AFC Wimbledon Plans Could Cause Flooding And Traffic Issues

Report probes plans for the greyhound stadium site

A report commissioned by Wimbledon Park Residents' Association claims there could be problems with flooding, traffic and transport if AFC Wimbledon's stadium plans go ahead.

The football club has unveiled plans to build a new 11,000 capacity ground on the site of the Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium in Plough Lane.

The scheme also includes 600 homes to be built by Galliard Homes, and the stadium could expand to 20,000 if Wimbledon move up the football pyramid.

A rival plan for the site involves expanding the greyhound stadium to a 4,500 seat area as well as 550 new homes.

Wimbledon Park Residents' Association (WPRA) commissioned consultancy firm RPS to evaluate development proposals for the site from the two parties.

According to the report’s executive summary: "RPS cannot see how at present this scheme can overcome and address flooding constraints; in fact, it appears at this stage of their [AFC/Galliard Homes] design process that this scheme will significantly exacerbate flooding in the area."

It adds: "There are significant concerns regarding the large capacity and high density proposals of the AFC/Galliard scheme including limited parking facilities on site, lack of facilities for coaches, demand for on-street parking and large surges in public transport demand associated with a 20,000 capacity stadium."

It concludes: "The assessment and comparisons highlight the weaknesses in the AFC proposals to address these [sustainable development principles for transport, road network, drainage and flood risk] local and national requirements. The greyhound stadium is therefore considered a more sustainable and robust proposal at this stage of development."

WPRA says it has carried out a residents' survey which found 80% of residents thought the AFC Wimbledon/Galliard Homes proposal was not very beneficial for local residents, with 8% thinking it was beneficial.

But Wimbledon Chief Executive Erik Samuelson recently said in the London Evening Standard: "If we are successful we will be improving that particular part of the borough and will be the catalyst for development and improvement around it.

"It is about coming back to where our hearts are. Wimbledon and Merton should have a proper Football League team. We did a detailed market survey and there are a huge amount of existing fans in the area who don't come any more, or people who follow the club from Merton but have never been. Our records show 15,000 households have been connected to us in one way or another over the last three years."

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October 10, 2014