Discount store Lidl wants to open a branch in Plough Lane, opposite Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium. The supermarket would take over the site of the current Currys electrical outlet, and as part of the planning application it analyses shopping, traffic and flooding situations in the area.
Of interest to AFC Wimbledon and Galliard Homes, no doubt, will be the introduction of a new retail unit, almost directly opposite the spot where they want to locate a supermarket as part of the football stadium development. Team AFCW/Galliards claims there is a shortage of grocery shopping opportunities in the area – which there isn’t. Plough Lane store mysteries
Surely even they can’t insist that Plough Lane needs a supermarket when there’s a Lidl directly opposite? And don’t forget, there is also a Sainsbury’s Local store currently being built on the corner of Haydons Road and Haydon Park Road.
(Remember too that the original AFCW application claimed its proposed 1,000sqm store would create 55 jobs. Lidl reckons its slightly larger store will generate employment for 40 people in full and part-time positions. To be honest, we are more inclined to believe Lidl. Another example of a critical error in the AFC Wimbledon application.)
Traffic generated by a Lidl store – peak time likely to be Saturday afternoon – could also force AFCW to re-think its transport assessment of the site, especially since a straightforward change of use application for an existing building (from Currys to Lidl) is likely to receive a planning decision more swiftly than the troubled footie scheme.
And as for flooding, well, the Lidl application makes it clear that “No alterations are proposed that would reduce existing flood plain storage volumes or alter finished levels within the flood plain.” Unlike the AFC Wimbledon/Galliard Homes proposal that would see 600+ homes built on a highest-risk category flood plain.
Time to go back to the drawing board – again – AFCW?