The redevelopment of the site of the greyhound stadium just off Plough Lane is rightly attracting much attention. As yet no applications have actually been submitted but are expected by the early autumn at the latest.
As most people are aware there will be two applications; one from AFC Wimbledon and one from a consortia intending to keep greyhound racing on the site. Both applications will rebuild the stadium. The AFC application will be for a scalable stadium, initially with about 11,000 seats but potentially expanded to 20,000 as well as a residential development of approximately 600 units. The other proposal, from the consortia supporting greyhounds, will have a smaller stadium and a lower number of units.
I have received a number of comments from local residents raising understandable concerns. I will be examining both applications carefully and will keep local residents up to date. I shall particularly be seeking answers to two key questions below, which a number of residents have raised with me:
Firstly, there is the whole question of the flood plain and how any development can be built acknowledging those constraints. As the residential development will be there permanently it is essential we understand what is the scale and density of the proposed housing, what is the quality of the design and what supporting infrastructure, such as schools and doctors, will be in place. Additionally, the River Wandle area has been placed on flood alert twice recently. Fortunately both times it did not affect local properties, but we must make sure this development does not negatively impact other properties in the area.
Secondly, we must know how local transport links will cope with the increase in demand. We need to know the other plans for the stadium, the regularity of its use and for what purposes beyond football matches or greyhound races. Both these activities and any additional activities on site will affect local residents and we need to know what they are. Often, many of the negative impacts can be mitigated if they are known about in advance. For instance local travel routes can usually bear some extra pressure when events are properly marshalled and policed.
As the answers to all these questions are not yet finalised, it is surprising that Merton Council have already pronounced on the issue.
If you have any additional views on this application please do let me know by emailing me firstname.lastname@example.org