The leader of Merton Council has said he believes AFC Wimbledon’s bid for a stadium on Plough Lane may be finally approved by August.

Councillor Stephen Alambritis spoke to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, on Tuesday, July 5, and said Mr Khan assured him that news of a consultation on the plans should be announced in the coming fortnight.

A spokesman for the Mayor of London’s press office said there is no update on the consultation yet.

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, despite them being unanimously approved by Merton Council’s planning committee in December last year.

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

However, Cllr Alambritis is confident that City Hall will approve the plans this time, and hopes the decision will then be given back to the council’s planning committee.

Wimbledon Times:

An artist impression of the Plough Lane stadium

He said: “I’m very confident that this decision will be handed back to the London Borough of Merton and we will affirm the decision we took on December 10 that the club can go ahead with building a new stadium on Plough Lane.

March 31: Pitch battle: Wandsworth and Merton council leaders clash as Boris Johnson "calls in" stadium plans for Plough Lane

“Hopefully it will be back with Merton before the end of July, and we can affirm the decision as soon as August.”

Back in March, the Mayor’s office said the decision to call in the plans for the 20,000 seat stadium (beginning as 11,000), 602 flats, shops and fitness centre was made due to “the scale and nature of public representations received” and “significant issues of controversy.”

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However, in an exclusive interview with this newspaper on April 26, Mr Johnson suggested he may have been wrong to call the plans in, saying: “I don’t know, maybe I made the wrong decision. But I felt that it was something that needed to be further looked at.”

April 26: Mayor of London Boris Johnson: "maybe I made the wrong decision" calling in AFC Wimbledon's Plough Lane stadium

Concerns have been raised that Mr Khan, the former MP for Tooting, is against the proposals after he wrote to chief executive of AFC Wimbledon, Erik Samuelson, in February 2015 to express “serious concerns” about the stadium bid and its impact on Wandsworth.

April 12: Sadiq Khan may give AFC Wimbledon's controversial Plough Lane plan green light as Mayor despite previous objections

However, Cllr Alambritis is confident that Mr Khan’s ties to Wandsworth borough, who have been vocal opponents of the stadium plans, will not affect his judgement.

Cllr Alambritis said: “Sadiq Khan had some concerns about the application on behalf of the residents of Tooting, but he has gone on record as saying he will look at it now as Mayor of London, rather than former MP for Tooting.

“Mayors have passed West Ham, they have passed Spurs. I cannot for the life of me see why Boris Johnson picked on a small club, fan based and fan owned.

“My hope and desire is that it will be handed back to Merton, and then hopefully we can all forget about this character called Boris Johnson.”

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