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Wandsworth residents furious over parking problems caused by new stadium – South London News

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A new stadium, 600 extra homes and a council rule change has caused parking chaos in South London.

Families are furious as AFC Wimbledon’s new stadium and recently built apartments surrounding it have opened in the area without enough parking being provided.

Now they fear it will cause an overflow of parking in their residential roads.

The new 9,300-capacity Plough Lane Stadium, that has a 20,000-capacity option, is in Merton but borders Wandsworth.

Earlsfield families have now spoken out, including father of four, Samir Kab, who says his chances of finding a parking space in his street are already down to about 10 per cent.

The 41-year-old said: “This is without the stadium and we are already struggling with the noise, because of the police station.

“We are not happy with this because we already are struggling to find spaces.”

Earlsfield resident Peter Smith added: “I don’t think I’d move but it will just be irritating with the extra traffic and maybe if I went out I wouldn’t be able to come and get a space back.

“Noise is not going to be good and if [fans] have had a few beers, it would be louder.”

From September, Wandsworth Council parking restrictions will be increased from 9.30am to 9.30pm, seven days a week.

Currently, parking restrictions in many of the surrounding streets run from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Labour’s Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, the MP for Tooting, said: “Changes to parking have been poorly communicated, rushed, and residents have not been properly consulted – Wandsworth Council are surging ahead despite just one-in-eight residents taking part in the original consultation.

“Wandsworth has some of the highest parking fees in the country – the council are using the AFC Wimbledon development as a cash-grab opportunity to fleece local residents.”

She added: “The simple solution here is to restrict parking on match days, which is a scheme used by other councils with stadiums.

“Wandsworth should do the same. In the meantime, Wandsworth Council should suspend the changes with immediate effect.”

A spokesperson for Wandsworth Council said: “When the plans for the stadium were first announced just across the borough boundary in Merton, hundreds of Wandsworth residents objected because of concerns about parking pressures.

“Since then we have received a significant number of petitions and emails from our residents, asking us to introduce measures to protect their parking spaces from people driving to attend events at the stadium and also from those residing in the 600 new flats that have been built alongside the stadium.

“This was what we consulted residents about earlier this year. Our sole aim is to make sure our residents are not inconvenienced by these large scale events and we are keeping all issues under review and taking a flexible approach to make sure we achieve this.”

It said parking permits are £180, cheaper than some London boroughs where they can cost between £200 and £599.

http://londonnewsonline.co.uk/wandsworth-residents-furious-over-parking-problems-caused-by-new-stadium/