AFC Wimbledon and Galliard Homes want to include a 1,000sqm supermarket in their Plough Lane development plans. Which raises a couple of questions…
WHY do we need a supermarket on the site, when there are already plenty of food shopping options in the immediate vicinity? We’re talking Tesco Express on the corner of Garrett Lane and Summerstown, Coop food at the Garrett Lane service station, and Yalini at the top of Haydons Road. There’s also a petrol station opposite the current stadium selling essentials like bread and milk. And if you need to do a big food shop, Waitrose is just up the road, as well as plentiful shopping opportunities in Tooting and Wandsworth.
Weird, therefore (or in fact incompetent?) that the retail document submitted as part of AFCW’s application states: ‘there is a deficiency of convenience facilities within the vicinity of the application site’.
WHERE would visitors to the (unnecessary) supermarket park? The plans allocate just TWO parking spaces for people visiting the store – spaces which will be shared with visitors to the on-site squash and fitness club. Two spaces for a 1,000sqm store? Sounds a bit low to us, especially since the mini Tesco round the corner is smaller (2,000sqm) yet has 16 parking spaces.
Are shoppers expected to pull over on the kerb while they pop in and buy essentials? This will inevitably happen, causing traffic hold-ups in an already busy area.
We conclude: Merton planners would be BONKERS to approve a retail unit as part of this poorly thought-out scheme.