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 By PA Sport

AFC Wimbledon can return to original home at Plough Lane

Plough Lane, seen here in 2010, is now a residential development.

AFC Wimbledon have been granted permission to return to Plough Lane and build a new stadium.

After a lengthy period of consultation with Merton Council, the Dons have been given permission to make the move from Kingsmeadow back to the area where Wimbledon played up until 1991.

AFC Wimbledon chief executive Erik Samuelson believes it is one of the most significant moments in their history, having formed in 2002 after Wimbledon relocated to Milton Keynes and were rebranded MK Dons.

"We are all absolutely delighted," Samuelson told the club's official website. "This has been a momentous day for our club and the most important event since we re-formed it 13 years ago.

"Following the sale of our former Plough Lane site and the decision by the FA to allow Wimbledon FC's Football League place to be moved to Milton Keynes, our fans did something unprecedented in the football world -- we decided to re-form the club, enter the football hierarchy at the lowest level and repeat what the old Wimbledon FC did with massive success, namely make our way up through the many leagues into the Football League.

"We started with nothing, no team, no stadium, no manager, not even a strip to wear.

"But what was different this time was that the club was formed by and remains owned by the fans, in other words we are firmly rooted in our community.

"We have never lost sight of that and so we have focused the majority of our community works on Merton because this is our home and we are delighted that we have been granted planning approval to return to Wimbledon."

AFC Wimbledon's stadium plan is for a 20,000-seater stadium with an initial capacity of 11,000.

The plans include the provision to build 602 residential units, along with retail and commercial space and a leisure club.

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