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Still (almost) Back To Plough Lane

It was going a bit too well, I suppose…

So, NPL has been called in, for reasons we don’t yet know. One obviously can assume that Boris doesn’t particularly want to be accused of letting it go through before he leaves.

Political decision? Probably, although we don’t know why it got called in as of yet. One wonders if it’s the affordable housing aspect, which did seem to stick out in our submission to the GLA.

Perhaps more S106s need to be signed? Or maybe it’s something else entirely?

You can sense the disappointment in Erik’s comments, though one wonders if he was slightly expecting it:

“We are disappointed that the application has not been approved today. We will immediately set about understanding the detailed reasons for the Mayor’s decision. While this is a setback, the story is not over. We have made a very strong case for the application and we will do so again. We remain confident that we will be successful, albeit after some delay to our aspirations.”

Penny for his real thoughts right now.

So, what? Firstly, let’s be honest – it’s a blow, and not a small one. It’s undeniably going to put the planned opening date back by a good while.

What this is going to do for Chelski buying KM is anyone’s guess, one would hope that they’ll stick around – although you can’t blame people for feeling down about that right now.

Apparently they’ve already paid an initial deposit, and one wonders if they’re now committed to buying KM (at least, without a financial penalty attached if they bail).

But a likely public enquiry and re-consultation just takes up more time. And money. Even if it all starts in July, it’s going to be a good while before we finally get a conclusion to it.

I’m sure that we’ll ultimately be OK when that does happen, because right now I bet we’re waiting to get the reasons why it got called in and every dotted “i” and crossed “t” is scrutinised – and then some.

No doubt we’ll have to double down, and rehash some arguments. And tackle some new ones, while we’re at it. But I don’t think it’s a total starting from scratch again.

A lot – and I mean a lot – of work has gone into this already, and that doesn’t get thrown to the wayside now. Again, we’re awaiting as to the reasons it got called in, but if we have add more stuff then that’s what we’ve got to do.

It sucks, and then some, but to use football-speak – we go again.

I’m going to be honest here, and there will be a couple of people reading this who will back me up – I had a feeling this was going to happen.

I was surprised not more was made from various opposing parties, though of course I expect they’ll now be waiting to chomp at the bit. We will defeat them with proper arguments, and now will be the time to finally make them.

We’re clearly (partly) the victims of politicking here, especially as there’s elections coming up. How much of what will undoubtedly be grandstanding will suddenly disappear post-election remains to be seen.

There’s obviously some buck-passing going on, as hinted at earlier, although it always remains the case that if it’s down to the planners then we’ll get the OK eventually.

And if you’re feeling really down right now, just look down the south coast towards Brighton and the difficulty they had with the Amex.

Read the bit here about planning permission and the subsequent timelines involved, and you’ll realise just how many hoops they ended up going through.

In fact, we might even consider ourselves a bit lucky in comparison. Though admittedly it doesn’t feel like that right now.

So, we’ll have to wait for the dust to settle, and find out exactly why we’ve got to go through this additional process. We’ve been through much worse as a fanbase, and we’re a pretty battle hardened lot.

But then, the question has to be asked – why is it always so fucking difficult to support Wimbledon…?