Objection to Planning Application 2021/3609 – AELTC’s development proposals

3 November 2023

Southfields Grid Residents' Association

Please see below the text of SGRA’s objection to Planning Application 2021/3609 and a commentary on SGRA’s recent survey on AELTC’s development proposals

Text of SGRA’s objection to Wandsworth Council – Planning Application 2021/3609

As unanimously agreed by the Southfields Grid Residents’ Association’s Executive Committee, I am writing on behalf of the Association to object to this planning application. Following a recent public meeting held at St Barnabas Church, we conducted a survey of those Grid residents on our membership database. Nearly two thirds of the residents who responded are opposed to AELTC’s development proposals. 

The former Wimbledon Park Golf Course is designated as Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), forms part of a Grade 11* Registered Park and Garden and is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. It is also part of the North Wimbledon Conservation Area. The original parkland was designed by Capability Brown. Numerous National, London Plan and Local Plan planning policies protect this space from inappropriate development. 

Points of concern that the SGRA Executive Committee have identified, include (but are not limited to) those listed in the following paragraph.

AELTC’s development proposals, particularly the 8,000 seater stadium and extensive re-landscaping, for commercial sport and entertainment use will: 

• cause physical harm to MOL, fail to preserve its openness and harm designated open space
• increase the built form with clearly visible structures on currently open land
• create commercial buildings on open space that has been used for sport and recreation until very recently
• cause harm to heritage assets and spoil current views
• lead to the felling of nearly 300 mature trees with the associated loss of carbon dioxide capture
• cause damage to an ecologically sensitive site and have a negative impact on its biodiversity
• lead to increased visitor numbers for an additional week that will severely impact on Southfields station and centre 
• create heavy construction traffic for many years that will be detrimental to the amenity of local residents.

Despite AELTC’s proposals to justify Very Special Circumstances we ask that this land be protected from this development and the application be refused.

Charles Runcie, Chair SGRA – 3 November 2023

Commentary on SGRA’s recent survey on AELTC’s development proposals

From 17 to 26 October, SGRA conducted a survey of our membership database to see how many supported, opposed, were unsure or unconcerned about AELTC’s development proposals as they currently stand. 

The survey was sent out to 495 people on our database.  Of the 232 returns received, 24 had to be discounted as they were from outside the SGRA geographical area.  Our result base is therefore 208.

The number of returns concerning the AELTC development proposals were as follows:

  • Supported                     51
  • Opposed                     135
  • Unsure                           16
  • Unconcerned                  6

TOTAL                          208

The survey was overseen and approved by an independent adjudicator.  

On 31 October, the Executive Committee considered the results and agreed unanimously to the Chair (Charles Runcie) submitting an objection to Wandsworth Council’s Planning Applications Committee.  That objection was submitted today (3 November 2023).  Meetings of Wandsworth’s Planning Applications Committee are planned for the evenings of 21 November and 12 December.  

The results of our survey will be on the agenda for our next Public Meeting on 28 November 2023 (7.45pm, in the Parish Room, St Barnabas’ Church). 

The Executive Committee wishes to reassure SGRA residents that it will continue to make sure that they have access to all the information on this and other important issues.

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