While fast food and sandwich shops in the Plough Lane area must be rubbing their hands in glee at AFC Wimbledon’s ultimate intention to attract 20,000 hungry fans to their new stadium, other businesses in the area are less enthusiastic.
A number of objections to the plans as they stand have been lodged with Merton Borough Council, by companies based on the Garrett Business Park in Riverside Road. It’s another example of the developers failing to get local opinion on board – or even consult properly on local interests – before submitting their substantial planning application.
It’s also a clear example of how they have failed to drill deep enough down into the detail of their plans to ensure they provide a development scheme that is well-suited to this location.
So why have companies based in Garret Business Park, behind the stadium, written to the council in opposition to the plans as they stand? Three main reasons:
- Road layout: they are not impressed with the plans as submitted because they fail to address traffic issues in Riverside Road, which is currently the access route for the business park. AFC Wimbledon has earmarked Riverside Road as an access route to the rear of their new stadium for coaches.
- Parking: companies on Garrett Business Park are concerned that limited on-site parking will push vehicles onto the business park where parking is already at a premium.
- Flooding: they point out that flooding provision is insufficient (as has been identified by the Environment Agency) and will lead to a more widespread flood problem by displacing water that is currently allowed to pool on-site. This will be detrimental for neighbouring properties, especially those closest to the new development.
None of these objections constitute insurmountable problems, but they are enough to warrant opposing the planning application as it stands. Could it be time for AFC Wimbledon and Galliards to re-visit their application before it goes before the planning committee?