Sharpe Pritchard acts for Merton Council in landmark deal returning AFC Wimbledon to Plough Lane

15 December 2017

The leading London-based firm of public law specialists, Sharpe Pritchard, has acted for Merton Council in the completion on Wednesday 13 December of the landmark Section 106 Agreement, returning AFC Wimbledon to where the famous Wimbledon FC used to play football.

The historic deal will see the redevelopment of the Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium site as a football stadium. This will return League One AFC Wimbledon to a location near to the former home of the original Wimbledon FC at Plough Lane.

The agreement also commits the developer, GRA Acquisitions (a subsidiary of Galliard Homes) to delivering 602 much needed new homes, a squash and leisure centre, a hospitality suite and a crèche, as well as, transportation and other improvements.

The deal was dogged with a number of complexities and challenges, including the calling in of the application by outgoing Mayor of London, Boris Johnson at the start of 2016. Sharpe Pritchard advised and assisted the Council through these problems. However the decision was then overturned by Sadiq Khan and remitted back to Merton Council for determination. The completion of the Section 106 Agreement today is as a result of the good partnership working between the Council, AFC Wimbledon and GRA Acquisitions Ltd.

Partner Denise Stephenson led on the deal for Sharpe Pritchard, assisted by Planning Solicitor, Emily Knowles; Jo Pickering, the firm’s Head of Real Estate and Peter Collins, Corporate Solicitor.

Denise Stephenson said: “This is a very important deal for our client, Merton Council, as well as for AFC Wimbledon, returning the club to its spiritual home while delivering much-needed homes and amenities for local people.

“This was a complex matter, which took two years of negotiations to bring to a successful conclusion for Merton Council and the residents of the borough.

“The success of this deal shows the strength and depth of our firm in acting for local authorities on major Section 106 agreements.”

Tara Butler, Deputy FutureMerton manager at FutureMerton team said “This was a very complex case involving planning and property law and parties with vastly different experience. Denise and the team at Sharpe Pritchard were a pleasure to work with, professional and responsive throughout and always going the extra mile to get the S106 resolved and deadlines met. Highly recommended.”

Work on the stadium is due to begin in summer 2018, with AFC Wimbledon looking to move to the new stadium for the 2019-20 football season.

This article is for general awareness only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this page was first published.

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