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WOO, David Morley and Sheppard Robson plot Wimbledon's return home

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Wilson Owens Owens (WOO) and David Morley Architects for a new football stadium for AFC Wimbledon have been approved by the London Borough of Merton

The decision paves the way for the club to move to Plough Lane, the former home of its predecessor Wimbledon FC, which moved to Milton Keynes in 2003, and was renamed MK Dons. AFC Wimbledon currently plays at Kingsmeadow, in Kingston upon Thames.

The new 11,000-seat stadium would see AFC Wimbledon paying a third of the construction costs, with the rest funded by a 602-home residential scheme by Galliard Homes on another part of the 5.1ha site. Sheppard Robson designed the overall masterplan plus the residential elements of the scheme.

The plans also include provision for a crèche, café, squash and fitness club plus car and coach parking. The stadium would have the capacity to expand to 20,000 seats in the future.

The proposed stadium would be 18m tall, 134m wide and 163m wide, and of a ‘relatively simple, flat-roofed design, with 45m-tall ‘tooth brush/pylon’ style floodlights at each corner,’ according to council planners.

The stadium’s main structure is a mix of steel and concrete. Steel-framed roof cantilevers are proposed to support both permanent, solid roof sections and temporary, polycarbonate sections.

Internally, the seating tiers will be supported either on pre-cast concrete sections or laminated steel sections.

Three residential blocks will range from six to 10 storeys and will form a series of ‘stacking blocks’ based around tall ‘spine blocks’.

Originally, the council’s design review panel described the architecture for the stadium as ’good quality – just not bold enough’.

In response, a number of amendments to the scheme were made, including the inclusion of distinctive brickwork and gateway arches.

The scheme must now be referred to London mayor Boris Johnson for final approval.

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