Wandsworth Borough Council is showing a close interest in the AFC Wimbledon/Galliard Homes development because the site lies right on the border with Merton. What gets built there will have a major impact on Wandsworth residents.
So what does Wandsworth think about the revised set of plans, re-submitted after they were roundly criticised first time round? To summarise, WBC appears distinctly unimpressed.
They rightly point out that concerns about traffic implications of such a large-scale development have not been addressed, predicting that “existing traffic conditions will endure and worsen”.
They also consider “undesirable” traffic arrangements for Summerstown, a narrow, congested road with micro-pavements where the applicants wish to put three car park access points AND coach access onto the site. (It is hard to imagine a less suitable road for increased traffic flow.)
Wandsworth is as sceptical as anyone who lives around here about TfL’s apparently relaxed views on plans to add a 602-home development and an 11,000/20,000-seat stadium to an already over-capacity rail system: “Many local people will be bemused by the apparent views of the rail industry and TfL, as these views do not represent the day-to-day experience of local people using local rail services.”
Leaving it until after planning approval has been given to talk about emergency access arrangements for the hospital is “undesirable” – also highlighted is the fact that “there appears to be no interest” about where hospital staff (who currently park on the stadium site) will put their cars henceforth. More evidence that this application – even in its revised form – is half-baked.
Work by the applicants on pedestrian flows from the development “is not altogether convincing”, and “concern remains as to the impact of the development on public transport”… “with additional traffic and delays expected in the area of the mini-roundabouts, Blackshaw Road and Summerstown”.
Damningly, Wandsworth adds: “The amendments to the application and more detailed work that the application has carried out, in terms of access arrangements in Summerstown and Riverside Road, if anything, add to officers’ concerns about traffic impacts.”
Wandsworth’s response continues: “concerns regarding protecting the adjacent industrial businesses in relation to the new residential units remain” and “existing GP practices are unable to accommodate the additional demand generated by the proposed development”.
There’s more, but we think you get the message. As we have said before: the amendments to this major development application are minimal, shoddy and insufficient.
Had it been submitted by any other organisation than AFC Wimbledon, it would be getting a clear and immediate thumbs down from all sides. Merton Borough Council’s historic guilt about the fate of Wimbledon FC is no reason to approve this development that is in its current state clearly not fit for purpose.