8 new things we’ve learned about Project Plough Lane

Others have already produced reports of the community briefing by AFC Wimbledon’s development team at Ricards Lodge School in Wimbledon last night, so instead, here are Eight Things We Learned At The Meeting…

1. There’s so much to do before the application is ready for scrutiny by councillors that it’s not likely to come before the planning committee until April or even May.

Paul Jenkin of Team AFCW’s technical crew confirmed: “There are a number of areas within the technical submission which require further details and explanation before they [the Environment Agency, TfL, the GLA] remove their holding objection.” Find out about the detail of their objections here

2. AFCW will NOT hold concerts at its new stadium or share it with another club, the club’s CEO Erik Samuelson assured the meeting.

3. Galliard Homes will give the stadium site to Merton Borough Council who will then lease it to AFC Wimbledon. Nice! But hang on, if that means the people of Merton then effectively own the site, why can’t we be involved in a debate about what to do with it? The Lib Dems suggested this kind of community-led development a while back. (Hell, we might even decide we want a football stadium there!)

4. A “contribution to health and education services will form part of any approval”. Hurrah! Let’s have some more info, please, and make this a binding legal requirement…

5. … but an affordable housing element of the residential blocks is looking increasingly unlikely. The issue is “subject to viability” and under discussion between developers and council, but there may be no money in the pot for low-cost homes if there are a lot of other ancillary payments that need to be made to mitigate traffic, transport, highways problems etc resulting from the scale of these plans. Disppointing.

6. Plans for an on-site nursery have been thrown into the mix, although it is not clear in which part of the 10-storey-high blocks it will be sited (presumably not in the bits likely to flood, and hopefully in an area with outside play space, of which Sport England and the Mayor of London’s Office remark that there is limited supply), nor whether parents will be able to drop off and collect their offspring by car given that parking is being kept to a minimum. Still, it’s progress.

7. The club will be obliged to revisit parking and traffic issues on an annual basis as part of a legal agreement with Merton (and presumably Wandsworth?), to monitor how the situation develops in reality.

8. Transport experts from consultants Peter Brett are “confident that  traffic surveys were robust”, but they have agreed to carry out some further traffic flow studies as a check after the February half-term. Find out about the flaws in AFCW’s traffic assessment

Want to see the developers’ presentation in full? It’s here on the Merton Borough Council website.