Affordable housing deal paves way for Wimbledon stadium scheme start

Affordable housing deal paves way for Wimbledon stadium scheme start

A mixed-use scheme comprising a new football stadium and housing in Wimbledon has got underway thanks to a new deal that guarantees a higher proportion of affordable housing than originally envisaged.

Developer Catalyst and Galliard Homes have joined forces in a deal that will see 604 homes and 18,000 sq ft of commercial space being built alongside a new stadium for AFC Wimbledon. The homes are set to be finished by 2021.

The development gained planning permission in December, but is only going ahead because the number of affordable homes was increased from the original proposed 58 to 177. 

Controversy had also raged over the demolition of the greyhound stadium on Plough Lane. 

Wales-based contractor Andrew Scott, a specialist in the construction of sports grounds, will build the 16,000-capacity venue, just along Plough Lane from the site where the original Wimbledon Football Club played.

Executive chairman of Galliard Homes Stephen Conway said: "There are so many components to this scheme that will benefit the local area and we are thrilled to have Catalyst on board who really have what it takes to make things happen in order to deliver a ground-breaking number of affordable units in a new residential scheme."

He added that he was also looking forward to attending the first match when AFC Wimbledon's ground is ready. 

The original Wimbledon Football Club played at a ground further along Plough Lane, but were forced to vacate it as the site was unsuitable to be converted into a Premier League standard venue in the 1990s.

After several years of Wimbledon ground-sharing across South London with Crystal Palace, the Premier League waived its own rules requiring a team to be based in the conurbation from which it takes its name and this enabled the club to relocate to Milton Keynes in 2002.

Within a year the club had changed its name to Milton Keynes Dons and fans formed AFC Wimbledon in protest, ground-sharing with Kingstonians in Kingston-upon-Thames as the club worked its way through non-league football into the Football League by 2013. 

AFC Wimbledon claims the heritage of the old Wimbledon, including the club's 1988 FA Cup triumph.