a
> playground, picnic area, pond and also involve the
> removal of some of the dense scrub in the
> southwest part.
Watch this space :-) Southwark are yet to finalise any plans for the site, but in conversation with Friends of Green Dale, they accept many of our points about the lack of 'development' being a positive thing for the site, given the amount of play space available locally. Personally, I think Green Dale's unique character as a wild space is something Southwark can be positive about in terms of allowing access to wildlife and so on.
> Regarding the ground not being 'sustainable' due
> to the possibility of promotion to the football
> league, I like your positivity, but I think any
> chance of that is a long, long way off, especially
> as we are now into the customary Hamlet late
> season wobble!
Haha! Yeah, I'm being rosy-tinted
> I too, look forward to checking out the latest
> plans and hopefully a solution that suits (almost)
> everyone can be found.
my point was, MOL is MOL, its our MOL. If DHFC build on it it will no longer be MOL. Do we value that or not?
I have experience in property development, that is why it is so easy to see what Hadley are doing. i dont know enough about the club to say whether they will survive if Hadley retire, my hunch, with the revived fortunes/ attendances of the club is yes.
I just find all the Hadley statements a little galling as its nothing to do with 'space making' it is about building on MOL which is invaluable when there are loads of kids football clubs struggling to find pitches on a Sunday, Charter school is forced to rent a one crappy pitch from St Saviours and St Olaves.
(Before I start, let me note I am a supporter and a regular visitor to Tuscany)
Does anyone know what the operating profit is of the club before any rent or interest?
The acounts available at Companies House are abbreviated and only show that Dulwich Hamlet Football Club Limited made a loss in 2014 of about £26,000. Oddly, the Annual Return for July 2015 still shows Nick McCormack as director and majority owner of the club. I thought Hadley had completed their acquisition by then?
With an average crowd this year of over 1,200 this should be bringing in c. £200,000 (23 matches, £10 entrance, discounted by 25% for concessions). The bar must surely be profitable as well. And there are other income streams attaching to the club and its site. Does anyone know how much the players get paid? Or Gavin Rose?
I'm not interested in profitability after paying rent or other charges to Hadley - these are effectively just shareholder payments. The "market level" of rent for the ground depends on what it can be used for, so to assume that its alternative use is development land, and that therefore rent is high and that therefore the club is not sustainable on the current side, is a circular argument and begs the question. If you were to start the rental valuation by noting that the site can only be used for sporting or social purposes, as per the restrictive covenant, then its rent will be much lower.
It is really important to get these facts straight before considering the redevelopment. Hadley are trying to persuade the council to set aside (1) the Metropolitan Open Land designation and (2) the restrictive covenant on the existing site. If they are successful then Hadley will build probably >100 flats (maybe?) which could be worth over £50m. If at the end of this the club is still not viable then we as a community will have lost out while Hadley makes out.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2016:02:19:17:59:26 by mikeb.
Just a reminder that the exhibition is open today (4pm – 8pm) and Saturday (11am – 2pm). I'll try to find out what material is going to be online and post links here – or take photos and post them up for those people who can't make it along.
It's a shame that the full plans couldn't have been revealed before the spin started, but just to respond to a few points from that article:
"... an unusual 3G pitch".
Well, there are 570 approved 3G pitches in England, so perhaps not that unusual.
"The proposed new stadium will be located slightly to the west of the current ground on a training pitch bordering, though not impeding on, the Greendale Fields."
It's not a training pitch but a poorly maintained astroturf pitch. And it would be impossible for a stadium not to impede on the Metropolitan Open Land of Green Dale because the space between the astroturf and the current stadium boundary is Metropolitan Open Land. What's more, earlier stadium plans showed a certain amount of extra encroachment, but we won't know until the exhibition opens.
"A ‘linear park’ is also being proposed, which would create a green path from the stadium to East Dulwich Stadium."
I presume that's meant to be "East Dulwich Station".
"The under-used Greendale Fields will also be revitalised as part of the project, with Southwark Council and the club’s owners Hadley Property Group working together to reclaim the site. Paths, picnic areas, play zones, meadows, woodlands and a pond will be created or restored, according to the council’s latest proposals outlined in its planning documents."
There is no evidence given that Green Dale is ‘under-used’. It's a well-loved oasis of peace and greenery and as such does not need ‘reclaiming’ and its unique ecology and unspoilt nature would be harmed by it being turned into a park. Accessibility could be improved, but that's a far cry from what seems to be suggested.
"Matt Rimmer, from Hadley Property Group, said: “Dulwich Hamlet has been at Champion Hill for over a century. We are committed to securing a sustainable base for DHFC, to ensure that the club can remain at Champion Hill for the next 100 years and beyond.""
As I've mentioned before, if DHFC have the good fortune to be promoted twice, they'll not be able to go any higher, as currently 3G pitches are not permitted by the Football League. Moreover, under the previously aired plans, the stadium's capacity would likewise not be sufficient for League football, but until we see the designs in detail, who knows...?
"There is no evidence given that Green Dale is ‘under-used’. It's a well-loved oasis of peace and greenery and as such does not need ‘reclaiming’ and its unique ecology and unspoilt nature would be harmed by it being turned into a park."
Really!? I use Greendale a lot and is usually pretty empty, save for the odd person cutting through or more likely taking their dog for a dump. There's also the occasional burnt out stolen scooter to add to the vernacular. Unique ecology is one way of describing it I suppose.
It is a great space, but it needs some serious management (cf DKH woods) to enhance its value to and use by local people and to improve biodiversity. If that's what's planned, while giving DH a sustainable future, then I will be all for it.
If you've been round Green Dale recently, you'll see that there's almost no litter or dog muck. Tidying the place up has done wonders for it and the changes have been welcomed by locals. I know of many dog-walkers who love Green Dale, as well as locals who prefer the calm of Green Dale to a park. And it is used among others by Mother Goose nursery for picnics as well as Newlands Academy (for excluded pupils), who love the open space.
There is unique ecology at Green Dale – more than 40 species of birds have been seen there in the last couple of years and the last survey revealed more than 60 different trees, grasses and flowers. In fact, Southwark Council are in the process of declaring Green Dale to be a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) as they agree with their own ecology report and that of the London Wildlife Trust that it is a valuable space – for wildlife and people.
Yes, accessibility can be improved and minimal management introduced for the trees and grassland. Please pay a visit and see for yourself.
The future of Green Dale and the future of DHFC are not a zero-sum game. I fear the possibility that the developer might use a 'divide and rule' approach, when other plans are possible and can satisfy all parties.
"The future of Green Dale and the future of DHFC are not a zero-sum game. I fear the possibility that the developer might use a 'divide and rule' approach, when other plans are possible and can satisfy all parties."
I agree absolutely. I think DH fans (among who I count myself) are fairly long in the tooth and are by no means cheer leaders for Hadley. but I think there's a win/win in here somewhere: where Greendale is enhanced and the club's future is secured.
> Does anyone know what the operating profit is of
> the club before any rent or interest?
Somebody will, but I strongly doubt they'll tell us.
> "market level" of rent for the ground depends on
> what it can be used for,
True, but it's a two way thing. On the one hand, there's a limited number of people wanting to hire a stadium, which pushes rent down. On the other, there's a limited number of places a local football club could train and play at, which pushes rent up.
Much depends on the landlord, though, and we don't know yet who will ultimately own the stadium. HPG might end up with it, if there's money left over from the flats, but that's a long time off and, in the meantime, they don't seem to have any money in the bank. Nor do any of their seventeen subsidiaries. So a big question remains as to who will finance the project. That probably won't be Omni Capital (whose charge was satisfied in full on Feb 16th), but it might be Collaton (of the British Virgin Islands), the Guernsey-based landlord, or HPG's owner (HPGL Holdings Limited, of Hong Kong). But whoever it is, I can't see a reason why that finance would come cheap. And if the stadium costs what Dartford's did (£7m), that would be a lot of interest. At the 8% that Omni Capital seem to be getting, that would be around £40k per month, about a third more than DHFC's current total income.
There again, if HPG get a generous lease then, as you say, they would be landords to the club they own and clearly have no interest in racking up the rent. Not until, at least, they make good on their pledge to make the club supporter-owned. In the meantime, though, they clearly hope to make the club sustainable, and we should be grateful for that rather than ask how long it'll be sustainable for.
Hadley says that they are "committed securing a sustainable base for DHFC" which to me just sounds like they are trying to secure the development of the Metropolitan Open Land for a new ground for DHFC so that they can develop the existing site for housing. I suspect that their main hope is to make a lot of money, not that DHFC becomes a self-sustaining operation. I would be surprised if they hang around at all after they have secured the two planning permissions required, in fact they may even cash in their profit at that point, before development. With the development in the bag I think they would happily hand over the club (and the ground) to some sort of supporters trust and walk away.
However, if it becomes clear that neither the MOL designation nor the restrictive covenant on the existing ground can or should be overturned, then I also think Hadley will move on to new opportunities. Perhaps Matt Rimmer has developed a true love of Dulwich and football (following his earlier career as property development consultant and freelance writer) but I'm pretty sure this isn't shared by Hadley's HK backers.
I think the onus is on Hadley and the Club to demonstrate that it is in the public interest for Southwark to decrease the amount of Metropolitan Open Land and overturn very carefully thought-through restrictive covenants, including proof that the club can be financially viable afterwards.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2016:02:26:14:12:25 by mikeb.
The thing I am unclear on is how the club, which apparently runs at an unsustainable loss at the moment, will suddenly become viable through this move.
Talking to the Bellendend (Hadley PR) chap last night he said that they are exploring different business models to make that happen but, thus far, no concrete business plan has been put forward or identified. The plans look fine to me in principle from a nice planning perspective (not perfect but OK) but without that Business Plan I'd be reluctant to just approve.
Went to this exhibition yesterday. A lack of business plan is just one symptom of the holes in this plan. No traffic management plan has yet been developed but talking with the folk at the exhibition, they are not planning on providing parking but encouraging fans to attend by public transport. Given ED is on the same line as a another football club, Millwall, how will that work? Will schedules of games be coordinated so the Millwall and ED are not playing the same day? What about the many weekends of engineering work or is everyone assuming that will stop when London Bridge is complete? There seems to be some provision for away fans coaches but also someone said that coaches would wait 'somewhere etc' unspecified.
No detail on how much affordable housing or what size units will be offered as affordable housing. It depends evidently on the business plan. I can just imagine that once it comes down to it "regretfully " Hadley will find that it can't provide as many affordable units as it hoped. Secondly, will the affordable units be all the least desirable ones as happens as so many other developments?
I’m a resident living near to the Hamlet football ground. Yesterday I went to Dulwich Hamlet and saw the presentation of new plans for development by Hadley Property group. They still want to build six storey blocks of flats on the pitch and move the stadium onto Green Dale Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) next door. While I love DHFC I also love the Green Dale.
There was a terrible lack of detail or dimensions in the presentation, particularly about how much MOL was going to be used for the new stadium. Following this disappointment I went home and drew up the stadium myself, following easily accessible online guidelines about pitch size and standing terraces for fans. Hadley's architect at Farrells gave me the names of the sites to check. Here’s the result:
The minimum pitch size for anyone playing in the Ryman league is 100m x 64m. Add to this the minimum ball run off around sidelines and goal lines of 2.25m, a radial walkway of 1.2m. Add to this room for 3013 standing on terraces (I used the maximum allowance of 47 people per 10m2), which works out as a tiny 2m deep terrace of five 400mm steps all the way round. Then the wall. This makes the minimum size for the new stadium site 75.3m x 111.3m.
Farrells the architects have positioned the proposed stadium at an angle to the existing astro-turf pitch in order to create a route onto Greendale from the southern path. The stadium clubhouse will be built on the current goal of the club and a corner of the pitch also cuts into the old grounds. The proposed stadium must be surrounded by a 1.83m concrete or similar material wall, not shown in the presentation.
I pasted my drawing of the minimum possible stadium over the O.S. map of the area. I was then able to calculate and compare the areas of MOL in question. I must remind all who read this again, these area measurements are my own calculations. Not from Hadley or Farrells, as none have been released. The drawing is attached to scale.
Area of minimum new stadium (not clubhouse): 8380m
Area of current astro-turf MOL: 6000m
Area of total MOL used in proposal: 7967m
Area of MOL astro-turf used: 5149m
Area of virgin MOL used: 2818m
Area of astro-turf returned to green pathway: 851m
So more than a third of the proposed stadium site is untouched Green Dale fields. Hadley’s claim that more astro-turf is being returned to nature is clearly false. I urge people to remember, the atro-turf is designated MOL, a public space and an important part of the diverse, open and well-loved Green Dale.
Do not let Hadley hold our club to ransom, “Your MOL or your club!” Let us see a proposal for a new stadium and housing on the site Hadley own rather than on our MOL.
I've just revised the drawing to include the radiused corners of the proposed stadium shown in the presentation visuals.It doesn't cut very much off.
Revised area figures are:
Area of proposed stadium 8353m
Area of total MOL taken 7900m
Area of astro-turf used 5143m
Area of virgin MOL used 2763m
Area of astro-turf returned 857m
Still over a third of suggested stadium land is not astro-turf.
Also attached is a section view of the pitch, run off, terraces and wall, showing the proposed 18m cut into the non astro-turf bank to the North and the requirement to impose a 2.4m (8')concrete wall and terracing.