Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium will not become a listed building, AFC Wimbledon has announced.

The football team's plans to demolish the stadium and build its new ground at the site in Plough Lane had to be put on hold during the assessments. Demolition was due to start in April, but the delay in decision-making is reported to be a result of the snap election.

AFC Wimbledon's chief executive Erik Samuelson said: "This is very welcome news and a major hurdle overcome. We can now focus on getting the last few pieces in place to make sure we can return to Merton in 2019."

Growing pressure from AFC Wimbledon for a bigger stadium comes as they climb up the leagues, having been promoted six times in 13 seasons.

The original Wimbledon FC was founded in 1889 and played at Plough Lane from 1912 to 1991, famously winning the FA Cup final against Liverpool in 1988.

Fans set up the new club after Wimbledon FC, which had been ground-sharing with Crystal Palace, were told in 2002 they would have to move 80 miles north to Milton Keynes.

The Dons' 4,850-capacity home stadium is currently in Kingston.

Historic England confirmed in January it would be revisiting the stadium to assess the “architectural interest of the building” after an initial request for listing was refused in early 2016.

Save Wimbledon Stadium Action Group has been campaigning to retain the current stadium with its greyhound and stock car racing, and prevent AFC Wimbledon building their new 20,000 seater stadium.

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The new ground, which will begin as an 11,000 seater stadium, will also include 602 flats, shops and amenities in plans first approved by Merton Council in December 2015, and finally given the all-clear by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, last August.

The old greyhound stadium, shut down in March, was built in 1927. As well as onsite air-raid shelters and an anti-aircraft gun, the stadium was also the site where the British Expeditionary Force assembled in 1939 before departing for Europe, and was a holding centre for refugees fleeing Europe in 1943.

A Historic England spokesperson said: "The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) is standing by its decision not to list Wimbledon Stadium following a review.

"Historic England advised that it did not merit listing last year but according to established process we visited the site again to assess the historic and architectural interest of the building. 

"In making our recommendation to the DCMS, we very carefully considered the stadium’s historic and architectural interest. Despite the association with the famous greyhound ‘Mick the Miller’ and his achievements, we confirm Wimbledon Stadium is not listable because it has been extensively altered.”

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