1 Pre determination
Merton Council had already ‘saved’ the stadium site for AFCW long before plans were even submitted. Cllr Andrew Judge stated publicly that a school couldn’t go there because it had been saved for AFCW; Future Merton was tasked with making sure barriers were cleared for the football club to take over the site. As a result of this, the council’s planning department has failed to take a neutral approach to the plans, effectively acting as an advocate for the developers rather than considering them objectively and comprehensively.
Merton Council is so biased towards the development plans that it has failed to properly consider its effects on the local road and public transport network. It has failed to mention that the Plough Lane area is among the most congested locations in the borough as reported by TfL. It has also totally neglected to consider the considerable disruption that will come with Crossrail 2 in relation to this large scale development.
Since the Plough Lane scheme, which includes a large retail unit, was approved in December, the shopping situation in the immediate vicinity is now quite different. Not only has a Coop store opened less than five minutes’ walk away in Durnsford Road, but a Lidl is about to open directly opposite the stadium, and a Sainsbury’s is currently being built at the top of Haydons Road. The retail assessment, which stated originally “there is a deficiency of convenience facilities within the vicinity of the application site” therefore clearly now needs to be re-considered.
4 Flood risk
Since the application was approved, Plough Lane itself has flooded repeatedly due to heavy rain, and after gutters were swept – a groundwater issue which Merton has obviously failed to take into consideration. Our local council appears to be in denial about flooding and subsequent transport problems in the Plough Lane area, having failed to put it on its list of black spots to avoid during flood incidents despite the road being impassable and with traffic queues backing up in all directions.
The Plough Lane/Haydons Road area with its almost permanent traffic jams is among Merton’s most polluted, yet this fact has not even been considered by planners as far as the housing and stadium development is concerned. This cannot be right. Merton Borough’s approach here – as elsewhere – appears to be, build it and fix it later. This is inappropriate as well as reckless.
The deadline for comments on the Plough Lane development is AUGUST 10. Send your email to email@example.com to ensure loose ends are considered and properly dealt with before Merton lets Galliard Homes and AFC Wimbledon effectively do whatever they like with our neighbourhood.