It’s taken half a year, but AFC Wimbledon and their billionaire property developer buddies Galliard Homes have finally completed the changes that they hope will secure a yes from planners for their Plough Lane ambitions.
The amended proposals for a £20m stadium and large housing development to be built on the site of the Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium are being scrutinised by planners at Merton Borough Council before they are made public.
But a press release from the Kingston-based football club indicates that areas including flooding, traffic, design and sustainability have been revisited.
Once the revised plans have been studied by experts from the borough’s planning department, a 21-day consultation period will begin, after which they are expected to be scheduled for a planning committee hearing later in the year.
AFC Wimbledon and Galliard Homes submitted their original plans shortly before the busy Christmas period, leading to accusations of cynical timing. The consultation period was therefore extended to give statutory bodies and local residents a chance to consider them without the pressures of the festive season.
This time around, could it be a coincidence that revised plans are submitted on the eve of the summer holiday period when many interested parties are likely to be absent?
AFCW’s CEO Erik Samuelson had previously declared any changes made would be “minor”, which does make us wonder whether the club has delayed resubmitting the plans in order to deliberately release them in the holidays. If the changes really are minor, why has it taken so long for them to be tabled? Samuelson had confidently predicted a decision on the scheme would be made in the early spring.
We trust that Merton Borough Council will bear in mind the rights of residents to fully consider, understand and comment on the details of the amended proposals when they set the parameters for any forthcoming consultation.
Meanwhile, as AFC Wimbledon prepare to open the doors of their Kingsmeadow stadium for a beer festival this weekend, find out why football will be played year round should the new stadium get planning approval.