AFC Wimbledon are a step closer to returning to Plough Lane after the government decided not to oppose their plans for a new stadium.
The English League One third-tier club was granted approval by Merton Borough Council to build an initial 11,000-capacity stadium in December 2015.
Their plans were then put on hold following a complaint by neighbouring Wandsworth, but London Mayor Sadiq Khan ruled last month that Merton should decide on the future of the stadium.
Now Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has said he will not oppose Merton’s decision to allow the redevelopment of the Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium on Plough Lane.
“Now, at long last, we can start planning with confidence to give AFC Wimbledon a secure future at the heart of the community the club represents,” said Dons chief executive Erik Samuelson.
“After so many years in exile, the Dons are coming home.”
AFC Wimbledon’s plans include the construction of 602 residential units, and could see the capacity of the proposed new stadium eventually increased to 20,000.
The original Wimbledon FC, which relocated to Milton Keynes in 2003, were forced to leave their Plough Lane ground in 1991.