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Fans urged to back AFC Wimbledon plans in face of political roadblock

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

AFC Wimbledon are once more urging supporters to back their new stadium which faces further political roadblocks.

Plans for a new ground at Plough Lane were approved by the local council back in December 2015 but their unanimous decision was “called in” by former London mayor Boris Johnson.

Newly-elected Mayor Sadiq Khan then over-turned that decision, handing it back to Merton Council – this came after a successful campaign from supporters. Of the thousands of representations sent to the new London Mayor, 20-1  were in favour of the new ground.

News has now emerged that Wandsworth Council have gone above the London mayor and have written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, asking him to personally intervene.

Wandsworth Council are urging the Secretary of State to “call in” the application once more.

AFC Wimbledon chief executive Erik Samuelson said: “It could lead to a massive delay in getting the application through and we don’t think there is any good reason for doing that.”

Samuelson is asking AFC Wimbledon fans and supporters from other clubs who back the club to write to the Secretary of State.

“I know a lot of fans will feel ‘I’ve done this before’ but this ought to be the last time,” he said.

“It’s absolutely essential that we demonstrate the wealth and strength of the support for this application to the Secretary of State.”

There is no timescale for the Secretary of State to call in the planning decision, so supporters are being asked to write in as soon as possible. Once again, the Bring The Dons Home website has provided an easy-to-use template.

“The sooner we write in, the more impact we’ll have,” Samuelson said.

“Do it today, it’ll only take 30 seconds, send it off and you’ve done your bit for the club.”

Thanks to Sheppard Robson architects for the image used in this story.

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