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AFC Wimbledon's new stadium secures final approval

AFC Wimbledon’s plans for a new £25m stadium are set to go ahead after the club signed a deal with the local council and developers.  

Representatives from AFC Wimbledon, Merton Council and site owners GRA Acquisitions have signed a section 106 agreement for construction work to start at the site of the old Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium on Plough Lane, south-west London. 

As well as a new 11,000-seater ground, the project will deliver 602 new homes, a fitness facility, retail space and a public piazza. 

Demolition of the old greyhound stadium is expected to start in the new year, with main contractor Andrew Scott set to start construction of the new stadium by May.

Completion is scheduled for spring 2019, ready for the 2019/20 season. 

AFC Wimbledon chief executive Erik Samuelson said: “This is a momentous day for us.”   

The s106 includes a pledge of £1.5m for local health provision and improvements to the local bus, road and cycle networks.

The phoenix club first announced its plans to build on the site with Galliard Homes in 2013.

A proposal was submitted to Merton Council in December 2014 and approval was granted by the local authority in the same month the following year.

However, in March last year London mayor Boris Johnson called for the plans to be reviewed.

The decision was short-lived, with Sadiq Khan handing control back to Merton Council upon his election in May 2016.

Neighbouring council Wandsworth then appealed the decision, calling on communities secretary Sajid Javid to intervene.

Wandsworth objected to the “excessive number of homes” and “the increased pressure on local transport infrastructure and other public services”.

However, Mr Javid followed Mr Khan’s lead and left the decision to Merton Council.

The final attempt to halt the stadium’s development came from the Save Wimbledon Stadium Action Group, which applied to have the existing greyhound stadium listed by Historic England.

In June, the public body announced that it would not grant the listing, allowing AFC Wimbledon to press ahead with the development.

Merton Council leader Stephen Alambritis said: “After a long journey, this is a proud moment and a historic moment for Merton.” 

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