The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that he is returning the decision for our new stadium planning application back to Merton Council. Wimbledon FC, in a statement on their website:
We welcome this decision and we hope that in the near future Merton Council will confirm that the planning application has been granted. When this is done it will be a major step forward for the club’s ambitions to return to our home in Merton and a genuine cause for celebration.
The club was granted planning permission to build an initial 11,000-seater ground on Plough Lane by Merton Borough Council in December 2015.
However the plans were called in for review in March by Boris Johnson, who was London’s Mayor at the time.
After a consultation, Khan has handed the application back to Merton Council.
Khan said the plans will be
of great benefit to Londoners and the wider community for generations to come.
Merton Council’s cross-party planning committee, which in December unanimously agreed to the plans, and will now determine the application.
AFC Wimbledon’s plans to redevelop the current site of Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium include the construction of 602 residential units, and could see the capacity of the proposed new stadium increased to 20,000.
Casement Park planning application in 2016
A new planning application for developing Casement Park is expected later this year. The GAA hopes to start building the new stadium next year and to be finished by the end of 2019.
Casement Park project director Rory Miskelly said the Rugby World Cup bid “is not a driver” for the stadium proposals.
Project sponsor Stephen McGeehan, speaking as a travelling exhibition was held at Conway Mill in west Belfast, said the new stadium should be able to host Ulster championship finals:
The Ulster final attracts large crowds. The average audience is 35,000, and we need a stadium that accommodates the needs of an Ulster final,” he said. said the GAA has offered several venues for the Rugby World Cup and welcomed the prospect of a new Casement Park being used.
In 2014 approval for a 38,000-capacity stadium was overturned after a High Court judge ruled it was unlawful. Residents who challenged the initial stadium plans maintain that the site can only cater for up to 25,000 spectators.Funding for the £77m scheme is mostly coming from public finances, with around £6m already spent even though construction work has not yet started.