The battle to redevelop Wimbledon stadium took a dramatic twist this morning when an Irish businessman unveiled plans for a far smaller greyhound stadium, fewer apartments and a pre-school.

Paschal Taggart, the man behind the existing £200m greyhound stadium plan, rang the Wimbledon Guardian from Dublin to say he had significantly scaled back his proposals in response to a report commissioned by the Wimbledon Park Residents’ Association (WPRA) and Hume Consulting.

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Wimbledon Times:

Paschal Taggart

He believed the move would deal a death-blow to AFC Wimbledon's dream to use the site for a football stadium allowing the team to finally return to the borough.

AFC's plans for the stadium in Plough Lane, Wimbledon, were expected to be submitted to Merton Council ‘very soon’ according to chief executive Erik Samuelson.

Mr Samuelson remained silent today on the revised plans for a greyhound stadium.

The report last month said the greyhound stadium bid was "considered a more sustainable and robust proposal at this stage of development."

This was based on what the experts called weaknesses in AFC Wimbledon proposals to address transport, road network, flooding and drainage issues.

Mr Taggart, who is based in Dublin, said the cost of the greyhound stadium project was halved to £100m by the re-think and would ease traffic in the area around Plough Lane.

Wimbledon Times:

Revised: The new apartment block

He said the new plan would have space to house a Sure Start pre-school, doctor’s surgery and space for Christopher’s Squash Club and sports injury clinic with a drop-off lay-by outside.

The number of apartments have been slashed from 550 to 230, with fewer car parking places as a result, and a small retail space.

The greyhound racing stadium itself would include a four storey stadium including the ground floor, and be reduced from 4,500 seats to 3,000.

Wimbledon Times:

The proposed four storey stadium building

Mr Taggart, who will present plans to residents next week, said: "We have reduced plans substantially.

"We are waiting for the other side to submit their plans.

"The reason for that is they (Galliard Homes) own the site.

Wimbledon Times:

The overall site plan. 

"I don’t expect AFC Wimbledon to have any chance of success - they need a genie in a bottle to get through the serious problems."

Merton Council will eventually decide which plan to approve.

Mr Taggart said he might not submit an application at all, because he believes the AFC Wimbledon bid had no chance of success and would be rejected straight away.

Wimbledon Times:

A plan for the ground floor of the stadium. 

He said the land could then go up for sale by Galliard Homes, and he would buy it.

He added: "This is all tactical.

"Our plan will be a lovely blend of apartments and a beautiful stadium.

"It will be a world class stadium.

"Everyone thinks this one is far better."

The new plans will be on show at a meeting organised by WPRA at Wimbledon Park Hall in Arthur Road, Wimbledon, on Tuesday, October 28, from 7.30pm to 9pm.