The AFC Wimbledon Stadium development will go ahead after the Government approved the scheme. I support the move but understand some reservations local residents have. We must now ensure the development works for Earlsfield and doesn’t cause unnecessary disruption.
Some points have been raised throughout this process around match days, transport infrastructure and local provisions. I have raised these issues with the relevant authorities and have had reassurances.
I wanted further reassurances that Earlsfield residents won’t be affected on match days or by the number of new residents moving in – so raised this with the Leader of Merton Council. I’m pleased Merton have announced hundreds of thousands of pounds in contributions to improving the pavements, roads and green spaces around Earlsfield.
When I met with the Wandsworth Borough Police Commander I was assured that match days would see sufficient number of Police Officers on patrol in the local area. They were confident they could handle the flow of crowds on match days. I will continue to work with the Police to ensure proper plans are in place when the stadium nears completion.
With the new homes being built within the development, we must ensure our local services have capacity to manage increasing demands. We need the Government to properly invest in our schools and health services, the new development would require just one extra doctor for the local area – I’m pleased Merton have committed to providing healthcare provision and will ensure this pledge is followed through.
Last year, 41% of the homes Merton built were affordable, compared to just 15% in Wandsworth. When it comes to building genuinely affordable homes – Merton Labour Council beats Wandsworth Conservative Council. The number of affordable homes on this site is low, but I am confident that Merton have a plan to deliver more and more affordable homes across their borough in the coming years.
I met with representatives from South West Trains at Earlsfield station in order to discuss what measures were being put in place to limit congestion on match days. Once the December 2017 upgrade works are completed capacity will increase by 33% on all services going in and out of Earlsfield with the introduction of ten car trains. Further to this, TfL has also announced a million-pound package to improved bus routes along Garratt Lane which should further reduce the pressures around Earlsfield Station.