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Wimbledon - A Very Slight Ray of Hope
By David Pickles

Sadiq Khan MP - Speedway Saviour?

The BBC reported on March 23rd that the decision whether to allow AFC Wimbledon to bulldoze Plough Lane and build a 20,000 seater football stadium has been put on hold.

The Mayor of London's office has delayed a decision, and one of the Mayoral candidates has come out against the proposal. I show below, the complete and latest BBC report on the subject.

It may help the cause if as many as possible wrote to the Labour candidate urging him to stop the development altogether.


"AFC Wimbledon's plans to build a new stadium have suffered a setback after the Mayor of London said his office would decide whether they went ahead. Merton council approved an application to develop the greyhound stadium site in Plough Lane last year, but neighbouring Wandsworth objected. A new consultation will take place, with a final decision due later this year.

"Labour's mayoral contender Sadiq Khan has opposed the plans. Wimbledon chief executive Erik Samuelson said he was "disappointed".

"In December, Wandsworth Council's planning chair called on the Mayor to step in, saying the plans for a 20,000-seater stadium, leisure centre and 602 flats would have a "serious and adverse" impact in Wandsworth, especially in Earlsfield and Tooting.

"Councillor Sarah McDermott cited fears that local hospital and GP services would be oversubscribed, and that the planned on-site supermarket would threaten local shops. She also had concerns about parking and transport. "We are certainly not opposed to the site being developed, nor to it being used for a football ground and to provide new homes," she said. "But we are opposed to this specific application because in our view it simply does not properly address or offer any solutions to the problems it will create in the area."

"Mr Khan, who holds the nearby Tooting constituency, also objected to the plans last year. Mr Samuelson said the club "would immediately set about understanding the detailed reasons for the Mayor's decision". "While this is a setback, the story is not over," he added. "We have made a very strong case for the application and we will do so again. We remain confident that we will be successful, albeit after some delay to our aspirations."

"Wimbledon FC left its original home at Plough Lane in 1991 because legislation demanded all-seater stadiums. It shared Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park before moving to Milton Keynes. Many fans protested against the move and decided to form AFC Wimbledon as a non-League club. It rose back to league status and currently plays at Kingsmeadow in Kingston-upon-Thames.

"The forthcoming closure of the Wimbledon dog track - the last greyhound stadium with a London postcode - was recently described as a "crime against happiness" by the Racing Post.


This article was first published on 25th March 2016

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  • Anthony Williamson:

    "Not sure how this will help speedway fans. We could not get enough supporters to pay the stadium before. What makes you think this will not happen again. New or old stadium if there are not enough through the gates to pay wages there is no speedway. FACT"

  • David Pickles:

    "Just to briefly add to the information I have posted here before, here is official confirmation posted a couple of days ago that the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, is to call in the application by AFC Wimbledon for the redevelopment of Wimbledon Stadium, Plough Lane. It appears that a final decision will be made within the next 4-6 weeks."

    Latest news - Mayor of London calls in stadium planning application On 22 March 2016 the Mayor of London considered a report by GLA (Greater London Authority) officers on the Wimbledon Stadium planning application. The Mayor decided to call in the application. A final decision from the Mayor is likely to take place after the Mayoral Election on 5 May 2016.


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