We are open-mouthed at the response of one senior local councillor (whose wife Linda Kirby happens to chair Merton’s planning committee) to concerns about the impact of the AFC Wimbledon/Galliard Homes development plans for Plough Lane.
Councillor Andrew Judge wants to be our next MP. He is Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Wimbledon. And he appears to be in denial about the effects of a 600+ home development plus 20,000-seat stadium on local roads, services and quality of life.
To summarise, Cllr Judge believes the application, which has been deemed unacceptable in its current form by Transport for London, the Environment Agency, the General London Assembly and Sport England, is ‘of high quality and is one that I support’.
You can read his views in full on the Streetlife website here; they were put in writing in response to a constituent’s inquiry. Some jawdropping highlights:
Cllr Judge’s views on TRAFFIC:
‘The road structure throughout Merton and indeed SW London is congested on an ongoing basis. That does not mean that significant developments can (or even should be ruled out) on that basis…
‘The addition of 600 homes will lead to a very small increment in local traffic, most of which is certainly through traffic and I do not anticipate Haydons Road being affected to any degree… there will be no adverse environmental impact.’
Cllr Judge’s views on TRANSPORT:
‘There is no evidence for thinking that the range of local stations are incapable of accommodating the passenger numbers attending the stadium, especially…Earlsfield and Tooting Broadway…’
Cllr Judge’s views on increased pressure on local SCHOOLS:
‘My belief is that the schools directly affected are likely to be Wandsworth schools. It is important that it is established that they will in future have sufficient capacity. My belief is that this is the case.’
- Cllr Judge isn’t worried about the effect on local services because he believes it’s a mess that Wandsworth will have to sort out, rather than Merton.
- Cllr Judge doesn’t think there’s any problem with increasing the traffic pressure on a road network already operating beyond capacity (as AFCW’s transport submission acknowledges).
- Cllr Judge thinks that Earlsfield and Tooting Broadway stations, where it’s almost impossible to get on a train at peak times, can cope with more passengers.
As a commenter on the Streetlife website remarks in response to Andrew Judge’s stated opinions: ‘This man is naive in the extreme!’