AFC Wimbledon clears final legal barrier for move to new stadium
Following the formal signing of the s106 agreement and the issue of the planning permission on 13 December, AFC Wimbledon entered into a six week period during which an application for a judicial review (JR) could be launched. With the deadline now passed and no application lodged, the Club’s move to Plough Lane is now full speed ahead.
In a statement, AFC Wimbledon confirmed:
While we were very confident that a JR application would fail it would nonetheless have delayed our stadium project for an undefined amount of time – possibly several months.
The deadline for lodging an appeal with the Planning Court was 4.00 pm on Wednesday 24 January. Any application lodged after that date would not be accepted. However, while unusual, it is not unknown for a JR application to take a little while to be processed through the system and so we didn’t break out the champagne at the time.
A further condition of a JR application is that it must be served on the applicants within seven days of the appeal being lodged. The seven day period expired 31 January, 2018, with nothing being served on the Club. Since every other possible legal hurdle has been put in our way, we decided to ask Hogan Lovells, our legal advisors to make a phone call to the Planning Court this morning. They found that nothing has shown up at the Court and so, with complete certainty, we can say that our planning permission is final.
Following the passing of this final hurdle, AFC Wimbledon Chief Executive, Erik Samuelson, told the Wimbledon Guardian:
We can start concentrating on what we always wanted to do, which is build a stadium instead of worrying about where the next objection is going to come from.
Galliard will now clear the site before the club takes over and starts building the new stadium at Plough Lane, potentially as early as late summer 2018.
It was originally envisaged that the club would move into the new stadium for the start of the 2019-2020 season, with the contractors appointed by GRAA set to begin work within the coming days.
Final planning permission and a ‘landmark agreement’ was signed between the council and developers in December last year, which cleared the path for the development, which will also include 602 homes, shops, and a fitness and squash club. The agreement also included GBP£1.5m health, bus, road and cycle improvements in the area.
In other relevant news, PTI Consulting, led by Sports Venue Business (SVB) friend and regular contributor, Mike Bohndiek, confirmed that they will be providing the technology tender documents to AFC Wimbledon for this new stadium project:
The story of AFC Wimbledon is one which proves emotive for all football fans, not least for those volunteers who have brought the club – and the area – back to life. I am delighted that PTI Consulting have been chosen to deliver the technology tender documents for their new stadium project. Initially an 11,000-seater, rising to 20,000, the stadia is a statement of intent from a club that know only how to defeat adversity and take significant strides forward. I am proud to be a small part of that journey through this work.
Main image (top), courtesy: AFC Wimbledon
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