Final lap for stock car racing at Wimbledon Stadium in Plough Lane?
Stock car racing at Wimbledon Greyhound stadium appears set to end.
The loss of the motorsport's only London venue has been spelled after Irish businessman Paschal Taggart confirmed his multi-million pound redevelopment plan to turn the stadium into the 'Royal Ascot of greyhound racing' would not include provision for the sport.
Speedway racing, involving motorbikes, could however return after being dropped in 2005.
Mr Taggart's proposal is one of two for the Plough Lane site being considered by independent Government inspector after a Merton Council hearing at the end of last month.
An alternative plan to bring AFC Wimbledon back to Plough Lane would also spell the end of stock car racing at the site.
Mr Taggart said residents seem to be against plans to keep the sport at the site because of the noise and pollution levels.
He said: "Residents came to us and said they don't like it.
"They will be calling the shots on any planning applications whether it is for us or for AFC Wimbledon."
Former stock car racer Mark Cossey said it would be a shame if the sport was to go.
Mr Cossey said: "It is the only motorsport venue in London, it would be a great shame.
"We used to get 15,000 people there and last weekend it was packed.
"I am 44-years-old now and I have been racing since I was five."
Sam Read, a fan of stock car racing for more than ten years, said: "I was mortified when I found out.
"It would be nice if they kept it open, it's a nice track.
"It is entertaining for adults and children and there are rarely any problems."
However, Jon Stevens is a former speedway rider, was delighted his sport could be returning to the borough.
Mr Stevens, of Mitcham, said: "It is a very family orientated sport.
"It is not very noisy because it is strictly regulated.
"Wimbledon had a big fan base and could be the same again.
"Speedway and greyhounds go hand in hand."
A decision on the two proposals for the site is expected to be made by the inspector in April of this year.
- Young Muslims raise £2,200 for Merton's elderly
- Send us your pictures of sunny London and Surrey as warm weather finally arrives
- Young police cadets raise money for Help for Heroes
- Wimbledon Park Cafeteria opens its doors after refurbishment
- London Fire Brigade warns over dangers of Vaportini drinking craze