All AFC Wimbledon supporters are being asked to write to the London Mayor in support of the proposal to reverse the previous Mayor, Boris Johnson’s decision to ‘call in’ the application.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and the Greater London Authority have announced that they are considering overturning Johnson’s decision to call in the stadium application and return the decision to Merton Council.
The GLA is currently holding a two week consultation period to consider reversing the call-in decision. They will primarily be considering if there is any new information not included in the previous consultations they should be aware of.
To support the Dons in their application to the GLA, please write in with the following points: 'I am of the opinion that the previous Mayor's decision to assume control over the Plough Lane planning application from Merton Council was mistaken. I support the proposal to return the application to Merton Council for a final decision.'
Supporters need to write in by 10th August -
so please write in with your support for the Dons to return to Merton using the letter template below and email it to
You can also express your support in the consultation via the 'Bring The Dons Home' website: http://bringthedonshome.org/extra-time/
Email to: email@example.com
FAO: Mayor Sadiq Khan, Development & Projects PP18, Greater London Authority, City Hall London, SE1 2AA
My details: Your name and full address (including postcode)
3rd August 2016
Re: Planning application no. 14/P4361, Wimbledon Stadium, Plough Lane, SW17 0BL
I am writing regarding the public inquiry into AFC Wimbledon’s planning application, and in support of your request for additional information about the decision to call it in. I ask that the application be handed back to Merton, as I do not believe that there is any need for a public enquiry.
Boris Johnson’s decision to call in the application was not justified and contrary to the advice of his officials. As Merton Council’s planning committee granted unanimous approval for the stadium in December 2015, the GLA (whose planning advisors supported and endorsed this decision) advised Boris Johnson that “there were no sound reasons for the Mayor to intervene”, but this advice was ignored. When Wimbledon football club moved to Selhurst Park in 1991 it was a sad loss to the borough and a betrayal of many loyal fans.
Kingsmeadow was a short-term purchase to enable the club to grow from birth, but the club has now outgrown the site. It cannot easily be extended beyond a capacity of approximately 5,000 and many games are already sold out. It does not provide adequate commercial facilities or enable the club to participate more widely with its community. And, of course, crucially, it’s not in the spiritual home of Merton.
AFC Wimbledon have established themselves as a truly community based club dedicated to developing young people. Their return to the borough would boost the local economy in Merton by revitalising a neglected part of the community. Indeed, research estimates that a new community stadium will provide a total annual financial injection to the area of a staggering £12.7 million. Furthermore, plans include not only a stadium but also 600 residential units, car parking, retail and commercial space, a leisure club and other facilities to transform the presently run down site at Plough Lane.
It would also mean that their coaching and education scheme would benefit young people in the borough and enable AFC to extend its award-winning community schemes. At present, 14 dedicated youth coaching personnel currently provide 900 contact hours a season in After School Clubs, Saturday Football Club and Holiday Football Courses. AFC Wimbledon has prioritised community work since it was founded, and was given a Big Society Award by the Prime Minister in 2012 in recognition of this – a new base in the borough will allow the club to expand these schemes still further.
Returning to a base close to their spiritual home will also secure the future of Wimbledon Football Club. AFC Wimbledon’s success since its (re)founding in 2002 has been phenomenal. The team has risen from the Combined Counties League back to the Football League. As you will no doubt be aware, the club was promoted to League One in May of this year, after a brilliant win against Plymouth Argyle at Wembley Stadium.
And the club’s achievements have proved that a fan-run, community-focused, truly ethical organisation can compete in the professional game. A new ground back in the borough will end more than 20 years in exile and allow the club to set its sights still higher, firmly embedded once more in the heartland of the area it is proud to represent.
I therefore fully support the proposal to return the application to Merton and look forward to the day when AFC Wimbledon is able to return.
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