Call for Mayor to scrutinise football stadium plan

Published: Friday 18th December 15

Wandsworth Council’s planning chairman is calling on the Mayor to examine a controversial development scheme to replace the Wimbledon dog track with a 20,000 seat football stadium, supermarket and more than 600 homes.

Cllr Sarah McDermott is urging the Mayor to “call in” the application after it was approved by Merton Council’s planning committee earlier this week. The Mayor has the legal power to determine large applications - especially if they affect more than one borough.

Cllr McDermott said: “We have concerns about the impact of this largescale development on residents and businesses in our borough, especially in Earlsfield and Tooting, and so we urged planning councillors in Merton to seek answers to the questions we’d raised before deciding this scheme.

“Unfortunately they have not listened to that advice and we have now been placed in a situation where residents in our borough will almost certainly suffer disruption and inconvenience as a result. 

“We believe this impact will be so adverse and so serious that the Mayor now needs to intervene and scrutinise this application much more comprehensively. In particular the Mayor needs to look at its impact on neighbouring communities in terms of transport infrastructure, parking and other local services.

”We are certainly not opposed to the site being developed, nor to it being used for a football ground and to provide new homes.

“But we are opposed to this specific application because in our view it simply does not properly address or offer any solutions to the problems it will create in the area.”

As well as concerns about parking and transport, there are fears that the residential accommodation on this scale will make it difficult for existing residents to access local GP and hospital services and also that including a large retail space on the site will have an adverse impact on nearby shops and businesses.

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Recent comments

The decision by Wandsworth council to obstruct the development of Plough Lane is regressive and ill-considered. This area will be re-energised by the development and a vital hub of community enjoyment will created by Wimbledon FC's return to its historic home.
Terry Hunt

6 January 2016

The junction is a bottle neck with long tail backs routine. Everyday use is problematic, proposed match / event day stadium use with coach and car parking would be too severe.
Kirk Nelson

23 December 2015

Wandsworth should object on the grounds of traffic/parking and transport. The TFL figures for this development seem to bear little resemblance to current reality. AFC Wimbledon have ‘cuckooed’ their way in there with a laughably sized stadium for their 3,500 fans, basically as this was the only way that Merton would say yes to the developers for their population dense development with little affordable housing. AFC (a club formed 13 years ago) have no qualms about the loss of the dog track, which has been there since 1928, they are just interested in themselves.
Mark Dunsdon

23 December 2015

Certainly a large amount of the pot calling the kettle black. Wandsworth is famous for giving consent for schemes exceeding planning guidelines and for changing planning advice at the whim of councillors vested interests. I predicted that LBW would ask for a call in although they scream loud enough when their own schemes have been called in. Taken overall this a good scheme with many worthwhile benfits that will much improve a very run down area. Wandsworth are very chummy with the Deputy Mayor in charge of planning.
David Rosemont

22 December 2015

This plan is the opposite of planning! The congestion on Merton road has been such a disaster! The congestion on Garratt lane will be just as bad if not worse. Merton Council doesn't seem to know how to deal with traffic. They will not be able to deal with more flats or any kind of development. It will not work out. Also, why do we have to do away with any kind of actual fun you can have in London? What is there left to do? We just live in our flats and shop?! I have just returned from a trip to the states and what I realised was that they actually have things to do over there. Bowling, racing or just gaming. It's just shopping in London now. That space has a mixed usage fun thing going on. I'll miss that!
Paige Barry

22 December 2015

"As well as concerns about parking and transport, there are fears that the residential accommodation on this scale will make it difficult for existing residents to access local GP and hospital services" With the amount of new developments currently (and recently) being built in Wandsworth, the above comment does have a touch of pot and kettle about it.
John

21 December 2015

what hypocrisy - Wandsworth always the first to moan when their planning decisions are called-in. Merton fully considered this application and voted unanimously to approve it, it's in accordance with Merton's local plan and also the Mayor's London Plan - Earlsfield's and Tooting's economy will benefit no end from the scheme and to suggest otherwise is twaddle.
Mark Newman

20 December 2015

Wandsworth should look at their own applications first before treading on other councils toes in regards the pollution and car congestions it causes on trinity road and the surrounding area because we live here and we have had enough with the mess that this council has created by putting foreword applications that will cause more problems than solutions and as it happens we welcome a football stadium in our area even if the council dont
arvids ansons

19 December 2015

Is it something controversial only because Cllr Sarah McDermott say so? Is it right for Wimbledon to come back home? It is. Is it controversial to redevelop rundown sports ground into new stadium and residents homes? Its not. Do we live in a crowded place? We do and will be more dense in future with or without the stadium. If Cllr S McDermott is really concerned about it, then it should do something about it in Earlsfield now, with influx of thousands of new residents each year with dense development. As a resident of Wandsworth, I say: Welcome back home, Wimbledon! You are an asset to the community, not a burden.
Zeljko Toth

19 December 2015

Are these the folk from Keble Street who are complaining - they who get motorists fined for using their street. The local shops are crap anyway - would be nice to have a decent retail area.
Liz

18 December 2015

Sorry celia blair, I'm sure you are correct with your shouty capitals- The development of sportification of the site is definitely going ahead as is a certain amount of flat buidling. The issue is why, contrary to the Authorities own plan, the developer is not under agreement to build 40% of the site as affordable housing and will be providing only 10%. There is a housing crisis within the borough and I am now assured that the Mayor will investigate why.
FREELANCE PLANNER

18 December 2015

Perhaps the council should follow Hungary's example and build a huge barbed wire fence along the Merton-Wandsworth border. Alternatively, let's celebrate the fact that we are getting our local football club back. Excellent news! [PS. The housing development seems miniscule compared to the blighted development that Wandsworth has fostered along the Thames.]
D Cook

18 December 2015

As someone who works and lives in the borough, public transport, traffic, parking spaces etc are at capacity and breaking point in this area. The infrastructure cannot take this sort of development in plough lane. It already takes me an hour to travel 3 miles. Great for football fans, not great for residents and people employed around Wandsworth/Merton borders.
Nicole

18 December 2015

And what about the very large scale development at the Ram Street brewery site? A much bigger development and more of a drain on public services, transport etc. Did Cllr. McDermott want to send that to Boris for his decision? A spot of evenhandedness is needed here.
Celia Blair

18 December 2015

And what about the very large scale development at the Ram Street brewery site? A much bigger development and more of a drain on public services, transport etc. Did Cllr. McDermott want to send that to Boris for his decision? A spot of evenhandedness is needed here.
Celia Blair

18 December 2015

The call is from a councillor NOT AN OFFICER. Did she go to the Merton meeting to hear the issues discussed? It is time for WBC to make Earlsfield provide some of the needed affordable housing and housing for disabled adults but it is leaving the Atheldene area and the neglected Earlsfield Road sites undeveloped. What does Cllr. McDermott do about that? Nothing.
Celia Blair

18 December 2015

I don't understand how the application is controversial? The site is designated as requiring sporting intensification and Merton requires homes. I'm a Merton resident who wants a football ground and not a dog track. Seems very clear that Merton (where the stadium is) is more effected than Wandsworth thus how is it controversial?
Dominic

18 December 2015

Good news that Wandsworths Chief Planning Officer is calling for review. No application should go through contrary to an Authorities own regulation: in this instance a woeful 10% of the application is for affordable housing when it should be 40%. The want for a football ground is not more important than the Authorities housing crisis.
Freelance Planner

18 December 2015