Khan gives Merton Council control over stadium plans

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has handed Merton Council powers to determine the future of Wimbledon football stadium.

The local authority will now have control over the planning application to build a 20,000 seater football stadium.

The news comes after Khan’s predecessor Boris Johnson had initially called the proposal in for review, however, after a consultation Khan has handed the application back to the Council, claiming the plans will be ‘of great benefit to Londoners and the wider community for generations to come’.

Merton Council's cross-party planning committee had unanimously agreed to the plans, and will now determine the application. The proposal involves redeveloping Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium and includes the construction of 602 residential units, which could result in the capacity of the proposed new stadium increased to 20,000.

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, the leader of Merton Council, said: “We look forward to the homecoming of this much-loved and well-deserving team. Merton wants to see AFC Wimbledon back on Wimbledon turf. We will now be working with the applicant towards the delivery of the site."

Nonetheless, counillor Sarah McDermott, Wandsworth Council planning committee chairwoman, criticised the move as disappointing. She said: “This is a bitter disappointment for Earlsfield and Tooting residents who will bear the brunt of this excessive development.

“The Mayor openly opposed this scheme when he was MP for Tooting so it’s hard to understand why he’s now cheering for its ‘great benefits’. Nothing has changed and it certainly doesn’t meet his mayoral planning policies on air quality or affordable housing.”