It was way back at the beginning of July that AFC Wimbledon announced it had submitted revised plans in its bid to win planning permission for a new stadium in Plough Lane, but they have yet to be publicly unveiled. The first set of plans were handed over back in December 2014. The club’s (rather over-confident) CEO Erik Samuelson was hopeful even this spring that they could be approved in time for the stadium to be ready for the 2017-18 playing season.
Why the delay? Well, a whole heap of changes have been made to the initial application – which includes a huge 602-home development – after it was widely rejected by statutory bodies. All of these changes have to be checked and analysed by officials at Merton’s planning department.
Amendments for the scheme, which AFCW has submitted jointly with developers Galliard Homes, cover issues including flooding, transport, design and parking. But it would appear that the alterations were still insufficient even on second presentation to the planners: hence the continuing delay.
We hear on good authority that, as of September 1, Merton’s planning department was still awaiting further information from the applicants before the revised scheme could be uploaded to the borough council’s website.
Once the plans have been made public, there will be a 21-day consultation period, followed by a couple of weeks during which consultation responses need to be analysed, before the planning application can go before councillors for a decision – which is likely to be November at the earliest.
Meanwhile, separate developments in the borough could add further complications; like the search for a site for a much-needed new secondary school; and a potentially traffic-generating application by Lidl to open a supermarket in Plough Lane.