Wandsworth Borough Council is showing close interest in the AFC Wimbledon/Galliard Homes plans for Plough Lane given that the site lies right on its border.
Prospective parliamentary candidate Dan Watkins has already said he thinks the Mayor of London should call in the scheme given the cross-borough issues involved. Tooting MP Sadiq Khan has also expressed his worries about the project on behalf of residents, as have other local poiticians.
Wandsworth’s planning committee will be discussing the planning application on February 18, 2015. In the meantime, their planning officers have taken a close look at the submissions put forward by AFC Wimbledon/Galliard Homes, and the various bodies that have stated a view (TfL, the Enviro Agency etc).
Their recommendation to councillors is that they have no objection in principle to the application, but they list a vast range of concerns that they want to see addressed before they would happily see it approved.
Their worries include:
TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORT:
Wandsworth planners identify holes in the applicants’ transport statements, expressing “deep concern as to the impact of the development on the local highway and transport system”. They want to see a better analysis of the impacts of the proposed development on the area’s transport system to ensure it can cope with increased demand. They also want the applicants to find out what Network Rail and South West Trains propose regarding service and infrastructure improvements.
The council also warns that AFC Wimbledon and Galliard Homes should not rely on automatic consent from Wandsworth on changes they propose to highways (traffic flow changes, junctions, parking etc), saying they expect the applicants to work closely with Merton, Wandsworth and the Greater London Authority to identify and resolve transport issues before their application can be approved.
The planning department points out that provision for pedestrian movements around the stadium are currently inadequate: pavements and road crossings are not suitable for the increased footfall they will have to accommodate in the form of supporters arriving on foot from all surrounding stations and bus stops.
The applicants should pledge to fund any necessary improvements, Wandsworth says.
ST GEORGE’S HOSPITAL:
It appears our local hospital has not yet been properly consulted about this major planning application, which is suprising. Planners want to know the views of emergency services and St George’s Hospital, whose vehicles use Plough Lane as a vital east-west route, on the effects of closing local roads to road traffic at the end of matches to allow large numbers of supporters to leave the stadium. They also want the hospital to be consulted on the loss of hundreds of parking spaces for staff at the current greyhound stadium.
The council’s planning dept focuses on the lack of detail provided on access to the stadium and Garrett Business Park via Riverside Road, saying “there is a need for greater clarity as to ownership and consent issues relating to the proposed use of Riverside Road”.
Wandsworth planners are unconvinced by AFC Wimbledon/Galliard’s assertions on parking provision for visitors to the stadium: “greater clarity is required as to the likely need for and locations of off-street parking and coach parking”.
They add: “there should be greater clarity and commitment that the developer would fund future parking surveys, consultations and parking controls pre and post development as considered necessary”.
Wandsworth refers to extra information being required to meet Environment Agency objections on flooding grounds, ‘mitigation measures’ required to protect Wandsworth strategic industrial and waste areas, more input to the stadium management plan and a revised retail impact assessment.
There is one glimmer of good news for residents – and the applicants – however. Wandsworth calculates that it does have enough school places to cope with the residential element of the plans.
Members of Wandsworth’s planning committee will consider the report at their meeting next week before passing on their conclusions to Merton.