Weird, isn’t it,how Merton Borough Council appears happy to invite developers to plan for hundreds of family homes on the current Greyhound Stadium in Plough Lane, yet the site is apparently unsuitable for the secondary school desperately needed at this end of the borough?
Flooding, proximity to the electricity sub-station and “potentially difficult planning issues” meant the site didn’t even make the shortlist for future school locations in the borough.
We agree that flooding and the electricity sub station would cause difficulties – as they will for AFC Wimbledon and Galliard Homes’ current application for Plough Lane. But if they prove surmountable for a football club and housing developer’s money-making scheme, why would the council be so quick to rule out making the site safe for educational purposes?
Boys in this corner of the borough currently suffer from a massive shortage of state secondary school places. Girls can attend Ricards Lodge – a short walk away – while boys have to travel all the way over to Merton Park to take up a place at Rutlish School. The only other accessible state school for boys in this pocket of sex-segregated education is the Catholic Wimbledon College, and forget about applying there if you don’t have the right religious credentials – you won’t have a hope of getting in!
It’s a big mess that highlights the lack of a coherent overall plan for the borough, long evident in the Plough Lane development debate.