AFC Wimbledon’s proposal to build a new stadium on Plough Lane has cleared another hurdle after the government decided not to call in their plans.
Sajid Javid MP, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, is content for planning permission to be decided by the local authority.
Merton Borough Council granted the Dons approval to build an initial 11,000-capacity stadium in December 2015.
The League One club are now set to redevelop Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium.
“Now, at long last, we can start planning with confidence to give AFC Wimbledon a secure future at the heart of the community the club represents,” chief executive Erik Samuelson told the club website.
“After so many years in exile, the Dons are coming home.”
AFC Wimbledon’s plans were put on hold in March when Boris Johnson, then Mayor of London, decided to review Merton council’s decision to grant approval to the scheme, following objections from neighbouring Wandsworth.
However, Sadiq Khan was elected mayor in May and last month he decided to hand the decision back to Merton after a 14-day consultation.
The council’s planning committee then rubber-stamped the application at a meeting on 15 September before it was referred to Javid’s office.
AFC Wimbledon’s plans include the construction of 602 residential units, and could see the capacity of the proposed new stadium eventually increased to 20,000.
The Dons have played at Kingsmeadow in Kingston since their formation in 2002 but see a move to Merton, and Plough Lane, as a return to their spiritual home.
The original Wimbledon FC were forced to leave their Plough Lane ground in 1991 and shared Selhurst Park with Crystal Palace until 2003, when they moved to Milton Keynes – having been given permission to relocate by an independent commission a year earlier.
The club were subsequently renamed MK Dons, while their old Plough Lane home became a residential development.
AFC Wimbledon were formed in response to the relocation and, after beginning life in the Combined Counties League, reached the Football League in 2011.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37486594