We’ve been shortlisted at The Public Affairs Awards for Planning Campaign of the Year, for our work on the successful campaign to bring the Dons back to Wimbledon.
Thorncliffe was hired by the team behind AFC Wimbledon to support their planning application to Merton Council for over 600 homes and a new football stadium at Plough Lane, Wimbledon, on the site of Wimbledon dog track.
The team faced staunch opposition from the political leadership of neighbouring Wandsworth Council, opposition from people who liked going to the famous greyhound stadium (the last in postcode London), and vociferous and hostile opposition from some in the local community.
Despite this, over the course of the project, we achieved:
- A thorough and engaging consultation which reached over 7,000 people and delivered unanimous planning consent from Merton’s planning committee
- An active campaign with 5,000 supporters to convince two successive Mayors of London not to intervene and overrule the council, despite both previously opposing the plans, and
- Overwhelming support to persuade the Secretary of State not to call in the decision.
The decision by Gavin Barwell and Sajid Javid in October not to call in the application finalised the deal to ensure the Dons came back to Wimbledon and left Merton clear to give the team a final planning consent; precisely the outcome our clients wanted to achieve.