AFC Wimbledon have received a huge boost in their plans to build a new stadium on Plough Lane after the government decided not to call in their plans.The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, said in a letter that he is content for planning permission to be decided by the local authority.
Click here to read the letter from Sajid Javid MP
And that is welcome news for the club, who plan 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, as well as building many much-needed homes and providing a major boost to the economy of the area.” Chief Executive Erik Samuelson told the club's website.
“After so many years in exile, the Dons are coming home!
“We would like to thank the very many people who have supported us in this and previous campaigns, in particular by writing to the relevant authorities to urge approval of the application.
"Such support is a sign of the continued determination to return to Wimbledon that has sustained us over the time since we re-formed.
The Sky Bet League One Dons have played at Kingsmeadow in Kingston since their formation in 2002, but consider a move to Merton, and Plough Lane, a return home, as that is where the original Wimbledon played before being forced to leave in 1991.
The club's redevelopment plans include 602 residential units, with the potential capacity of the new stadium as high as 20,000.
Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, added: “This is fantastic news for the club and for Merton.
“We have always supported the return of AFC Wimbledon to home turf and now they and their legions of dedicated fans can look forward to the reality.
“We will also benefit from new homes and business opportunities for the area which is very exciting too. ”