Secretary of State rejects call-in request

On September 27, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, announced that he is not calling in our planning application. This is extremely welcome news and represents a victory for common sense. You can read the letter from Sajid Javid announcing his decision.

Since being submitted 20 months ago, our plans have been subjected to exhaustive scrutiny by Merton Council and the GLA, statutory bodies such as Transport for London and the Environment Agency, as well as three rounds of public consultation, and have won unanimous support.

So we are pleased that the Secretary of State has concluded that he need not intervene and we thank him for that.

AFC Wimbledon Chief Executive Erik Samuelson said: ‘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.

‘And 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.

‘After so many years in exile, the Dons are coming home!’

Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, said: ‘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.’