AFC Wimbledon Plough Lane stadium plan set for debate

Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium
Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium is also used for stock car racing

AFC Wimbledon's plans to build a new stadium close to former home Plough Lane will be debated on 10 December.

The League Two club hope to build an initial 11,000-capacity stadium, which could be expanded to 20,000, on the site of Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium.

Merton Borough Council has recommended granting the application subject to conditions and legal agreement.

AFC Wimbledon have played their games at Kingsmeadow since 2002, which owners last month voted to sell to Chelsea.

The planning applicationexternal-link also seeks permission to build 602 residential units, along with retail and commercial space and a leisure club.

The Dons' homes away from home
The original Wimbledon FC were forced to leave Plough Lane in 1991 following the publication of the Taylor Report, which recommended top-flight sides should play in all-seater stadiums.
The Dons moved to Selhurst Park and ground-shared with Crystal Palace until 2003 when the club moved to Milton Keynes and subsequently changed its name to MK Dons.
AFC Wimbledon were formed in 2002 in protest of the relocations and have played at Kingsmeadow since 2002.
Their former Plough Lane home is now a residential development.

It was originally submitted in November 2014 and has been subject to two rounds of statutory consultation.

More than 20,000 responses were received with just under 900 objections during both rounds.

"I believe we've addressed all the issues raised and have made a strong case for the scheme to be approved," said AFC Wimbledon chief executive Erik Samuelson.

Plough Lane
Wimbledon FC's old Plough Lane ground is now a residential development

If planning permission is approved, The Dons will seek tenders to carry out the £20m demolition and building work on the Plough Lane site, which is currently home to stock car and greyhound racing.

Construction could begin towards the end of next year, with the club taking up residence for the 2018-19 season.

The Dons Trust, owners of AFC Wimbledon, have already voted to sell Kingsmeadow to Chelsea for the Premier League club to use for women's and youth matches.

The sale, approved by 98%, is conditional on approval of plans for Plough Lane.

AFC Wimbledon proposed ground at Plough Lane
AFC Wimbledon's plans for Plough Lane also include residential units