Public hearing into future of the Wimbledon greyhound stadium gets underway
The public hearing into the future of the Wimbledon greyhound stadium is set to start today as two sides go head-to-head to fight for the venue.
AFC Wimbledon and an Irish businessman keen to upgrade the venue into a top quality greyhound track are both hoping to secure permission to regenerate the site.
An independent inspector appointed by the government will consider all sides of the debate at a hearing scheduled to last for two days.
Emotions have been running high since plans to transform the historic facilities were announced last year, with supporters of greyhound racing, residents, and football fans all having their say in the ongoing saga surrounding the Plough Lane site.
A campaign group called We Want Wimbledon was set up to support Irish business magnate Paschal Taggart's plans for a £60m revamp to transform the stadium into the "Royal Ascot of dog racing."
Meanwhile, AFC Wimbledon fans were handed a manifesto of the club's ambitious plans to build a £16m stadium that they claim would allow the club to return to its spiritual home.
The Dons, who have teamed up with Galliard Homes, are hoping to return to Wimbledon, down the road from where they played between 1912 and 1991, and aim to build a 20,000 seater stadium in place of the track.
A decision is expected to be made public in April.
The hearing is being held at the Civic Centre in Morden.
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