This week saw Asset of Community Value (ACV) status once again secured for The Valley.
ACV status lasts for five years and allows community groups to register an interest in a local building or amenity. In the event of a planned sale the community group must be notified by the local authority and has the right to make a bid. Equally importantly, ACV status is taken into account by the local authority when considering planning applications.
The Valley was first awarded ACV status in 2013 after a Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust (CAST) campaign which included a petition of 1905 Charlton fans. This was followed by a presentation on The Valley pitch and a function including then FA Chairman Greg Dyke. The status expired in November 2018 at which point CAST submitted a new application.
The success of the application – which was supported by the club – derives not only from the community value of the stadium as the venue for Charlton Athletic football matches but also from the highly renowned community work undertaken from the stadium by the Charlton Athletic Community Trust.
CAS Trust chair Richard Wiseman said: "Although ACV status might be viewed as largely symbolic it is nevertheless very important because it recognises the role of our historic ground and club in the community and offers some limited protection against worst case scenarios of asset stripping. I would like to thank the club, the Royal Borough of Greenwich and CAST volunteers who worked on this successful application. There is scope for strengthening the legislation to offer even more protection for historic football grounds, and we will continue to argue for this."
Clive Efford, MP for Eltham and former shadow DCMS, said: "I am pleased to hear about the Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust's successful bid to renew the ACV status of The Valley. Too often we have seen predatory developers attempting to make money out of our sports stadia. It is important that we do all we can to reduce the risk of this happening. By renewing The Valley's ACV status CAST would be alerted to any attempt to sell the stadium and could work to put a bid together to stop this happening."
Matthew Pennycook, MP for Greenwich & Woolwich, said: “I’m delighted that the Council has re-listed The Valley as an Asset of Community Value. The ground and the club are an integral part of the local community and this decision reaffirms the right of the fans to be part of any discussion about their future."