Plans unveiled to tear down Wimbledon dog track

Your Local Guardian: Wimbledon Stadium could be demolished Wimbledon Stadium could be demolished

Plans to demolish Wimbledon greyhound stadium and replace it with housing and a multiplex cinema could spell the end of 80 years of dog racing at the historic site.

It also raises the prospect of AFC Wimbledon moving back to site, in Plough Lane, just metres from the former home of Wimbledon FC until 1991.

The proposal, which has not yet been submitted to Merton Council, would signal the end of the UK's oldest greyhound track, which hosts the biggest dog race in the country, the Derby.

Galliard Homes – which co-owns the site with GRA Limited and investment company Risk Capital management – has appointed an architect to draw up plans to build 798 apartments on the site, as well as a multi-screen cinema.

It opens the possibility of AFC Wimbledon returning to its former home, because Merton Council has stated any redevelopment of the site should have an “intensification of sporting activity”.

The leader of the council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, has made no secret of his desire for Wimbledon’s football team to come to its original home in Plough Lane.

He said: “The council done everything it can to bring the club back to Merton.

"We have specifically made the plough lane site an area for sports intensification. Any development would have to go along with that.”

He added he was happy to set up a pre meeting between developers and the council.

Galliard Homes has appointed Battersea-based BUJ Architects to draw a plan which includes:

  • 798 apartments (55 per cent one-bedroom, 35 per cent two-bedroom, 10 per cent three bedroom);
  • 35 per cent affordable housing in the north-west corner of the site;
  • a two-floor commercial building encased in a metal shell. The building houses five cinema screens, a restaurant and a bar;
  • A multi-storey car park in the north-east corner and a basement car park with 775 parking spaces for commercial and residential use.

Greyhound racing enthusiasts are understood to be launching a campaign to save the dog stadium – which has hosted the Derby at the site since 1985 and dog racing for more than 80 years.

A source close to AFC Wimbledon said they were unaware of the development but would be interested in the site.

They said: “If the scheme was viable then I am sure the club would be interested in looking at it.”

Galliard Homes and the GRA refused to comment on the plans.

It is understood that Morrisons also bid for the site, along with four others owned by the GRA.

What do you think? Leave a comment below, call 020 8722 6335 or email: ooakes@london.newsquest.co.uk.

Comments (6)

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1:53pm Thu 10 May 12

GR-London says...

There is already too much housing in London.

The politicians need to get a grip on the unavoidable fact that this country is overpopulated and if they don't deal with it, future generations face a very grim and troublesome existence.

The riots of summer 2011 will be nothing in comparison.

Disaster awaits.
There is already too much housing in London. The politicians need to get a grip on the unavoidable fact that this country is overpopulated and if they don't deal with it, future generations face a very grim and troublesome existence. The riots of summer 2011 will be nothing in comparison. Disaster awaits. GR-London
  • Score: 0

9:25pm Thu 10 May 12

jessiebean says...

How interesting. What about the environmental issues relating to the oil that leaks from the power plant behind the stadium that has contaminated the land?
How interesting. What about the environmental issues relating to the oil that leaks from the power plant behind the stadium that has contaminated the land? jessiebean
  • Score: 0

3:41pm Thu 17 May 12

ovaltrack says...

This really should not happen. The building should be protected as

1) it is a valuable place of entertainment
2) a piece of social history
3) the last one left in London

If English Heritage can protect the pit lane buildings at Thruxton race circuit (an old breeze block building) then they should be looking at protecting Wimbledon stadium. The key thing is there is loads of space inside the building where units could be built / let out to businesses related to the sports that use / have used the stadium.

1) Bring the speedway back - not as the Dons but as a neutral circuit for play offs and internationals. Share the shale surface with the stock cars.

2) Have a museum celebrating the social history of the place and the area.

3) Have an engineering workshop for young people to get involved with the speedway bikes and cars.

4) Have a Greyhound racing museum.

There are other ideas as well. It's a beautiful building and facility - let's not lose it to more housing.

By the way, the number of residents they are planning to allow would actually increase the traffic, rubbish and noise produced from the area that the stadium occupies...
This really should not happen. The building should be protected as 1) it is a valuable place of entertainment 2) a piece of social history 3) the last one left in London If English Heritage can protect the pit lane buildings at Thruxton race circuit (an old breeze block building) then they should be looking at protecting Wimbledon stadium. The key thing is there is loads of space inside the building where units could be built / let out to businesses related to the sports that use / have used the stadium. 1) Bring the speedway back - not as the Dons but as a neutral circuit for play offs and internationals. Share the shale surface with the stock cars. 2) Have a museum celebrating the social history of the place and the area. 3) Have an engineering workshop for young people to get involved with the speedway bikes and cars. 4) Have a Greyhound racing museum. There are other ideas as well. It's a beautiful building and facility - let's not lose it to more housing. By the way, the number of residents they are planning to allow would actually increase the traffic, rubbish and noise produced from the area that the stadium occupies... ovaltrack
  • Score: 2

7:14pm Sun 20 May 12

stock car says...

I agree 100% with "ovaltrack"'s comments.
fast becoming a dense suburban dormitory --- it nothing but housing. When a city loses all entertainmnets except indoors, like cionemas and bars, a city loses its communities. I remember walking, biking, and busing to watch soccer and speedway and stock cars in Brum and Bristol and London. I even recall one stock car driver hurriedly driving his car across the street to Harringay Stadium! The power of money and private property is destroying our cities, and nobody questions the 'rightness' of money-comes-first.
I hope Wimbledon can be saved. There was a time when Londoners filled 80,000+ seats at Wembley and West Ham. Those were good days.
I agree 100% with "ovaltrack"'s comments. fast becoming a dense suburban dormitory --- it nothing but housing. When a city loses all entertainmnets except indoors, like cionemas and bars, a city loses its communities. I remember walking, biking, and busing to watch soccer and speedway and stock cars in Brum and Bristol and London. I even recall one stock car driver hurriedly driving his car across the street to Harringay Stadium! The power of money and private property is destroying our cities, and nobody questions the 'rightness' of money-comes-first. I hope Wimbledon can be saved. There was a time when Londoners filled 80,000+ seats at Wembley and West Ham. Those were good days. stock car
  • Score: 2

11:42am Sun 3 Jun 12

enibas says...

To be honest I don't mind what they do with the Wimbledon Stadium as long as they stop doing greyhounddog races which are cruel!
To be honest I don't mind what they do with the Wimbledon Stadium as long as they stop doing greyhounddog races which are cruel! enibas
  • Score: 0

9:00pm Sun 3 Jun 12

falco says...

I will cheer from the rooftope when Wimbledon stadium is demolished. Another death track for greyhounds put into a history that we should be ashamed of.
Gone are the days on the man who had a greyhound, who cared about it and raced it. Once the gambling industry got involved everything changed and greed and denial came walking in. It is a vile industry and anyone who likes to call themselves an animal lover should go to a greyhound track and see the drunks cheer when dogs are injured. These are not places where children should be taken either. Dont attend dog races or bet on them. Bet on virtual racing is you really want to give your money to the gamboing industry.
I will cheer from the rooftope when Wimbledon stadium is demolished. Another death track for greyhounds put into a history that we should be ashamed of. Gone are the days on the man who had a greyhound, who cared about it and raced it. Once the gambling industry got involved everything changed and greed and denial came walking in. It is a vile industry and anyone who likes to call themselves an animal lover should go to a greyhound track and see the drunks cheer when dogs are injured. These are not places where children should be taken either. Dont attend dog races or bet on them. Bet on virtual racing is you really want to give your money to the gamboing industry. falco
  • Score: -1

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