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(Almost) Back to Plough Lane – 1am Edition

OK, we still have to get it through Boris, and there are more conditions than a whole week of watching the Weather Channel, but it’s late and I have one thing to say…



I’ll be honest – it hasn’t sunk in yet. I went for a couple of drinks in Morden afterwards, and there’s a real sense of, did that just happen?

Tonight was as long and as excrutiating as you would have expected – it started about 1920 and ended at 2235 – and by fuck some of those councillors love their own voice.

I’m convinced half of them were bullied at school.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. All of them – and I mean, all of them – voted in our favour. No dissention, no pettyness, all of them realised that tonight, they’d better made the right decision.

Which they did. And listening to it as much (as I could stand, anyway), there wasn’t really much reason to reject it. The S106s will cost close to £2m, albeit the best £2m we’ll ever spend, and the questions were pretty much of the “what kind of material for the roofing?” type.

That’s fair enough, and there’s going to be a trade-off of sorts. Disabled parking for only three people is way, way too low, and I can understand why we’ll need to change that.

Likewise, the councillor who made the point that traffic may get worse with the 601 new homes might have a reasonable gripe. OK, the occupants of the new flats may be the young professional type who are more likely to buy a Carerra Crossfire than a Vauxhall Corsa, and as such I don’t think it will make significant difference to the traffic.

Christ, if they’re like the arseholes you get around the park by Craven Cottage on Saturday, the biggest risk to public safety will be the amount of joggers.

But they’re relatively minor things. The big picture was that LBM have given us the green light to go home. And that’s all that matters.

I didn’t bother listening to the objections, but from all accounts they were the typical shrillness from your average NIMBY. Did the bloke from the Wimbledon Society really say that flooding will kill us all?

And was there really an “AFCW fan” who was involved with Garratt Lane Business Park opposing our plan? Perhaps somebody should point out that it is just another industrial estate that would do rather well with charging for parking spaces on a Saturday.

I’m sure those who have been to Wycombe, or even Southampton recently can tell you how much the local industrial estates charge to leave your car there. Some budding entrepreneur will happily make £5/£10 a car with their surplus weekend car parking space, which does illustrate the mentality of those who opposed it.

Apparently, there were a couple of doggers there, although they didn’t speak and wouldn’t have added much anyway. But then, they’ve been irrelevant since day one. Their input wasn’t missed – bit like their “sport”, really.

Anyway, it’s the biggest hurdle of the lot vaulted. OK, we’ve still got Boris to deal with. But he waved through the much more contentious Brentford stadium through, and he might simply wish to avoid dealing with it.

If you travel around London, there are bigger fish to fry than a small stadium and (much needed) housing on the outskirts of the city. We’re just another development in a city full of developments.

If the Mayor is interested, it will only be as a political favour to somebody at Wandworth, or if they think they haven’t been bribed enough with S106s consulted sufficiently.

So we’ll wait and see on that, although it’s only likely to be a delay. And with the bit between our teeth…

More tomorrow. If I manage to wake up.