Have your say!

The official closing date for submissions to Merton Borough Council on the revised Plough Lane development plans is October 8, 2015: email your views to: planning.representations@merton.gov.uk

Include your name, address, the planning reference number 14/P4361 and clearly state your objections on planning grounds (traffic, transportation, flood risk, parking etc).

More importantly, you can still let your local councillors and MP know your views, as the opinions of residents are far more interesting to our elected representatives than blanket expressions of support from the reams of global football supporters that AFC Wimbledon encouraged to get involved with their ‘Write now’ campaign.

As we know via a letter received from one resident who contacted his local councillor, concerned that local opinions were being gagged by the volume of responses coming from AFC Wimbledon fans:

“The really important thing to remember is that the consultation is not a referendum. It is not the number of points made, but the quality of them that makes them effective.”

Whose views could be more important than those of local people when it comes to large-scale developments on our doorstep? Certainly not the out-of-borough AFC Wimbledon supporters who have been bombarding Merton with letters from far and wide.

When we say out-of-borough, we mean from as far afield as Hawaii, St Petersburgh, The Czech Republic, Croatia, Australia, Norway, South America… the list goes on.

Most of them have no idea of the impact these plans will have on our neighbourhood and simply want to see AFC Wimbledon based in Plough Lane – at any cost.

By the club’s own admission (postcode maps are included in the planning documents submitted by AFCW) the vast majority of their supporters live outside Merton and Wandsworth, and certainly outside the ward that will be most affected by their plans. And judging by the speed at which their emails were submitted to the council’s planning department, few of them had even skimmed the several thousand pages of documentation relating to this application before pressing ‘send’ on their emails.

We elect councillors to represent our best interests and take decisions that will both preserve and improve the quality of our lives. So now is the time to let these people know what we think and ask them to act on our behalf. They are the ones who will be voting on this application, or have the greatest influence on their voting colleagues who sit on the planning committee. 

What do local politicians think of the Plough Lane plans?

Here’s what concerned Merton or Wandsworth residents should do:

Let your local councillors know your views about plans for the redevelopment of the greyhound stadium site in Plough Lane: visit the Merton Borough Council website to find out who represents your ward.

Whether you’re a close neighbour of the Plough Lane stadium, or live slightly further away, your life will be affected by  development works, with extra pressure on health services, schools, parking and transport. It may be that your local councillor sits on Merton’s planning committee and thus has a vote on the future of the stadium site. Find out who your councillors are and send them an email outlining your concerns.

Plough Lane Greyhound Stadium falls within Wimbledon Park ward, represented on Merton Borough Council by:

 Cllr Janice Howard:  janice.howard@merton.gov.uk

Cllr Oonagh Moulton: oonagh.moulton@merton.gov.uk

Cllr Linda Taylor:   linda.taylor@merton.gov.uk

Let them know your views on plans to redevelop the Plough Lane stadium site.

The site lies right on the border of Merton and Wandsworth boroughs.  Wandsworth residents are also entitled to have a say on plans that will affect their lives in terms of noise, traffic and flooding. Earlsfield, Tooting and Graveney residents‘ views are particularly relevant: visit the Wandsworth Borough Council website to find out the names of your councillors.


Wimbledon Park Residents Association has been very proactive in ensuring residents’ views are represented on Plough Lane development issues. Get in touch via the Wimbledon Park Residents Association website.

Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond also wants to know the views of local residents about this site, especially our opinions on traffic, transport and flooding relating to the AFC Wimbledon application. Let him know too whether you think local health and education services can cope should hundreds of new homes be built in Plough Lane. Where are the doctors’ surgeries and schools to cater for increased numbers of residents?

Drop Mr Hammond an email to let him know what you think: stephen.hammond.mp@parliament.uk


16 thoughts on “Have your say!

  1. Ian

    Great to see the stadium is being redeveloped, and much needed homes for local people being built. Hopefully we’ll have Wimbledon’s football team back at Wimbledon Stadium for the first time since the 1910-11 season as a bonus!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rob C

    Do you know if the RPS examination will be repeated once actual details are known of both proposals? It would be good to hear their views once full details are in the public domain, rather than them having to second guess the details.


  3. John Newbigin

    Have just seen the proposed plans for the Football stadium. What a site, what a dump!! Overcrowding doesn’t come into it. Looks like 14 blocks of flats and all squashed together. No grass areas for children. This will never work. Where is the parking??
    I live in Wimbledon road and remember football problems from many years ago.
    Me and my family strongly oppose bringing football back.
    Big it up for the greyhounds.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. openartsedu

    I’m all for the romanticism of AFC Wimbledon and have great respect for the enthusiasm and work of the AFC Wimbledon supporters, although I feel a lot of the new bid motivation is more about making certain people rich at expense of the local community rather than for the local community.

    AFC Wimbledon representative, Galliard Homes and the media need to stop taking a selfish and lazy journalistic, financial and over romanticised motivated view of all this and get down to the local area and start to engage with and address the current community concerns and problems before imposing more problems on this area!

    Why add to this area’s problems by locating a 20k football stadium, sports clubs and home complex at its heart? The AFCW bid will have a hugely negative impact on the local area and will only make this area less of a community rather than the opposite which it claims if the issues below are not ‘properly’ addressed, no mickey mouse solutions please, we need real change in this area.

    The community that will suffer is not just Plough Lane its the whole local area that needs to be considered and improved we should not be adding to the problems. Take a walk down Dunsford Rd or Haydons Road all any of the roads close by, they all suffer from the above and nothing in the transport plan is going to improve that, its only going to make things worse.

    Traffic congestion – The area must have one of the most over crowded and polluted road networks in the Borough, traffic is always backed up for miles.

    Traffic pollution – The area must have one of the most polluted road networks in the Borough, thick black dust covers the homes in the area from the amount of traffic and the constant traffic jams.

    Traffic accidents – I’ve witnessed many accidents on these roads due to driver frustration at being in jams, speeding, mounting pavements etc. The roads here are dangerous.

    Cyclists – Many accidents have included Cyclists, the streets are narrow and the roads are too dangerous to ride or accommodate cyclists, they are inevitably pushed onto the pavements with the already overcrowded pedestrians.

    Pedestrian – Experience of being a pedestrian in this area is not good, smelly dirty roads and streets, narrow unlooked after footpaths, busy roads, crossing etc.

    Parking – already difficult to park in this area, why add to this by locating a 20k stadium at it heart?

    Schools – places for schools are already tight, quality of some schools could be better, extra pressure on existing schools will only add to this.

    Doctors & hospitals – already really long waiting time and growing pressure on staff

    Dirty streets – Some of the dirtiest streets in London already, including regular fly tipping, with 20K football crowds it will only get worse.

    Houses – Do we need more houses, sports clubs, cars? The area is already very populated

    Children & youth activity areas – Mostly overcrowded & run down or non-existent

    Planning permission timing – its also very suspicious and disrespectful to the local community that these sorts of important planning applications go in at Christmas & new year when everyone is stressed, busy or planning to go away etc. This bid shows the same kind of blatant disrespect a sneaky phone company would show to its community when trying to get their phone mast planning through.

    If Merton Council would like to support a community spirit in this area then create a beautiful community space, an amazing park, encourage the arts, an arts centre, a playground, a skateboard park, swimming pool, a community centre, a school, a doctor’s anything that really transforms this community and area in a positive way not something that makes it worse, please !

    Liked by 2 people

  5. combyne

    I am amused by this statement within your blog:

    ‘We note that AFCW currently have a modern and well equipped 5,000 capacity ground at Kingsmeadow in Kingston upon Thames which is only about 7km from Plough Lane and 2.5km from the border of the borough of Merton. Furthermore, the capacity of this ground has not been exceeded while AFCW have been there [except for one extraordinary occasion when their FA Cup draw saw them pitted against Liverpool FC] and so it is a puzzle as to why a larger stadium is required.’

    Thankfully the football club has never exceeded the capacity of the stadium for a number of very good reasons:

    1) The licence stipulates the capacity of the stadium, if it is exceeded, the club would lose it licence. It would most likely be fined, and directors prosecuted.

    2) Health and Safety – the capacity is calculated for both health and safety purposes. May I refer people to what has happened where costraints were not enforced correctly?

    3) Comfort.
    Imagine watching a football match or other sporting occasion as if you were crushed together as in a tube train during rush hour.

    The recent game against Liverpool in the FA Cup 3rd Round was restricted to season ticket holders, Dons Trust members, shareholders and registered members. I do not know the final figures, but many registered members were unable to obtain a ticket for the match.

    There was no general sale of tickets to ensure the safety of everyone.

    The local Police praised the club and both sets of supporters for a trouble free evening, where smiles were the order of the day.


  6. SouthLondonGuy

    As someone who was born and schooled in Wimbledon, I am ecstatic to see AFC Wimbledon’s plans.

    They look stunning, and will massively regenerate the entire area, bringing money, and jobs.

    They will also be able to deliver very sophisticated community benefits through their excellent Foundation – helping improve the health and opportunities of local people around Plough Lane, and the whole of Merton, young and old.

    It really is an outrage that the likes of Bolton, Manchester, Wigan, Huddersfield, Brighton and Hull have had years of enjoying the regenerative and community outreach work that the modern, financially-successful football industry has brought, yet Wimbledon has been left out. It is time that changed.

    Every local resident should get behind the AFC Wimbledon bid – it is going to be a magnificent jewel in the crown of a fantastic borough!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. local resident

    Every `local’ resident should get behind the AFC Wimbledon bid?? You got to be joking! I know AFC fans are trying to bully and intimidate local residents into agreeing to their area being invaded by them but PLEASE don’t claim that your army of football supporters club are living locally. We are getting sick and tired of AFCs bullying tactics. If the Galliard Homes/AFC bid fails we will get a much better solution, so please don’t pretend that a 20k football stadium and dense housing is our `only’ option. Nothing could be further from the truth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. combyne

      what bullying tactics are you referring to, please?

      This is a discussion moderated by Nicola, so I see no evidence of any bullying.

      As for invasion? How do you define that, please?

      These are people like you and me, and yet you appear to be decrying them for something else.

      Out of interest who is ‘we’? Who do you speak for, please?

      Open meeting this Wednesday – please come along and ask questions, make comments and ensure your views are taken into account in a polite and respectful way?


  8. local resident

    The `polite and respectful way’ was clearly NOT demonstrated by AFC supporters during the last meeting at Kohat Road.They almost took over the meeting with constant interruptions and heckling to get `their’ point across. When `local’ residents expressed their fears, they were laughed at, so please don’t lecture me. I was there! I’m sure you’ll get your heckling crowd to the next meeting.
    May I remind you that this is NOT a referendum about who wants to see a football stadium at Plough Lane. This is a PLANNING ISSUE and as such will be decided on planning law. If it was a referendum, `local’ people clearly would be in the minority, given that AFC has contacted members of other UK football clubs to support their move to Plough Lane, using the loyalty card. We know that letters were written to the Council from abroad by people who might not even know where Plough Lane is and never have visited `our’ area. Galliard Homes don’t have to do much PR to get their way. They just want to build their rabbit hutches on a `functional 3b floodplain’ and to do so they wanted the Inspector to `disregard’ this very important fact! How’s that for `respect’ for the local community??

    What makes your disrespect for the `local’ community clear is the fact that you think it’s ok for our area to face future floodrisks as well as being inundated with traffic and pollution created by the influx of 20 000 football fans weekly. This will change `our’ area forever, an area which has experienced great revival since the Dons moved from Plough Lane.


    1. Linda Bedford

      I fully agree with this local residents comments.

      I have lived in the Plough Lane area for 43 years and do not wish to return to the bad old days when we had to remain at home on match days.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. combyne

        Linda, thank you for your response.

        Please would you help me understand why you would need to remain at home on match days?

        The game runs from 3pm until 5pm on a Saturday and the build up starts at 1:30pm, and break down by 5:30pm.

        So could you do what you need to do in the morning?

        Or why not go out for the day and see some of your many friends?


    2. combyne

      it won’t be weekly, which is the first incorrect item in your response.

      Nor will it be 20,000 supporters either.

      The initial application is for 11,000 with the potential for an increase to 20,000, however, that won’t happen immediately.

      The area will not be inundated with traffic, since my understanding is that supporters will be encouraged to use public transport – many stations in the locale, plus I am sure like the tennis park and ride will be looked into seriously for the larger attendance games.

      As for a meeting at Kohat Road. No I was not there, but I thought the meeting organised by WPRA took place at another venue.

      Or are you referring to another meeting of which I am not aware?

      Where have I said this was a referendum? This is a discussion board hosted by Nicola on her blog.

      I trust you will have seen I have been polite in my responses?


  9. local resident

    Can we have this in writing that:
    1. Galliard Homes/AFC will pay for the damage if our homes get flooded or if our homes are in the floodzone ( there are on the edge already in Havelock, Kohat and Kingsley Road !!) and thereby our insurance costs will shoot through the roof? Some of us are already looking into the legal implications.
    2. That most supporters will use public transport?
    3. Will Galliard Homes/AFC pay for visitors passes for visitors of `local’ residents in the evening and weekend, particularly for the families and friends of older residents who don’t even have a car?? So far we have not needed out of hours CPZ!!

    In your enthusiasm to have your team play in Plough Lane you have forgotten the huge inconvenience and loss of quality of Life that local residents will have to endure.
    4. And as for road closures: your spokesman tonight at the meeting didn’t know what he was talking about: 8 – 20mins road closures for people leaving the ground?? Thankfully we have a resident in our midst who is able and `highly qualified’ to calculate the real figure which is at least 40 mins. Regrettably he was not able to expose this fact at the meeting although he had his hand up. It was `interesting’ that `technical’ question could not be answered!!

    I couldn’t believe some of the comments made by the speakers for AFC/Galliards Homes. They must have read different documents to the ones I have read, ALL opposing the present application and demanding huge changes.So you see, it’s NOT JUST people like me who live here who think that the planning application is against the `London Plan’ and national planning guidelines.

    The question is this: If Galliard Home/AFCs are so confident that they can `mitigate’ the flooding threat, WHY have they not supplied these plans in the first place, after all they supplied over 3000 pages??

    A 3b floodplain does NOT permit dense housing on the site according to National Planning Guidelines and for the guy on the podium to state that this is NOT the case was misleading and for some of the AFC supporters to laugh at the resident in the audience who seemed to understand these planning issues , was downright disrespectful and demonstrated their ignorance in planning matters. I very much doubt that any of the many AFC supporters who were there have read and understood the documents supplied. But this is not a referendum. It will be decided on planning terms and let’s see if Galliard Homes can afford to make all the changes necessary to appease the Mayor, the EA and TfL. Hopefully this whole issue will have to go to the Mayor in the end anyway as Wandsworth residents and Councillors are not happy either. AFC can flood every planning meeting with supporters of this planning application, but in the end this application will have to satisfy planning law and what I heard tonight was a lot of fudging of the issues and misrepresentation of facts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. combyne

      Local Resident, who I now understand is Peter (I won’t give your surname, but do know it), and it appears you asked exactly the same questions at the Wandsworth meeting.

      You have an ability to ask questions, but not listen to what is exactly said.

      I find that quite extraordinary for an intelligent man such as yourself.

      You continually go over the same ground which has been dealt with politely and respectively, but yet fail to accept that you have probably got this wrong, simply because you have misunderstood planning law, environmental needs and policy, local policy as highlighted by Merton, plus much, much more.

      The meeting last night was not flooded with AFC Wimbledon supporters – you may be surprised to learn that lots do live in Merton and therefore are entitled to attend the meeting. I did not go to Wandsworth, because, I am outside the area.

      It is also a shame that the local councillors hogged some questions – they have access that none of us do via Council Meetings, and I made that point to them after the meeting closed.

      By the way building properties on a podium as described quite clearly at least three times, means the residential properties will be insurable without a problem. It is one of the reasons a number of houses near the Thames are now being raised in a similar way.

      Building guidelines have changed and part of that change is to build properties above the 1 in 100 year flooding threat. I thought that was a point well made. It also explained the desire to use podiums. It also means that the properties are NOT being built on the the flood plain.

      They are being built ABOVE the flood plain.

      Small point we are not Arsenal Football Club supporters (AFC), but AFC Wimbledon supporters (AFCW). Please be accurate? Ta.

      Another point – you complain about laughing by people in the audience. I sat with three residents of the area, and they are not supporters, but laughed too and added the comment: ‘here we go again, mr knowall, showing his ignorance, and trying to be too clever.’

      Is there a point here that could be taken on board?

      Last night was an open meeting and you lost the audience by quoting regulations and it appears mis-quoting too.

      Also why this reference to referendum again? What for? What purpose does it serve?

      This is a planning application, and will be examined under planning law, planning policy and appropriate guidlines set out by EA, TFL, GLA and others. In a democratic country such as ours, individuals can put forward their views, and that is what was supposed to happen until hijacked by you and others, who confused the audience and lost them too.

      A bit of a PR disaster for you and WPRA.


  10. local resident

    You got my name wrong! And I was not referring to the buildings` on platforms’ . UNDER THE PODIUMS ARE BASEMENTS FOR `UNDERGROUND’ PARKING WHICH `DISPERSE THE FLOODPLAIN’ into the surrounding area. Have you still not read the EA recommendations?You seem to have a problem understanding what happens to water when it is displaced. But then you seem to speak for the EA but sadly misunderstand their guidelines and unfortunately this very important fact was not discussed.Please get your facts right. 3b is NOT 1 in 100 but 1 in 20 threat!!


  11. Rod ellery

    The proposal by AFC Galliard homes is so lacking in imagination. It is, frankly, the worst example of genetic 21st architecture one could hope to find. It is about making as much money from a site without any consideration for the end users. It is not about making a trip to the footy an out and out experience, just a bog standard trip to a bog standard stadium; it is not about offering quality homes, it is about meeting the quota for Merton to supply housing; the Wimbledon community have not thrown their heart and soul into this proposal to regenerate this tatty corner of the Borough and the nearby community cannot see the benefit of having this dull boring 2nd class development looking akin to Lubianka thrust upon them.

    AFC fans tell your trust they are selling you short. Where is your Stadium of Lights, where is your Emirates Stadium? Does your club not deserve the best stadium? Do you fans not deserve the best match day experience? Can Galliard homes not build higher end, better specked and designed apartments to fund this?

    The shoddy design lacks ambition and AFC Wimbledon deserve better. A design to match your ambitions, not a design that could mirror mediocrity.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s