AFC Wimbledon’s move to Plough Lane is full speed ahead after the deadline for a final spanner to be thrown in the works passed.

Following planning permission being granted in December, a six-week period was launched where a legal challenge – a judicial review – could be launched.

That deadline for lodging the appeal passed at the end of the month.

In a statement on its website, the club said: “While we were very confident that a JR application would fail it would nonetheless have delayed our stadium project for an undefined amount of time – possibly several months.”

The club’s chief executive Erik Samuelson told Wimbledon Guardian: “We can start concentrating on what we always wanted to do, which is build a stadium instead of worrying about where the next objection is going to come from.”

AFC Wimbledon said this week that mobilising work for site clearance is expected to commence in mid-February. Galliard will clear the site before the club takes over and starts building, potentially late summer.

It was originally envisaged the club would move in for the start of the 2019-2020 season.

Mr Samuelson said that was still the hope.

He said: “It gets harder by the day. The moment we got absolute certainty we went to our contractors and said ‘look, can it be done and if so, how?’ They are going to get back to us formally on that soon.”

It has been a long road back to Plough Lane for professional football in Wimbledon.

Wimbledon FC, founded in 1889, played in Plough Lane from 1912 to 1991.

AFC Wimbledon, founded in 2002, first had its plans for an 11,000 to 20,000 seater stadium approved by Merton Council in December 2015.

The decision was ‘called in’ by then-Mayor of London Boris Johnson, before the Mayor also gave it the go-ahead in August 2016.

Among the opponents to the stadium were Save Wimbledon Stadium Action Group who wanted the old Greyhound and stock car racing stadium, built in 1927, retained.

A 13,000-strong petition was presented to Parliament and there was a request to Historic England that the stadium – which had an important role in the Second World War – be listed.

Wandsworth Council, which opposed the plans because of the possible impact on infrastructure, said in August 2016 that the decision should have been referred to the Secretary of State.

Final planning permission and a ‘landmark agreement’ was signed between the council and developers in December last year which cleared the path for the development, which will also include 602 homes, shops, and a fitness and squash club.

The agreement also included £1.5 million health, bus, road and cycle improvements in the area.

Mr Samuelson said: “It is potentially a game changer.

“We will move to a site back home, we will be able to focus and increase our community activities in the borough and indeed adjacent boroughs – in Wandsworth, in particular we would like to do a bit more.

“And we increase our income earning ability which will allow us to strengthen the team and hopefully get back into the virtuous circle that has taken us to where we are.”

He added: “Eventually, where we are now we just could not have continued to grow. We just didn’t have the scope for expansion. This is potentially a game changer. Now we have got to turn it into actuality.”