Tottenham today cleared what could be the final hurdle in their bid to redevelop White Hart Lane after the London Mayor gave their plans the green light.
Boris Johnson had the power to overturn last month's decision by Haringey Council to grant Spurs planning permission to build a 56,000-seater venue on the site of their current ground. But the mayor decided to back the council, meaning the £450m project can go ahead unless the Government decides to intervene.
Press Association Sport understands that is unlikely and would mean Tottenham now need to decide whether to press ahead with what is called the Northumberland Development Project. The club are also bidding to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games, although West Ham appear to be the favourites to become the tenants at the Stratford venue.
After giving the redevelopment of White Hart Lane the go-ahead this afternoon, Johnson wrote to Haringey Council, saying: "I am content to allow Haringey Council to determine the case itself, subject to any action that the Secretary of State may take, and do not therefore wish to direct refusal or to take over the application for my own determination."
Spurs stadium conundrum
There was no comment from the club on today's announcement, amid caution about possible Government intervention. The decision of Johnson, who also sits on the board of the Olympic Park Legacy Company - which will decide the destiny of the Olympic Stadium next month - followed a planning meeting at City Hall.
Tottenham have repeatedly stated their commitment to building a new ground, although director SirKeith Mills this week said they would opt for the Olympic Stadium if they did win the bid next month and it made more financial sense.
That followed a stern defence of the club's two-pronged approach to relocation by chairman Daniel Levy, who criticised the lack of public funding attached to the redevelopment of White Hart Lane. Levy confirmed extra costs nearing £50m had been accrued in a bid to preserve English Heritage sites close to the project.
None of that money has been offset by public funding - a revenue source that both the revamped Wembley and Arsenal's Emirates Stadium were able to utilise - a state of affairs that clearly rankles with Levy. Moving to the Olympic Stadium would therefore be a significantly cheaper option for Spurs than redeveloping their 111-year-old home.
However, that would face opposition both from outspoken local MP David Lammy and a number of their own supporters, who are planning a mass protest against the move. Fan Tim Framp has gathered more than 2,100 signatures, including that of Lammy to an online petition, 'Say No to Stratford Hotspur'. Framp has insisted his 'We are N17' group are determined to keep the club in north London.
He said his group will hand out 20,000 flyers before Sunday's Premier League home match against Liverpool and organise a march down Tottenham High Street ahead of the 12 December game with champions Chelsea.
West Ham are widely seen as the favourites to move into the Olympic Stadium as they plan to retain the running track to preserve a commitment made by Great Britain's bid team to ensure an athletics legacy after the Games. Spurs, meanwhile, are reportedly planning to tear up the track and contribute to the construction of a smaller athletics venue.