Supporters appeal to Boris Johnson to save short oval venue from football stadium development
A group of short oval enthusiasts will ask London mayor Boris Johnson to examine the planning decision to allow developers to pull down Wimbledon Stadium to make way for a football ground after thousands of fans backed an online petition.
Permission was granted in early December for Galliard Homes to redevelop the Plough Lane site into an 11,000 all-seater football arena for AFC Wimbledon. However, local short oval racer Peter Gray and stadium supporter Michael Burnage MBE have started a campaign to raise awareness of the impact the loss would have to the short oval racing scene.
The venue has hosted short oval racing since 1962 and has an established following in the greyhound racing community. An online petition has already gained over 7500 signatures, including ex-grand prix driver and British Racing Drivers’ Club president Derek Warwick, who won the 1973 Stock Car World Championship at the venue.
A delegation will meet local MP Stephen Hammond today (Wednesday) and they are hoping to take their campaign to the mayor in the future. Supporters have been in touch with the mayor’s office.
“Since the petition was instigated, the support has been phenomenal and helped the petition collect thousands of signatures,” said Gray. “With the help of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, oval racing fans have been joined by greyhound racing supporters and local residents alike in their efforts to raise awareness to London mayor, Boris Johnson, who has the final say with regards to granting final planning permission.”
To sign, visit change.org/p/borisjohnson-save-wimbledon-stadiumfrom-demolition-save-oval-racingin-london.