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AFC Wimbledon ponder stadium move

AFC Wimbledon ponder stadium move
AFC Wimbledon have unveiled plans to relocate back to their former Plough Lane home.

The League Two club are aiming to return to their traditional south-west London home by redeveloping Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium. Board officials at The Dons have detailed plans of an 11,000-seater stadium with the potential of expanding to 20,000 should the demand be met. It is expected to cost around £16 million to complete.

AFC Wimbledon have been largely nomadic over the past two decades with Wimbledon FC being forced to leave Plough Lane in 1991. During the majority of the 1990s, the former club groundshared with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park but then moved to Milton Keynes in 2002. When the old club was dissolved and transformed into Milton Keynes Dons, Wimbledon fans formed AFC Wimbledon.

The club was established in 2002 and since then has had a meteoric rise through the leagues reaching League Two in 2011/12. The creation of a new stadium would mark a significant milestone in the club's history and will be a huge improvement on the 4,850-capacity current grounds.

Erik Samuelson, AFC Wimbledon chief executive, explained that the plans will now have to be approved by Merton Council with a decision not expected to be delivered until around March 2014.

The Dons board member said: "There is a long way to go before our plans become a reality. Before we can submit a planning application, there are two significant hurdles that must be overcome. First, we must win the support of Merton Council for our proposal that the site should be developed as a football stadium. Second, the designation must be reviewed and approved by an independent inspector.

On the pitch it has been a positive start for The Dons who currently lie in third place which was cemented over the weekend (September 21st) with a 3-1 win at home to Burton Albion.

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Date: 23/09/2013 16:19:00

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