Tag Archives: application

Merton gets go-ahead on AFCW stadium plans

Development plans for Wimbledon Stadium will NOT be called in by the Secretary of State, Merton Council was informed today.

That means building work can begin on the 10k-seat football stadium, 600+ home enabling development, new squash club and retail unit.

We wish AFC Wimbledon good luck with their project, and only hope that traffic, flooding and infrastructure matters are managed well enough to minimize problems and maximise benefits to the local area where, let’s face it, we already suffer enough with road congestion and air pollution.

One good thing that has come out of the planning process so far is that the football club does seem to have increased its involvement in the local community, with a more frequent presence at local charity events and providing training in schools.

It has also been an eye-opener as to how Merton Council does business, and we can only hope that our elected councillors and taxpayer-funded council officers draw some lessons from the benefits that could be gained from adopting a more transparent way of dealing with residents in future.

We reserve the right to continue keeping residents informed on progress at the Plough Lane site, as a new facility rises from the ashes of the historic Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium. In the meantime, over and out!

Mayor washes his hands of Plough Lane application

Two days before his self-imposed deadline, the Mayor of London announced on Monday that he would step back from taking over planning permission for the Galliard Homes/AFC Wimbledon application for Plough Lane and return it to Merton Council to decide the case itself.

Read Sadiq Khan’s full letter here.

His decision comes exactly as predicted by our London Assembly Member Leonie Cooper while the so-called consultation process was still ongoing, as well as by the Leader of Merton Councillor Stephen Alambritis. Which makes a cynic wonder whether the decision had been pre-determined all along.

Wilful spin by Merton Council

Meanwhile, we hear that Wandsworth Council is strongly considering an appeal to the Secretary of State over whether Merton Council should be allowed to make the final decision on an application which is right on the borough border and has so much potential impact on their borough.

 

 

 

Wilful spin from our council of shame

No wonder AFC Wimbledon thinks planning permission for Plough Lane is a slam dunk, given the skewed propaganda disseminated by Merton Council. Our council is either getting it wrong by misrepresenting the position of the Mayor of London’s office, or it has been given the inside track on this issue, ‘knowing’ that whatever submissions are forthcoming during the two-week consultation period (which ended on August 10), the AFC Wimbledon/Galliard application will be heading back its way one day very soon.

Merton says on its website: “In a report published today, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has indicated his preference to hand the decision back to the council.

“The Mayor announced today a Greater London Authority (GLA) public consultation into how best to progress AFC Wimbledon’s planning application to build a football stadium and flats in Plough Lane, Merton, prior to making a final decision.

“The report makes clear that the Mayor is minded to return the authority to make the decision to Merton Council, where the cross party planning committee agreed in December 2015 to grant permission.”

What the GLA report actually says is: “It is recommended that the Mayor’s request to consider reversing the previous Mayor’s decision to act as planning authority is consulted on for 14 days, after which the Mayor will be able to consider the option of returning the application to Merton Council to determine.”

Wilful spin is not what you expect from your local council. Wilful spin and misrepresentation of the facts is what we are getting. Shame on you, Merton Council.

 

 

 

Sadiq Khan: sticking up for residents

A little reminder that as MP for Tooting, Sadiq Khan was happy to stand up for residents over worries about the implications of a large-scale housing development and football stadium on the borders of his Tooting ward.

The letter he submitted to Merton about the AFCW/Galliards application can be read here: http://www.sadiqkhan.org.uk/have_your_say_on_the_future_of_plough_lane_sw19

It would be interesting to know the views of his successor as MP for Tooting, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan. From posts on her website and Twitter feed, affordable housing, local transport issues including train capacity and Crossrail 2, and air quality feature among her interests: all relevant to the Plough Lane application.

 

Merton cannot be trusted on Plough Lane application

The Mayor of London has announced a short, 14-day consultation period during which representations can be made on whether he should overturn Boris Johnson’s decision to take over responsibility for the Plough Lane planning application.
Comments must be submitted by August 10, 2016.
So why can’t Merton Borough Council be trusted with the decision?
1 Their consultation process on the original application was a joke.
2 They had clearly pre-determined the application before it even went before the planning applications committee.
3 No one on the planning committee declared an interest in the application from AFCW despite their clear bias in favour of the applicants.
4 Officers presenting the scheme at the planning committee effectively acted as advocates for the applicant.
5 Traffic, infrastructure, flooding, air pollution: Merton has blatantly papered over any potential problems with the application in its opaque desire to bring a football stadium to Plough Lane whatever the cost.
6 It is allowing the developers to get away with offering a paltry 9.6% affordable housing against a borough target of 40%. The new Mayor of London was elected on a pledge of 50% affordable for new developments.

Comments can be emailed to : planningadmin@london.gov.uk

 

 

‘News within a fortnight’ says Alambritis

Our dear leader Cllr Stephen Alambritis has dug out his AFCW supporters scarf again and promised there will be news on the football club’s plans for Plough Lane ‘within the next two weeks’. That was last week.

The Wimbledon Guardian also reports that the leader of Merton Council believes the stadium plans ‘may be finally approved by August’.

This is of course the same man who spent a day standing outside City Hall back in March, awaiting approval for the Plough Lane development from the then Mayor of London Boris Johnson, and ready to wave his AFCW scarf in triumph.  Except BoJo didn’t play ball. Whoops.

Now Alambritis is apparently confident that the new mayor Sadiq Khan will rubberstamp the scheme so that Merton planners can re-affirm their support for it next month, leaving the way open for Galliard Homes to build their 602-home housing development with less than 10% affordable provision while AFCW get their stadium.

We get the impression that Sadiq Khan is totally committed to his affordable housing commitments, so how he can possibly say yes to a scheme that falls well short of Merton’s 40% affordable target, one can only wonder.

Two floods in a fortnight: Merton Council in denial?

 

 

Two floods in a fortnight: Merton Council in denial?

Plough Lane flooding June 23 2016 Plough Lane flooding June 23 2016Torrential rain, the ground is sodden, so the Plough Lane area with its high watertable floods again causing traffic chaos from South Wimbledon to Wandsworth and beyond.

Late last year, the Environment Agency downgraded the site’s  flood risk from tidal and fluvial (ie river) sources. But river flooding is not the major problem here: surface and groundwater are more of an issue. And guess whose job it is to lead on flooding of this kind? Merton Council.

Which might explain their lack of forensic examination on flooding issues when they blithely waved through the AFC Wimbledon/Galliards development plans for Plough Lane at a meeting in December. Bring the Dons home, whatever the cost, remember? They decide it’s OK so it is OK. Until it rains and rains and rains.

The nearby Wandle meadows floodplain is currently under a few feet of water: that’s what it’s there for. Good. Ditto the current Plough Lane stadium site: it’s a vast open expanse that can happily flood causing little impact other than to those who habitually park there.

Build over and under it, as Galliard Homes wants to – dense blocks of 602 apartments with little in the way of open space, plus underground car parks that push soak-away capacity into surrounding land – and you end up with fewer places for excess water to go.

Challenging times ahead therefore for local residents, who have experienced flood waters lapping at their steps over the past couple of weeks, and flooded basements (eg in Havelock Road. For non-locals, that’s just off Plough Lane).

Meanwhile, Merton Council issues a list of areas to avoid due to rain-induced flooding, and despite enormous traffic jams tailing back in every direction – Plough Lane doesn’t even get a mention. Scared to highlight the fact that the road is suffering flooding because that doesn’t fit ‘the story’, perhaps, and to hell with keeping road users (and residents) informed?