Ambitious plans for brand new dog track in Plough Lane, Wimbedon

Ambitious plans for brand new dog track

Ambitious plans for brand new dog track in Plough Lane, Wimbedon

Plans unveiled for brand new 6,000 capacity greyhound stadium in Plough Lane, Wimbledon

First published in News by

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.”


What do you think? Leave a comment below, tweet @WimbledonNews or email Omar at: ooakes@london.newsquest.co.uk.

Comments (7)

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3:37pm Fri 18 May 12

bodon prifiz says...

Mr Taggart’s statement ''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'' Why do you want this so called 'sport' to remain?? right now there are 50 ex racing dogs looking for homes, & not because racing owners want to find them a retirement (btw they were DUMPED). But because the shelter has no room. and recently an ex racing dog was found with its poor ears slashed off. Shame on you Mr Taggart for wnting to keep this evil 'sport'??? alive
Mr Taggart’s statement ''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'' Why do you want this so called 'sport' to remain?? right now there are 50 ex racing dogs looking for homes, & not because racing owners want to find them a retirement (btw they were DUMPED). But because the shelter has no room. and recently an ex racing dog was found with its poor ears slashed off. Shame on you Mr Taggart for wnting to keep this evil 'sport'??? alive bodon prifiz
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Sat 19 May 12

tjames says...

i do not want any of my money spent on football--leave it entirely to private sector
i do not want any of my money spent on football--leave it entirely to private sector tjames
  • Score: 0

3:33pm Sat 19 May 12

Sir Sidney says...

I support Mr Taggart's plans. Having spent many enjoyable hours at the existing stadium, over a period of more than 35 years, watching speedway I am glad to see plans to retain sport on the site. Mr Taggart is including stock cars in his plans. I hope he can also be persuaded to include speedway. The capital should have a speedway track and Wimbledon is the place!
I support Mr Taggart's plans. Having spent many enjoyable hours at the existing stadium, over a period of more than 35 years, watching speedway I am glad to see plans to retain sport on the site. Mr Taggart is including stock cars in his plans. I hope he can also be persuaded to include speedway. The capital should have a speedway track and Wimbledon is the place! Sir Sidney
  • Score: 0

5:54pm Sat 19 May 12

RoggieB says...

According to Action for Greyhounds, more than 10,000 greyhounds, bred for the British racing industry, are "put down" every year, after failing to make the grade as racers or when their "careers" on the tracks come to an end. Many of these deaths are allowed by the incredibly callous rules of racing which state that a dog can be put down by a vet if it can't be rehomed - how caring and compassionate is that?

An RSPCA report stated that "at least 20 greyhounds a day - either puppies which do not make the track, or 'retired' dogs aged three or four - simply 'disappear', presumed killed". In addition, a large number of greyhounds sustain serious, sometimes fatal, injuries whilst racing, due to the dangerous nature of the tracks.

A new track at Wimbledon can only serve to perpetuate the horrors of wholesale greyhound killings - the ultimate exploitation of these beautiful dogs.

Most greyhound racing spectators probably never wonder what happens to the dogs that provide their entertainment. If they did, greyhound racing would rightly be consigned to history.

This is what lies behind a "fun night at the dogs".

Reject a new greyhound track.
According to Action for Greyhounds, more than 10,000 greyhounds, bred for the British racing industry, are "put down" every year, after failing to make the grade as racers or when their "careers" on the tracks come to an end. Many of these deaths are allowed by the incredibly callous rules of racing which state that a dog can be put down by a vet if it can't be rehomed - how caring and compassionate is that? An RSPCA report stated that "at least 20 greyhounds a day - either puppies which do not make the track, or 'retired' dogs aged three or four - simply 'disappear', presumed killed". In addition, a large number of greyhounds sustain serious, sometimes fatal, injuries whilst racing, due to the dangerous nature of the tracks. A new track at Wimbledon can only serve to perpetuate the horrors of wholesale greyhound killings - the ultimate exploitation of these beautiful dogs. Most greyhound racing spectators probably never wonder what happens to the dogs that provide their entertainment. If they did, greyhound racing would rightly be consigned to history. This is what lies behind a "fun night at the dogs". Reject a new greyhound track. RoggieB
  • Score: 0

6:29pm Sat 19 May 12

tamworth says...

I wonder if any consideration has been given to retired or ill greyhounds. Will the deal include financial provision to establish a trust fund for retired greyhounds so that they can live out their lives safely without being killed or dumped at the end of their working life
I wonder if any consideration has been given to retired or ill greyhounds. Will the deal include financial provision to establish a trust fund for retired greyhounds so that they can live out their lives safely without being killed or dumped at the end of their working life tamworth
  • Score: 0

9:28pm Sat 19 May 12

Ian Perkin says...

With all the talk of football and greyhound racing lets not forget that the present owners of the stadium Risk Capital Partners refused to let Wimbledon Speedway continue to lease their stadium when they took over ownership in 2005. Hopefuly Mr Taggart will be inclined to use the stadium as much as possible and will allow those of us who ran Wimbledon Speedway PLC the opportunity to put a new speedway track in the Stadium and be able to write a new chapter in the history of the Wimbledon Dons Speedway team who started at Plough Lane back in 1928 when the stadium was built.
With all the talk of football and greyhound racing lets not forget that the present owners of the stadium Risk Capital Partners refused to let Wimbledon Speedway continue to lease their stadium when they took over ownership in 2005. Hopefuly Mr Taggart will be inclined to use the stadium as much as possible and will allow those of us who ran Wimbledon Speedway PLC the opportunity to put a new speedway track in the Stadium and be able to write a new chapter in the history of the Wimbledon Dons Speedway team who started at Plough Lane back in 1928 when the stadium was built. Ian Perkin
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Mon 11 Jun 12

bluebird55 says...

I agree that greyhound racing is an outdated past time and personally think the treatment of greyhounds is unacceptable. However, my main reason for opposing the site being redeveloped as a greyhound/speedway stadium is that there is simply not the spectator interest in these anymore. I live in nearby Chillingford House and barely notice any activity at the stadium when there's dog racing on. A 6000 stadium for watching greyhounds or stock cars? Where would all these people suddenly come from? I would guess only 500 currently turn out for the Friday nights as it is. To me, this is a waste of a golden opportunity to redevelop a large area in South London. I would prefer the site to be redeveloped as a football/rugby stadium. This would make better use of the land and it would be great to have a decent gym/restaurant/whate
ver else is included, on my doorstep. I would certainly go and watch AFC Wimbledon and any rugby teams who move in, and I believe many other local residents would as well.
I agree that greyhound racing is an outdated past time and personally think the treatment of greyhounds is unacceptable. However, my main reason for opposing the site being redeveloped as a greyhound/speedway stadium is that there is simply not the spectator interest in these anymore. I live in nearby Chillingford House and barely notice any activity at the stadium when there's dog racing on. A 6000 stadium for watching greyhounds or stock cars? Where would all these people suddenly come from? I would guess only 500 currently turn out for the Friday nights as it is. To me, this is a waste of a golden opportunity to redevelop a large area in South London. I would prefer the site to be redeveloped as a football/rugby stadium. This would make better use of the land and it would be great to have a decent gym/restaurant/whate ver else is included, on my doorstep. I would certainly go and watch AFC Wimbledon and any rugby teams who move in, and I believe many other local residents would as well. bluebird55
  • Score: 0

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