Weird how the potential chaos for Wimbledon of Crossrail 2 merited not even a mention when plans for Plough Lane were considered.
Residents have been vocal in their condemnation of proposals to effectively demolish much of Wimbledon town centre while a major Crossrail 2 hub is created. Angry voices have also complained that Merton Borough Council did little to alert residents to the plans, and took a very last minute approach to objecting to the scheme.
The council’s official submission was made public just one day before the deadline for comments, showing little leadership and consideration for the views of residents. There was not a single mention of the Crossrail 2 consultation (which ran from October 2015) in our esteemed council’s vanity publication My Merton for example (nor indeed, was progress on the major Plough Lane development deemed worthy of even a footnote), clearly demonstrating Merton’s slapdash approach to public consultation.
So how will Crossrail 2 affect the Plough Lane development?
- With a plant depot accessed via Gap Road, traffic in the Gap Road/Plough Lane/Durnsford Road/Haydons Road area will undoubtedly increase, with many heavy vehicles leading to worse air pollution in an already poor air quality zone.
- The Weir Road industrial estate is earmarked for demolition because of Crossrail 2 needs. This may well also be where football supporter coaches had planned to park, although the AFC Wimbledon plans were so flaky there were actually no details of where coaches will go when the scheme was approved by planners.
- Wimbledon Station may be effectively out of bounds given the amount of demolition planned, meaning supporters travelling to Plough Lane will be pushed onto other forms of transport.
- Construction of a vast ventilation shaft for the Crossrail 2 tunnel will take place in Waterside Way opposite the stadium: a huge project in its own right, causing massive disruption and major transport issues right on the doorstep of both AFCW and Galliards 602-home housing development.
Surely this major project warranted consideration when the Plough Lane development was waved through by FutureMerton and planning committee councillors, not a single one of whom even mentioned it when voting ‘yes’. Odd and – you might be justified in thinking – irresponsible.