The new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has formally asked to reverse the decision to 'call in' the AFC Wimbledon plans for Plough Lane. 

The multi-million pound plans for the new stadium were unanimously approved by Merton Council's planning committee in December last year. 

July 7: AFC Wimbledon's Plough Lane stadium may be approved by August says leader of Merton Council Coucillor Stephen Alambritis

However, the former Mayor, Boris Johnson, made the controversial decision to 'call in' the multi-million pound plans for the stadium for further consultation on March 22 due to “the scale and nature of public representations received” and “significant issues of controversy.”

This decision meant that, rather than approve or refuse the planning application, the consultation process would begin again, and the Mayor would act as the local planning authority.

However, this morning (July 27) it was announced that Sadiq Khan has requested to reverse his predecessor's decision, and allow Merton Council to make the final decision on the new stadium. 

Chief executive of AFC Wimbledon, Erik Samuelson, said: "I'm delighted there is progress. It's a significant step. 

"Unless something substantial emerges during the 14 day consultation, the decision will go back to Merton who have already unanimously approved it once. 

"We have been waiting for the Mayor to say what he thinks and now he has done that, and we are delighted."

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: "Sadiq Khan has asked to be able to consider reversing the previous Mayor's decision to call-in the Wimbledon application and, instead, hand it back to Merton Council to determine. 

March 23: AFC Wimbledon: What does the Boris call-in mean for Plough Lane?

"The Mayor's request is now being formally consulted on, and he looks forward to hearing from all interested parties so he can make the best decision for London."

Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, said he was hopeful the club would be able to play at their new stadium by August 2018. 

Cllr Alambritis said: "I'm delighted our new Mayor has acted so quickly to sort out the uncertainty caused by Boris Johnson. The people of Merton want their football club back and this move brings us a step closer to making their dreams a reality. 

"We will move heaven and earth. When it's handed back we will say 'we are the planning authority, we have already approved it and Thunderbirds are go!'"

However, Chairman of Wimbledon Park Residents' Association, Iain Simpson, said there were a number of concerns with the application that he hopes the Mr Khan will take into consideration. 

He said: "We think there are a lot of issues which should be addressed by the Mayor which should make him consider holding onto the application and not reversing the decision, not least his commitment to affordable housing. This is his first opportunity to show that he means it. 

"If we were faint of heart, we wouldn't have got this far. We will continue to raise the points we have made in the past."

A formal 14 day consultation has now been launched to decide whether or not to grant Mr Khan's request. At the end of the consultation, it will be up to Mr Khan to decide whether to hand authority back to Merton Council or whether to uphold Mr Johnson's decision and hold a representation hearing to decide the outcome of the application. 

The plans include building a 20,000 seater football stadium (originally 11,000), 602 new homes and a range of retail, leisure and outdoor space. 

Representations on Mr Khan's request must be received by August 10. 

To make a representation, email or write to Development & Projects PP18, Greater London Authority, City Hall, More London, SE1 2AA.

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