WIMBLEDON OVAL TO SHUT DOWN
Campaigners fail in bid to save historic motorsport arena from developers’ bulldozers
Short oval racing will stop at Wimbledon stadium next season as developers are on the cusp of getting the green light to turn the venue into a football arena.
The race track was opened in 1962 and has hosted stock car racing every year since then.
Initial plans to redevelop the site into an 11000 all-seater stadium for AFC Wimbledon were called in for investigation by the former mayor of London Boris Johnson but, with the change of leadership in the capital, that inquiry has been scrapped.
Michael Burnage MBE, a leading campaigner, said: “Right from the start the odds have been against us as we opposed a football league club, a huge housing developer and a local council. The announcement is a huge disappointment to us all, but in a week that sees the anniversary of the first ever meeting at the venue in 1962, there is a lot to celebrate.
“With the support of thousands of oval racing fans, we have challenged the planning application at every turn, and attempted to highlight the very real flaws in the submission.
“Our actions led to the plans initially being reviewed by former mayor Boris Johnson, which in turn meant that we have been able to secure a minimum of six further months racing in the capital at the venue. On Sunday we return for what promises to be a season full of top motor sport action that will include some special events to mark the season.”