Councillor blows whistle on football stadium plan

Published: Tuesday 29th September 15

Residents who live near Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium are being reminded that they have just over a week left to comment on revised development plans that could see it transformed into a 20,000 seat football stadium built alongside more than 600 new homes.

The greyhound stadium is located just over the borough boundary and any large scale redevelopment could have a big impact on people living in Tooting and Earlsfield.

Concerns have already been raised that the proposed new stadium and 602 flats could create significant extra pressure on the local transport network, with increased traffic congestion and more passengers accessing local rail services, especially at the already busy and crowded Earlsfield Station.
There are fears too that new residential accommodation on this scale could make it much more difficult for existing residents to access local GP and hospital services, while some critics say the proposals do not provide enough parking spaces for such a large scale development.

And there are concerns that the plans to also include a large retail space on the site could have an adverse impact on nearby shops and businesses.

Councillors in neighbouring Merton will soon determine the planning application and in the run up to that decision residents on both sides of the borough boundary are being invited to have their say.

Wandsworth’s community services spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “Building a large football stadium and many hundreds of new homes here would certainly have an impact on the area and would inevitably lead to increased pressure on local transport infrastructure and other public services.

“Although these are revised and updated proposals for this site, many local people will still feel that the shortcomings that were evident in the previous set of plans have not been sufficiently addressed."

Members of the public wishing to comment on the application can write to Merton town hall or email  by Thursday, October 8. Emails and letters should include the reference number 14/P4361.

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Recent comments

Really looking forward to this development, why the negative tone in the article?
James Mackie

2 November 2015

I would have thought the council would be rubbing its hands at the ability to tax, sorry fine, motorists parking in the area. I feel sorry for the Wandsworth borough residents who suddenly see massive changes in parking restrictions in the area to help make the council more money...

12 October 2015

Sure it will have an impact on local transport - the trains and buses will get extra Saturday traffic, which should be welcome. The followers of the Dons are a peaceful lot. I've never seen so much as a push or a shove whenever I've gone to a game. And 600 new homes will help with the local housing problem.
jenny knight

11 October 2015

600 homes a community football club surely all good for area and as exception to what is there currently. 2 Saturdays a month the odd Tuesday hardly going to cause major disruption. The area is fed by two Tube lines Northern and District ,two different Rail lines from Earlsfield and Haydons Road and for a short walk another from Wandsworth Common. This surely must be the best supported transport than any other sporting Venue in London.

8 October 2015

I'm really looking forward to having the stadium built. It will be great to improve a very tired area. Hope this 'slightly' biased article has not put people off from actually reading the plans and seeing what is to offer before they affect the decision. Wimbledon Football Club's return will be a great asset to the community.
James Mackie

7 October 2015

Have also read of the possibility of that piece of land being used for another school. Of the 2 I would rather the Football Stadium - how many matches a season ?? - it would bring money into the area. All that a school would do is cost money - and be in operation 5 days a week and 40 + weeks of the year - unless of course it's a private school with nice well behaved pupils. Don't really like either - but know which I would prefer - and that is the money making football stadium.

5 October 2015

We don't need a football stadium and the disruption caused on match days. Also would utilise police resources (which may be stretched in the future due to cutbacks?). Back to the drawing board please.
Sean Donnelly

5 October 2015

How amazing to hear from a Wandsworth Councillor who cares about impact of development - Could he please take a look at what Wandsworth proposes destroying in Pimlico?? Pimlico Gardens and St. George's Square to be ruined by a bridge serving the development of 9 Elms - £60m that could be spent on public housing, schools etc etc
Penelope Forbes

4 October 2015

As others have said this is a shockingly one-sided argument and I really don't think it's appropriate for one council to start stirring up residents in another council's area. Disgraceful....
jonathan Gill

3 October 2015

Were these "concerns" taken into account when approving e.g. the redevelopment of the Young's Brewery site?
Bill Travers

3 October 2015

I have lived in the area for over thirty years. The vast benefits of having a small stadium, together with much needed housing, far outweighs the negativity this article highlights.
Seva Dhalivaal

3 October 2015

This is a very biased summary of the proposed development. Whilst there is mention or should I say inference ..implying a "big impact" is a bad impact. I think it will have both a big and a positive impact. As well as a welcome return for a football club that was part of the locality for many years, there will be a number of jobs available as well as community facilities, neither of which are mentioned in this article.

2 October 2015

Shockingly biased article. The complete lack of evidence of the benefits is appalling. As noted, there was a football datum here before - who had a team in the Premier League and hosted Chelsea, Liverpool and the like and the world did not stop turning then. Also, AFC Wimbledon are very much a community club (they had trials on the Common when they started so anyone could have a go) and are looking to bring more to the community than fans on match days, including going into schools and encouraging the take up of sport which surely should be applauded given the lack of sport on offer at many Wandsworth schools?

2 October 2015

Is there not a HOUSING shortage at present? And yet here is a plan to provide over 600 new homes, and the council are against this?! Exactly what are the Council doing to address this shortage themselves, other than poo pooing those who are actually willing to build new homes?! And no money can't be the issue when the Councils directors are each on a £250'000+ salary! Like the previous person commented, these Wandsworth 'news' articles are astoundingly one sided, but for any regular readers, the Councils propaganda is nothing new.
Common sense

2 October 2015

So, Wandsworth Council is concerned about extra pressure on the transport network, and more passengers accessing local rail services, especially at the already busy and crowded Earlsfield station. Shame it didn't have the same concerns when it approved several large developments in its own Borough, and ignored the concerns of residents, particularly those using the busy and crowded Wandsworth Town station.
Susan Jones

2 October 2015

Let's be clear: there was a football ground here previously, and St George's existed back then, too. There were never any problems with access then. AFC Wimbledon has a small following - it's hardly a premier league club. But just look up the road at Stamford Bridge for an example of how baseless the traffic/NHS argument is. Hardly anyone drives to matches; most use public transport. More often than not, match days are on weekends, when there is less pressure on the transport system. I do think, however, that the transport issue should be addressed. Haydons Road is by far and away the nearest station, but it has a far from stellar service. If there were more regular trains along this route, I think that would solve so many problems.
Tooting Resident

2 October 2015

Believe the proposed redevelopment would be very good for the existing site. Merton and Wandsworth council would have to spend some additional monies to improve the road traffic management in the local area. Do not believe it would have a huge impact on Earlsfield Railway station . The current site is clapped out and the whole area in question requires some serious money to be spent on it . It would also be good to welcome back Wimbledon Football Club , where they belong.
George Pavli

2 October 2015

I think it will be great to have a Wimbledon football team back so close to the home of the former Dons. It was a tragic betrayal of SouthWest London when the Dons absconded to Milton Keynes and the new AFC Wimbledon should be welcomed back. 20,000 people coming to the stadium on a regular basis will surely bring some benefit to the local economy also.
Tony Finnegan

2 October 2015

This development so close to the primary key access route into St George's Hospital illustrates the crass ignorance and stupidity of the planners. Nowhere in the plans has any consideration been given to the affect this will have on the emergency traffic to and from the only A & E hospital in this part of South London and West Surrey East of Guildford. Unsurprisingly, Merton are too brainless and toothless to challenge the validity of this application on this basis alone.
Charles Helliwell

2 October 2015

I can't believe what a one sided article the one above is. Clearly the council is not supportive but when asking its residents to respond it would be quite justified to present the different sides of the argument or to provide more information (as highlighted by Celia Blair in the comments). I am very disappointed with my councils approach to this. I also note that the issues they raise are ones that seemed to have been ignored around both Wandsworth town (with significantly more than 650 flats going up) and Clapham Junction (with the horrendous redevelopment of the Peabody estate). I will vote in support as that area is in desperate need of regeneration and the development will create a really positive new community hub.

2 October 2015

Emergency vehicles, Patients , NHS staff will be delayed and impeded by these plans. It will become harder to get to St. George's Hospital due to football traffic, and extra vehicles owned by new residents and visitors to the retail space.
Richard George

29 September 2015

Merton has provided a very detailed review of the many processes for consultation and their role. It is well worth reading to see how carefully and thoroughly issues have been addressed. Councillor Cook could learn a thing or two!
Celia Blair

29 September 2015

Supporters of the development should also be reminded to write in support of the revised scheme.
Celia Blair

29 September 2015