Different political hues, but MPs for the two constituencies closest to Wimbledon stadium both take a very resident-friendly, sensible and considered approach to redevelopment plans for the site.
Wimbledon’s Conservative MP Stephen Hammond says: “I think the impact on the local community and on the social infrastructure must be resolved before any application can be passed.”
He also points out: “The Gap Road/Haydons Road junction is already regarded as one of the busiest in Merton and the extra development associated with the application would only mean that this junction would come under further strain.
“Moreover, the pressure on local parking both on match days and throughout the year will be increased.”
Tooting’s Labour MP Sadiq Khan has already made it clear that he is of a similar opinion. He has stated to Wandsworth Borough Council, residents of Earlsfield and Tooting, and to AFC Wimbledon directly by letter that issues including local infrastructure, traffic, parking and impact on local businesses all need to be resolved.
Both MPs are also clear that the planning application as submitted by AFC Wimbledon with its developer partners Galliard Homes is inadequate on these counts as it stands.
Stephen Hammond explains: “Like many people I am keen to see AFCW back in the borough, but not at the expense of local residents.”
What a contrast to the attitude of Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Wimbledon Andrew Judge, who says of the club’s plans for Plough Lane: “It is absolutely right that a stadium should be built – though that will be up to an independent planning committee meeting. [‘independent’ but chaired by Andrew Judge’s wife, we note.]
“The designs are of a very high quality and I am optimistic that the issues can be resolved before it comes to the meeting.”
So any resident who is less than enthusiastic about the building of a stadium and 602-home development – particularly given the unresolved problems of traffic, parking and infrastructure that it will bring – should be in no doubt that wannabe MP and current Merton Borough councillor Andrew Judge is NOT fighting your corner.
MPs Stephen Hammond and Sadiq Khan are in contrast actually considering the implications locally of this application and trying to ensure that it enhances rather than causes a detriment to life in the borough. Thumbs up to that approach.