Dulwich Hamlet Football Club blasted a leaflet for “spreading misinformation” ahead of the meeting on a contested planning application deciding its future home.  

On Monday evening (July 27), Southwark’s planning committee will decide on a proposal which, if approved, would allow the club to move to an adjacent field.  

The joint application from the club and owner Meadow Partners includes a new 4,000 capacity stadium, clubhouse, 3G playing pitch, and 219 homes.   

The application seeks to move it to the next-door Green Dale playing fields, Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) owned by the council.  

Nearly 2,000 people have commented on the application, which planning officers have recommended for approval, 1,285 in support and 553 to object. 

The report on the plans states that the “application should only be granted on condition that children from the local state schools, including theirs, have reasonable, free and regular access during term-time to the football pitch and other sports facilities, including the gym”.  

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But a leaflet that was circulated locally, with reference to Friends of Green Dale, a group against the plans on the grounds that it will enclose “a large portion of MOL”, said the club intends to charge schools £45,000 per year to access the Astroturf.  

Friends of Green Dale has denied being behind the leaflet, but said the club’s business plan references the figure.  

Responding to the leaflet in a tweet, DHFC said: “We’re disappointed to inform all that local groups have been spreading misinformation about the club in the lead up to our vital planning date on [July 27].  

“Leaflets have been circulated stating we’re charging local schools half a million pounds over 10 years. A lie.  

“Unbelievable? You bet. This is categorically false. We’re providing £500,000 of sporting provision for both charter schools over the next 10 years. 

“We spoke to both charter schools and made clear our intention to provide free sporting provisions from day one.” 

The club then quoted the part of planning report on “free and regular” access to local state  schools. 

It continued: “It’s deeply upsetting that people in our local community are so hell-bent on the destruction of the club, they’d openly lie to the public in order to stop the club securing its future for the next 125 years.” 

DHFC said it secured the council’s agreement to not charge the schools “and provide free access subsidised by the club”. 

“So [the] number is on the plan but the school doesn’t pay,” it said.  

Responding to the statement, Friends of Green Dale referred to the business plan, and also the community use agreement, which states the club will be charging other state schools £36 per hour.

“DHFC has been informed that the leaflet was not produced by the Friends of Green Dale. 

“Friends of Green Dale has seen the club’s denial with regard to charging the charter schools for access to the proposed stadium.  

“It is noted that the business plan submitted to Southwark planning portal includes charges against the charter school of £40,000 to £50,000 per annum.  

“The leaflet correctly cites the charges submitted to the planning portal by DHFC.  

“Equally concerning is the club’s community use agreement that states the club will be charging other state schools £36 per hour.  

“This is unfair as the club is being leased the Astroturf area for free. 

“Our main focus is protecting the use of the much-loved Astroturf which is used by all our community.  

“Our community, including DHFC fans, are very angry with the club.   

“It is a shame that the club fails to recognise the harm to our community if its open and free use of the Astroturf is denied,” a spokesperson said. 

The meeting will start this evening at 6.30pm.