In a fresh blow to their hopes to construct a new football stadium and large-scale housing development on the Wimbledon Greyhound stadium site, AFC Wimbledon have been ordered to revise their plans by the Greater London Authority.
In an ‘exclusive’ report, the South London Press reveals that the GLA’s chief planner has said the scheme, which would replace the existing Plough Lane greyhound stadium, contravenes the London Plan in its current form.
That means the ambitious 20,000-seater stadium plus 600+ homes AFCW/Galliard proposals have now been rejected as inadequate by:
- Transport for London – for failing on transport grounds
- the Environment Agency – for failing on flood protection grounds
- Sport England – for failing on community sporting facility grounds
- and now The Greater London Authority – for failing on numerous grounds
According to the South London Press, issues of concern to the GLA in the plans as they stand include:
- Flood management. The Environment Agency has already made clear that the current application makes inadequate provision for the site which is a highest-risk category flood plain. The GLA wants further discussion on this matter.
- Housing, including design, density, mix and amenities in the 602-home ‘enabling development’ element of the scheme which will help pay for the football club’s stadium. The GLA says density of housing exceeds London Plan guidance for this kind of site.
- Play space for children. The current planning application does not include enough, the GLA says. Sport England agrees. Sporting intensification? We don’t see it…
- The ‘isolated’ position of the development. Could the scheme be better integrated into the surrounding area, the Mayor’s office wonders?
- Accessibility. Detail is insufficient on whether the development, much of which is raised above the ground to avoid flooding problems, is inclusive – presumably for people with mobility issues or families with small children.
- Transport. The GLA cites a catalogue of areas where it wants more details, including provision for pedestrians, cycles, access to rail services and how anyone arriving by taxi will be catered for. Traffic and transport: the main problems
Wow, that’s quite a list! And in short, means that the Greater London Authority officially opposes the scheme in its current form.
Looking on the bright side for Team AFCW, however, the principle of development on the Plough Lane site is ‘in general accordance with strategic and local planning policy’, the Wimbledon Guardian reports. Which we already knew, didn’t we? It’s not development that is the problem, just the way this specific development is currently structured.
AFC Wimbledon has already said that it is revisiting its transport, flood risk and community statements; now there’s a lot more work for them to do in order to produce an application that’s acceptable in planning terms.
GLA member for Merton and Wandsworth Richard Tracey told the South London Press: “I think all sides need to do a lot of extra work for it to be satisfactory.”
He added: “The Mayor clearly thinks it has been rushed without full investigation of the likely impacts.”
We can only agree.