The inquiry into Lewisham Council’s dealings on the New Bermondsey/Surrey Canal redevelopment, headed by Lord John Dyson, cost more than £200k of public money.

The council-commissioned report cleared Lewisham Council and its officers of any wrong-doing after widespread outcry and negative publicity following plans to seize land around Millwall Football Club stadium for the redevelopment through a compulsory purchase order (CPO).

The CPO would potentially lead to the club leaving its home.

The inquiry was initially expected to cost around £250,000,  but the council’s expenditure for 2017-2018 shows a combined cost of £232,837.15, with the last payment taking place in February.

The council had initially allocated £500,000 for the inquiry.

According to council documents: “The cost of the Inquiry has comprised the fees for Lord Dyson and his assistant. It has also been necessary to incur some additional QC fees and agency administrator costs.

“The Council had allocated £500,000 from its contingency budget to meet the costs of the Inquiry so the costs were well contained within the budget,” the document read.

In his report, Lord Dyson said it was not his remit to “make moral judgements on company structures, provided that the structures are legal” following questions raised about the debacle, around developers Renewal deep ties with the council.

“Opponents of Renewal canvassed so strongly the issue of the reputational damage that the Council might suffer if Renewal were permitted to carry out the development. It is not for me to express a view about the morality or political wisdom or desirability of allowing Renewal to carry out the development. That would clearly be outside my terms of reference.

“There was no impropriety, lack of due diligence or breach of a code of practice on the part of any council officer or member,” Lord Dyson’s report said.