Agreement signed for new stadium, homes and retail space
AFC Wimbledon will be returning to Plough Lane after the club, Merton Council and GRA Acquisitions Limited today signed the agreement that clears the way for their new ground.
Following the signing, Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis handed the official decision notice to AFC Wimbledon’s Chief Executive Erik Samuelson, securing permission to start building new stadium.
The new development at Plough Lane will bring to the borough an 11,000-20,000-seater football stadium, 602 new homes, retail space and a squash and fitness club. An initial 11,000 capacity stadium will be built, which could eventually be expanded to 20,000.
Signing the Section 106 agreement, AFC Wimbledon and Galliard Homes are committing to bringing a major new development and the associated economic benefits to this area around the former Greyhound Stadium site.
They will also pump over £1.5m into local health provision and improvements to the local bus, road and cycle network. The development will bring construction jobs to the area as well as longer-term employment once the stadium, shops and fitness club are up and running.
AFC Wimbledon Chief Executive Erik Samuelson said: “Everyone in football knows the story of how AFC Wimbledon came into being. A group of fans started with nothing; no ground, no team, no manager, no players and no kit.
“Now, 15 years later, we’ve taken a giant step towards going home to Merton, in a new stadium and as a Football League club. This is a momentous day for us. Everybody who has helped the Club to reach this point must be very proud.”
Dons first-team manager Neal Ardley recalled taking the first steps in his long football career over three decades ago at Plough Lane. “A lot of my early football memories are connected to Plough Lane and it is exciting news to hear that the club will finally be able to start work on building a new stadium back there,” he said.
“As a trainee, I remember having to paint the physio’s room at Plough Lane, training in the car park from the age of 11, and signing my first professional contract on the pitch. To lead the team out back at our spiritual home would be a huge privilege.”
Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “After a long journey, this is a proud moment and a historic moment for Merton. Our experienced planning officers have spent a great deal of time and effort to ensure this exciting development will benefit both the greatly loved club AFC Wimbledon, as well as Merton and the many families and fans who live here.
“It has been a pleasure working with the club since we granted the planning permission in 2015. I look forward to seeing the stadium and housing become a reality over the coming months and can’t wait to see the first game. Welcome home AFC Wimbledon.”
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December 13, 2017