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Shock plans unveiled to build Wombles theme park in Plough Lane, Wimbledon
The future of Wimbledon Greyhound track has been thrown into doubt after shock plans emerged to create Wombledonia - a Wombles-based theme park - on the site.
Vladivostok-based company Oligarch Oil Ltd submitted the surprise £1bn bid this morning for the Plough Lane site, currently home to Wimbledon stadium and next to the former home of Wimbledon FC.
Wombledonia would feature rides such as Uncle Bulgaria land, the Orinocoaster and Wild water Wombles.
Apdilli Fay Soor, spokesman for Oligarch Oil Ltd, said: “The message of the Wombles of reusing materials is very important in the 21st century.
"We want to show our green credentials by inspiring the next generation to recycle through the Wombles.”
The news throws further doubt over the future of dog racing in Merton.
Plans already exist to create a football stadium which would become home to AFC Wimbledon, while Irish finance magnate Paschal Taggart has submitted a £60m plan to upgrade the stadium creating the “Royal Ascot” of greyhound racing.
Should Oligarch Oil’s bid prove to be successful, the company has promised to create 2,000 jobs during construction and 500 permanent positions at the park.
Controversially the site would also include a 150 bedroom hotel and a 1,500 slot car park built over Garratt Park.
Members of Garratt Park Protectors Trust (GPPT) reacted in outrage.
Wyn Dup-Merchant, chairman of the GPPT, said: “These plans are outrageous and it will make a complete mockery of the entire area.
"I love wombles as much as anyone. I met my wife while litter-picking in Wimbledon Common - that's how much it means to me - but these plans will see trees being turned into traffic turnstiles.”
Mr Dup-Merchant added: "Merton Council cannot allow Wombledonia to become reality."
A traffic impact study, included in the draft proposals, says congestion will mitigated by improved tube services on the District Line.
There is also a pledge to provide funding for an extension of the London Overground service from Clapham Junction to Haydons Road station, which could be renamed "Wombling station".
The report says: "This development will enhance sustainable travel, allowing visitors to use a trio of services: buses, Underground, Overground (Wombling). Free flowing travel is at the heart of this project."
Merton Council is expected to consider the plan next year.
What do you think? Would you visit Wombledonia? Leave a comment below or tweet us: @WimbledonNews.
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