Missed opportunity to boost local economy

Haydons Road shops

Haydons Road shopping parade

This tired little parade of shops sits at the top of Haydons Road, close to its junction with Plough Lane. Retailers here would probably welcome new trade from the residents of Galliard Homes’ proposed new housing development. An influx of new customers might even encourage more shops to open here, helping boost the local economy (one of AFC Wimbledon’s stated aims).

But instead of supporting socio-economic development in this spot, the club’s plans include an on-site retail store to service its 602-home development. 

As it says in the retail document submitted as part of AFCW’s application: ‘there is a deficiency of convenience facilities within the vicinity of the application site’.

This is plainly NOT TRUE!

The planning application lists a few local stores, thus immediately contradicting the statement above, but doesn’t even mention Haydons Road as offering anything in the way of shopping to potential residents. Weird, because Yalini’s, right here in Haydons Road, is one of the best local shops you could hope for, offering a vast array of goods, newspapers, fresh fruit, veg and herbs, all served with a friendly smile and chat.

Weirder still, the applicants seem to think anyone buying a home in the proposed new development will require on-site shopping. How so? There’s already:

  • a mini Tesco just minutes to the north east of the site, on the corner of Garrett Lane and Summerstown;
  • a convenience store attached to the petrol station on Garrett Lane, a few hundred yards to the east;
  • turn right out of the development and walk a couple of minutes to Haydons Road and you’re at the Aladdin’s Cave that is Yalini’s.

There’s certainly no shortage of emergency shopping opportunities around the area, despite what the planning application documents say.

Hell, separate plans currently lodged with Merton Borough Council ALSO mention a new retail unit to replace the old petrol station that used to be on the corner of Haydon Park Road and Haydons Road until very recently.

But it gets worse! Not only does the AFC Wimbledon planning application show no desire to support existing local traders, it also wants to make life more difficult for them, by seeking to remove parking spaces from outside the Haydons Road shopping parade to ease traffic flow.

What do local shops need in addition to local-based customers? Passing trade! And how do they secure passing trade? By offering convenient, instant parking spaces so that motorists can quickly pull up, pop in and spend money.

What does AFC Wimbledon  want to do with existing parking spaces here? Get rid of them!

Come clean, AFC Wimbledon, you don’t actually care a hoot for the local community provided you get your precious Plough Lane football stadium.

Read more: 6 reasons why AFC Wimbledon’s planning application fails the community test

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