Plans for a brand new £30m greyhound stadium have been submitted in the latest twist in the saga for Plough Lane’s future.
Irish businessman Paschal Taggart said he wants to build a new four-tier stadium with a capacity for 6,000 spectators.
But, if successful, it could spell the end of any hopes of the site being transformed into a football stadium to be used for AFC Wimbledon.
Yesterday, we exclusively revealed council officers were instead working on plans to work with developers interested in building a football stadium in Merantun Way, Colliers Wood.
The “Merantun Way transformation and AFC Wimbledon masterplan” identified insurance giant Aviva as providing a new stadium for AFC Wimbledon on the site of the Savacentre, currently home to Sainsbury’s and M&S.
The current dog track in Wimbledon is part-owned by property firm Galliard Homes, which has also commissioned architects to work on their own redevelopment plan to build nearly 800 homes and a multiplex cinema on the site.
But Mr Taggart’s ambitious plans aim to bring in a new era for greyhound racing at a venue which is home to the sport’s biggest race, the Derby.
Presenting his plans, Mr Taggart said: “Unfortunately the existing buildings on the site are in very poor condition.
"In our opinion they are beyond economic regeneration. Our recommendation is that the existing sub-standard stadium and rear circuit be demolished and the site cleared.
He added: “We have set out to make a brief to ask for a new stadium created to be the best in the world, catering for 6,000 patrons."
A Merton Council spokeswoman confirmed that no formal planning application has been submitted by Mr Taggart, or Hamilton architects, who have created the design.
The plans include:
- a 1,500 capacity ground floor concourse with bars and direct access to track-side terraces;
- A carvery restaurant with 400 seats;
- A 700-person restaurant on the first and second floors;
- Eight luxury corporate suites.
The leader of Merton Council, Stephen Alambritis, said he still wanted AFC Wimbledon back at Plough Lane and would not be drawn on whether he would support or oppose a new greyhound stadium being built in Plough Lane instead.
He said: “Plough Lane is ripe for development and we have allocated the site for sporting intensification.
“I have always been of the opinion that the dog track will be very attractive to someone, whether it is AFC Wimbledon or this application."
He added: “Everyone is aware of my support to bring back AFC Wimbledon.
"It is sobering news for them but they can put in their own planning application for the site.
“I believe the dog track is the most appropriate home for AFC Wimbledon, but it is for them to put in an application and find the resources to build a football stadium.”