VIDEO: AFC Wimbledon submits joint bid with developer Galliard Homes for Plough Lane stadium
AFC Wimbledon has teamed up with a developer in a bid to build a 20,000 capacity football stadium at its spiritual home - Plough Lane.
A joint bid for the site was today submitted to Merton Council by AFC Wimbledon with Galliard Homes who co-own the site with GRA Limited and Investment company Risk Capital management.
AFC Wimbledon had previously been working on plans with the Newridge Group - a property developer based in Morden Road, south Wimbledon.
Proposals include plans for a 11,000 capacity stadium, with flexibility to expand to 20,000, banqueting and conference facilities, 600 residential homes and a wide range of shops and community facilities.
The cost of the first phase of the planned stadium would be in the region of £16m.
Erik Samuelson, chief executive of AFC Wimbledon, said: "There is a long way to go before our plans become a reality.
"Before we can submit a planning application, there are two significant hurdles that must be overcome.
"First, we must win the support of Merton Council for our proposal that the site should be developed as a football stadium.
"Second, the designation must be reviewed and approved by an independent inspector.
"The review will cover all the sites in Merton and it is likely that the result won’t be known until about March 2014.
"If we get the green light on those two matters we will then submit a formal planning application in the spring, which could take many months to be approved.
"Even with a fair wind, it could take at least two years after that before work could begin on site.
"Remember, too, that the process is highly competitive, with rival plans being submitted for a new greyhound stadium to be built on the site, with adjoining residential and retail development."
"AFC Wimbledon is a community-owned club. "We are making a powerful case for transforming a dilapidated area into a stadium that will be at the heart of our community.
"As we explain in our submission, since our formation in 2002 we have been actively involved in Merton in an astonishingly wide range of activities, despite being based in Kingston-upon-Thames.
"Re-locating to the area we represent provides an outstanding opportunity for us to increase and extend this involvement many times over.
"Everyone who knows us recognises that, as a community-owned club, we are run in a prudent and sustainable way and the business case that supports our proposals is strong and robust.
"This is a significant stage in our ambition to return home and we will pursue it vigorously and in a positive way."
Erik Samuelson, chief executive of AFC Wimbledon on the club's plans for a football stadium on the site.
Merton Council has confirmed that there are now two developers bidding for the site; Galliard Homes with AFC Wimbledon and Hume Consulting on behalf of Paschal Taggart who wants to build a world class greyhound stadium to the site.
His plans feature a four tier 4,500 capacity greyhound racing stadium, new squash club with seven courts, supermarket and residential apartments as well as a multi storey car park, medical centre, dance studio and gymnasium.
The Plough Lane site has been designated for "sporting intensification" and is the subject of a draft sites and policies document by Merton Council.
The document, which outlines planning regulations for all sites in Wimbledon, will be subject to a public inquiry led by an independent inspector appointed by the secretary of state.
A final report will be given in early 2014 at which point the council will adopt the plan allowing formal applications for the site to be accepted.
For AFC Wimbledon's full bid go here.
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