Southampton shows how to build a stadium

Merton’s search for a new home for Wimbledon FC continues.

In a trip set up by Merton Council Leader Andrew Judge, Merton Councillors, a representative from WISA and the Wimbledon Forum and Merton Council officers visited Southampton last week.

The group met Southampton City Council officers who told of the 10-year process to get the permissions for the stadium. Eight years of the time was spent preparing for one site and when that failed the move to St Mary’s became the favoured spot with the whole process finished in two years.

Later during a visit to the new stadium, the Merton team looked over the stadium built right on the edge of the city centre, in an urban environment, with limited on-site car parking, but an imaginative park and ride scheme.

Councillor Judge said that Southampton was an excellent example of the local Council and the Football Club working together in a constructive way to provide the football stadium.

Charles Koppel, Chairman of Wimbledon Football Club, had accepted an invitation to join in the visit, but did not arrive on the day.