This process stinks

Anyone got any confidence left that the planning process is anything like transparent for Plough Lane development plans?

AFC Wimbledon supporters are fed up that their stadium ambitions are being held up. Residents are fed up that the whole scheme stinks of predetermination. And it’s a stink that gets stronger by the day.

Why so?

Exhibit A: Cllr Alambritis, Leader of Merton Council, who happily declares after a private meeting with the Mayor of London: “I’m very confident that this decision will be handed back to the London Borough of Merton and we will affirm the decision we took on December 10 that the club can go ahead with building a new stadium on Plough Lane.”

That’s a mighty confident stance to take considering the Mayor of London said he would only make a decision following a two-week consultation and subsequent 14-day period during which submissions would be considered.

Exhibit B: Merton and Wandsworth GLA representative Leonie Cooper emails a constituent on August 4 (while the consultation was still open to submissions) to say that the Mayor had already sent the plans back to Merton for determination. Bear in mind that Ms Cooper is a close colleague of Sadiq Khan, so you might expect her to have the inside track on the issue. But knowing for sure that the plans were being sent back to Merton before the consultation had even ended? Fishy, indeed.

Exhibit C: Leonie Cooper (yes, her again) tweets at 0926am on August 18 from her account:

In reply to

what fix? Passed back to as no grounds to intervene (Boris call-in was spurious)


She is again claiming that the application has been passed back to Merton Council, despite the fact that this has not yet been made public, and we are still within the 14-day consideration period following the close of consultation on August 10.

Exhibit D: In an email to a constituent sent on the afternoon of that same day August 18, Ms Cooper states:  “the Mayor has not yet made a final determination, as he has not yet had the chance to look at the various submissions made during the consultation.” This statement contradicts both her tweet earlier that day, and her statement of August 4. Make your mind up, Leonie!

If the Mayor of London does hand this planning application straight back to Merton, the suspicion will always be there: was this most recent consultation a mere case of window dressing? It stinks.

Many thanks to all those who continue to contact us with background information and links that enable us to keep residents informed about the ongoing intricacies of this complicated issue. A direct message on twitter is the best way to stay in touch @SW19Stadium